Police have launched on investigation after a transit van leaked fuel over a South Tyneside filling station forecourt.
Firefighters from Hebburn and South Shields were called to the filling station at Morrisons in Monkton Road, Jarrow, at 11.51am today after reports of a fuel spill.
It is suspected that the fuel tank may have been tampered with.
Iain Robson, Hebburn crew manager, said: “We were called to a fuel spill at Morrisons where they had evacuated the forecourt except for the affected vehicle.
“It was a white Transit van that had developed a leak. The guy had put about £20 of diesel in his van – about 18 litres we think – and noticed that it was coming out underneath his van and spilling on to the forecourt.
“We used a product called Dammit, which is a bit like children’s Play-Doh, to plug the hole and stem the leak.
“We then spoke to staff at Morrisons who gave us half a dozen bags of sand to scatter on the diesel and clear it up.”
He added: “We weren’t sure if the hole in the fuel tank of the van had rusted through or if someone had drilled it, we couldn’t be sure so we informed the police.
“The owner of the vehicle arranged for it to be taken to a local garage. We were there for around an hour.”
A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: “We received a report from the fire service of a fuel leak at Morrisons Filling Station in Monkton Road, Jarrow.
“The leak was caused by a hole in the fuel tank and inquiries are ongoing to establish how the damage was caused.”