Lebanese dies after truck crashes into petrol station line

Lebanese man dies after truck crashes into vehicle at petrol station line
2 min read
25 July, 2021
Mahmoud Delbani, 27, was waiting to fill his car tank with petrol at 2:30 am, when a truck crashed into his car and several others waiting in line at the Coral Petrol Station on the Beirut-South Lebanon highway.
Traffic enforcement in Lebanon have reported a number of car accidents at petrol station queues, which has seen fights break out as tensions ran high among customers who waited hours to fill their car tanks [Getty]

A man has died while waiting in a petrol station queue on Saturday, becoming the latest victim of the unprecedented economic and political crisis in Lebanon.

Mahmoud Delbani, 27, was waiting to fill his car tank with petrol at 2:30 am, when a truck crashed into his car and several others waiting in line at the Coral Petrol Station on the Beirut-South Lebanon highway.

He was killed in the accident, and three others were wounded, according to local reports.

Delbani had been "looking forward to meeting up with his friends after filling his car with petrol", local media reports said.

"He left us too early," Hussein, one of the victim’s friends said on social media. "What a tragically unexpected and humiliating end to such a loveable and smiley character. I cannot accept what happened! Why did he have to leave that way?"

Tarek, another friend of Delbani, wrote in a Facebook post: "RIP Mahmoud you will be missed … too early dear but our destiny in Lebanon … innocent people die and stupid politicians have a long life…"

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Traffic enforcement in Lebanon have reported a number of car accidents at petrol station queues, which has seen fights break out as tensions ran high among customers who waited hours to fill their car tanks, only to fill up a small amount of petrol or be turned away after hours of waiting when the fuel runs out.

Petrol stations have been running low on subsidised fuel for months, but shortages worsened in June and July as rationing and shortages intensified, leading to a large number of petrol station closures.

In the past, the government has subsidised 90% of fuel sales at the "official" rate of LL1,500 to the dollar.

In January 2021, the price of 20 litres of 95-octane gas increased slightly, costing around LL28,000 and 98-octane gas cost about LL29,000.

In June, the price jumped to LL45,200, and cost LL46,600 respectively. 

With the devaluation of the lira due to Lebanon’s ever-deepening economic crisis – which last week saw the dollar equal a record low of LL21,950 on the black market – the government decided to alter the subsidy program to LL3,900 per dollar, hiking fuel costs further by about 35% or about LL16,000.