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Customer punches gas station attendant who overfilled tank in southern Vietnam

Friday, February 22, 2019, 22:04 GMT+7
Customer punches gas station attendant who overfilled tank in southern Vietnam
Attendant Nguyen Thi H. (in blue) pumps gasoline for a customer who struck her in the face when the tank had overflowed at a gas station in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, southern Vietnam, February 19, 2019, in this screenshot taken from CCTV footage.

A female gas station attendant was punched in the face by an as yet unidentified customer for over-pumping fuel into the tank of his motorbike in southern Vietnam on Tuesday.

Nguyen Thi H. suffered a broken nasal bone and bad bruises around one of her eyes during an unexpected incident at the filling station where she works on Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province.

The incident was captured by the facility’s CCTV cameras.

When a Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper journalist met H. on Friday, four days after she was hit, her nose still looked swollen and the bruises were quite noticeable.

She said a man riding a Honda SH scooter registered in Ho Chi Minh City visited the gas station around 10:20 am on Tuesday.

As she refilled his tank, H. accidentally let the container overflow.

Even though the attendant quickly apologized, the man landed a punch onto her face, according to her account.

The blow left her feeling dizzy and her nose bleeding, she said.

Attendant Nguyen Thi H. (in blue) covers her face with a hand after a customer punches her when his tank has overflowed, at a gas station in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, southern Vietnam, February 19, 2019, in this screenshot taken from CCTV footage.
Attendant Nguyen Thi H. (in blue) covers her face with a hand after a customer punched her when his tank had overflowed at a gas station in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, southern Vietnam, February 19, 2019, in this screenshot taken from CCTV footage.

“His strike was just stinging. Blood kept coming out of my nose, and covered all my face. It was completely numb then,” she recalled.

She was taken to a hospital where a doctor said she sustained “injuries to other parts of the head” and a broken nasal bone.

H. said she had experienced headache and giddiness over the past few days.

“I could not sleep during the first night due to a fever,” she added.

The man, wearing a face mask, left the station with a woman and a young child after the incident, according to the CCTV footage.

The station where Nguyen Thi H. has worked is pictured in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Dong Ha / Tuoi Tre
The station where Nguyen Thi H. works is pictured in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Dong Ha / Tuoi Tre

A representative of the filling station said after H. was beaten, her manager ran out of the office and asked what had happened but the customer looked aggressive and threatened to attack him.

The station manager was so busy taking her to the hospital that no prompt report to police was made. “But police are looking for the man now,” the representative added.

H., 27, lives with her mother in a house built with money donated by benefactors on a piece of land borrowed from her uncle in Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

Nguyen Thi H. recounts what happens to her at the gas station. Photo: Dong Ha / Tuoi Tre
Nguyen Thi H. recounts what happened to her at the gas station. Photo: Dong Ha / Tuoi Tre

Following her father’s death last year, she has been the breadwinner, earning VND5 million (US$215) a month as an attendant at the gas station.

“Now I just want to be healthy again and make money to take care of my mother and younger sibling,” she said, failing to hold back tears.

“I hope authorities would find the man who punched me because there may be more other women having been hit by him.”

A customer punches attendant Nguyen Thi H. (in blue) at a gas station in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, southern Vietnam, February 19, 2019, in this CCTV footage.

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