Vietnam to carry out nationwide inspection of gasoline quality

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The Ministry of Science and Technology has said it will launch a nationwide inspection into the quality of gasoline and cooking gas between June and August.

The inspection follows hundreds of vehicles mysteriously catching fire over the last two years and gas explosions that have killed several people recently.

A VnExpress newswire report Thursday quoted Tran Minh Dung, chief inspector of the ministry, as saying that they will visit businesses nationwide and check their products for compliance with regulated criteria and technical standards.

The results of the inspection is expected to be announced in October, the official said.

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According to the Ministry of Public Security's latest figures, 324 vehicles had caught fire across the country in 2010 and 2011. Incomplete statistics show that another 65 cases have been recorded in the first three months of this year.

Most of the fires have remained unsolved so far, with gasoline of dubious quality has been emerging as the main culprit.

Local agencies have recently detected adulterated fuel being sold at several gasoline stations.

The Hanoi office of Vietnam's Quality Assurance and Testing Center, QUATEST 1, early this week announced that they found three samples with lower octane ratings than labeled at a gas station in the northern province of Bac Giang.

The office conducted tests on gasoline sold by the Doi Nen station after hundreds of irate residents stormed it last week, accusing it of selling low quality fuel, leading to several fires in the area. They demanded compensation for losses suffered.

The newswire quoted experts as saying gasoline of low octane ratings is likely to damage vehicles' engines.

Last December, a gasoline station in Hanoi was also found selling gasoline of dubious quality. The same month, 11 fuel retailers in Ho Chi Minh City had their licenses revoked for one year for cheating customers with poor-quality fuel.

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