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Free fuel from broken pumps in France leads to arrests

More than 150 drivers were able to fill up their vehicles with free petrol at a station north-west of Paris this week due to a pump malfunction, with six people being arrested as a result.

The incident happened on Monday November 4 when some drivers discovered that the petrol station at the Carrefour hypermarché in Sartrouville (Yvelines, Ile-de-France) was still dispensing fuel despite the station itself being closed, and there being no way to pay.

As the news spread on social media, around 150 people in the area took advantage of the pump malfunction, causing queues into the petrol station.

One Tweet said: “The petrol station at Carrefour Sartrouville is a joke, you can serve yourself without paying; everyone is filling up.”

Another video Tweet, posted with the caption “free petrol”, showed how busy the station had become, with horns beeping, some people walking through the forecourt with cans of fuel.

The person in the video can be heard saying: “They are emptying the station. There is nothing left! Free petrol!”.

The station security guard later called police, who later confirmed that they had arrested six people for theft and damage, and that some drivers had eventually been billed for their fuel.

The station was still not open - and was blocking all vehicles from entering - the day after the incident, as the cause of the pump malfunction was still under investigation.

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