German filling station sells fuel at giveaway price

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Long queues build up at a German filling station after a computer error led to petrol and diesel being virtually given away.

15th January 2008
Berlin (dpa) - Instead of increasing the price by 3 cents a litre, the computer led to the fuels being sold at 3 cents a litre, compared with around 1.40 euros (2.10 dollars) a litre at current levels for both fuels.

"Human error was not to blame," said Erwin Bald, owner of the filling station in the western town of Iserlohn.

"The computer simply misunderstood the instructions keyed in."
The error, which occurred late on Friday evening, is estimated to have cost around 10,000 euros.

News of the bonanza spread quickly, causing some motorists to leave their beds to take advantage of the offer.

The filling station was closed with the assistance of the local police after more than five hours.

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