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Family-owned Hampton fuel business takes responsibility for Manchester diesel delivery mixup

New Hampshire Union Leader

March 18. 2014 7:13PM

MANCHESTER — A family-owned fuel trucking company in North Hampton is taking responsibility for the repairs of cars damaged from the fuel-delivery mixup at a Manchester convenience store on Sunday.

Abenaqui Carriers posted a note on its website that tells customers of the Manchester Mart at 738 Hooksett Road what to do if their automobile was contaminated by gas or diesel purchased at the station after 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

“We apologize for this inconvenience and we hope to resolve it as soon as possible,” the notice concludes.

During a Sunday afternoon delivery, diesel was placed in the regular gasoline storage tank, and gasoline was placed in the diesel tank, said Taif Nouri, manager of Manchester Mart and Gas. Nouri said he’s heard from about 20 customers so far and referred them to Abenaqui.

“They (Abenaqui) are working on accommodating each customer,” said Nouri, whose store is an unbranded Cumberland Farms operation. “Cumberland Farms is not the one who made the mistake. It’s Abenaqui.”

A spokesman for Abenaqui said a company investigation is underway into what happened on Sunday. He said the driver is a 12-year company employee with an exemplary record.

“This is a rare type of incident and we are still investigating this specific situation. Our drivers are very well trained,” wrote Hugh Drummond in a response to questions emailed to Abenaqui.

He said the company employs several safeguards. Drivers calculate tank volumes based on stick readings, which are taken before and after a delivery. Fill spouts are painted, but the paint can wear down, especially after a severe winter, Drummond said.

He said the Sunday delivery involved 1,000 gallons of diesel and 7,500 gallons of unleaded gasoline. He confirmed they were put into the wrong tanks.

Manchester Mart resumed selling fuel Tuesday morning, Nouri said. Overnight, a cleaning company flushed out the storage and pumping equipment and replaced filters.

Nouri said none of his customers was angry.

“They were cooperative. They understand what happened; it was a mistake,” he said.

On its website, Abenaqui asks Manchester Mart customers to fax the company the receipt of their fuel purchase. It said the automobile owners can make a claim through Abenaqui’s insurance carrier, Great West Casualty Co. The telephone number for Great West is 800-228-8602, and the claim number is H06245.

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