Storm damages Bucks Co. gas station

June 5, 2008 7:06:30 AM PDT
It was as if Mother Nature took a sledge hammer to a canopy made of steel at the corner of Pine & Maple in Langhorne, Bucks County. A woman who was pumping gas saw her life flash before her. The station attendant, Jason Ballman, who was eating soup, saw the whole thing. "It was like a popping a crack, I looked around, and it was just this," Ballman said.

It was around 7:45 and It had been raining heavily for about 20 minutes when the canopy at the Lukoil Station gave way under the weight of all the water.

"Once it fell, in a huge wave, it looked like a wave at the ocean," Ballman told Action News. He says a woman was pumping gas and was almost crushed to death.

Ballman could not believe what he was seeing. "I froze up, my mind was blank. It was really surreal. My heart's still beating real fast," he said.

Fortunately the woman was not injured, leaving the owner grateful. Bill Barquawi told us, "I am blessed by God that nobody was hurt." He says he shut the station completely and closed the pumps to make sure everything was completely secure.

Fire officials say power to the pumps has been shut off and the area cordoned off. They are concerned the rest of the canopy could come tumbling down at any moment, not to mention the continuing onslaught of weather which may help finish the job.