Drivers filled tanks with water instead of gas at Phillips 66 in Connecticut

Several people who filled up at a Phillips 66 gas station in Hartford were shocked to find out they filled their tanks with water instead of gas. (Source: WFSB)
Published: Jul. 21, 2022 at 5:07 PM EDT
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HARTFORD, Conn. (WFSB/Gray News) – As if high gas prices aren’t frustrating enough, imagine paying a pretty penny at the pump to realize you filled your tank with water.

That’s what happened to several people who filled up at a Phillips 66 gas station in Hartford.

Not only does filling a gas tank with water put drivers at risk of running out of fuel while on the road, but it causes major damage to the vehicle.

The gas station owner told WFSB that Monday’s heavy rains were likely to blame, saying the rain saturated the parking lot and got down into the station’s fuel pumps.

Selena Pineda is one of the drivers who was affected. She filled her tank around 11:30 p.m. Monday, which cost her $53. Shortly after, she nearly got in a car accident.

“Filled up my tank with $53, I assumed was gas at the time,” Pineda said. “I hopped on the highway I want to say not even a minute, two minutes down the highway, my car completely stalled out. Someone could have hit me from behind.”

Pineda managed to pull over and waited for a tow truck in heavy rain on the interstate.

She later learned her Kia’s gas tank was filled with water instead of gas, which is costing her more than $1,000 in damages to fix.

After reaching out to the gas station’s owner, Pineda said she learned she was not the only one in this situation.

“He told me that six other people had called, prior to me calling, saying that they had similar issues,” Pineda said.

Pineda said although she has racked up expenses, she feels lucky to be alive.

“It’s just ridiculous,” she said. “A lot of innocent people could have gotten hurt.”

The gas station owner didn’t want to go on camera, but he told WFSB he has been working with his insurance company to reimburse drivers who were affected.

Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protection is asking anyone who may have had their cars damaged at the gas station to file a claim.

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