CBD work unearths old fuel tank

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The former Mid Canterbury Transport garage and depot on Moore Street, with a petrol pump clearly visible in the centre, below left, the Moore Street building today, below right, the hole in the ground where the tank is buried.

Ashburton’s CBD renewal project has unearthed a buried fuel tank on Moore Street. It is in front of the building currently occupied by Martin Bennett Hydraulics.

The fuel tank came as a surprise to contractors from Tru-Line Civil when it was revealed buried two metres down.

It had a fuel smell to it and excavation revealed a small access hole to the tank.

Ashburton council infrastructure services manager Neil McCann said a cautious approach had been taken with the tank discovery.

Between 400 and 500 litres of fuel had been sucked out of it on Tuesday and the access hole then sealed.

He said there were no plans to remove the large tank and contractors would complete work around it before filling in the hole again.

The fuel tank is buried in front of a building once used by Mid Canterbury Transport.

The company took over 104 Moore Street in 1940 from Poore Motors and used it to service vehicles and also as a depot for taxi and passenger service buses it ran.

Petrol pumps were installed and fuel was available to the public, but was mainly for company use.

The depot was closed when operations were transferred to a new site at West Street near Mill Creek in 1960.