OCEAN TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Reports of faulty fuel left drivers stranded on their way to work in New Jersey Wednesday morning.
Did diesel somehow end up in the wrong tank? Or did an underground water leak contaminate the gas?
The sun was shining on a clear start to the day, so local landscaper Ed Bertini was preparing for a busy day.
“First thing every morning is get gas for the machines and trucks to fill up,” Bertini told CBS2’s Meg Baker.
After hitting the pump at his usual spot, a Sunoco off Route 35 and Sunset Avenue in Ocean Township, he thought his truck was breaking down.
“Once I drove out of the lot the truck started running real rough,” he said. “By the time I got to the light the truck was running smoke out of the exhaust.”
It turns out, the station received a bad batch of gas Wednesday morning. Bertini was not alone.
“We received numerous reports of cars breaking down, disabled,” Ocean Police Lt. Det. Tim Torchia said. “They all came from that station.”
Authorities say at least 10 others were left high and dry. Bertini said his wife heard on social media that he wasn’t alone.
Workers opened up the caps on the tanks to take samples to figure out what went wrong.
“Once we found out what was going on we shut down one pump,” Torchia said. “A bad batch of gas looks 12 to 24 hours on hold before they can siphon the gas.”
The owner of the Sunoco wouldn’t go on camera, but told CBS2 the fuel tanks of the vehicles affected will need to be flushed out.
Bertini says he at least dodged one bullet — he didn’t pour the gas into his mowers and other machinery, which would have resulted in a major loss of business.
Local authorities have taken their own samples and say they will see to it. The gas station is legally bound to take care of anyone affected.