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ALTOONA, Pa. -- The last time gas cost around $2 per gallon, it was the spring of 2005, but for three hours on Monday evening, customers were swarming to a Sheetz station located in Pottsville, Pa., to benefit from a glitch that priced gas at around $2 a gallon, a dollar discount from the current prices, the Republican & Herald reported.
Sheetz spokeswoman Monica Jones told the paper the store had no choice but to honor $1.99, $2.09 and $2.19 prices for each grade of gas if the customer paid with a credit card. The prices were supposed to be $2.99, $3.09 and $3.19, the report stated.
The incorrect prices were in effect from approximately 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., the Herald reported.
Jones added that store employees were unaware of the glitch for more than an hour.
"We have no idea what's going on," one store employee told the paper.
Meanwhile, the forecourt of the station was a chaotic scene.
"It was crazy. I thought somebody was going to get shot," Gary Baimbridge, of Minersville, Pa., told the paper. "People were pushing each other out of the way to get a dollar off gas. People were saying 'get … out of my way. This is my pump.'"
The situation worsened as news of the mistake spread.
"My friend called me up and said [mid-grade gas] is $2.09," Todd Yanchick, 31, of Seltzer, Pa., told the paper. "I hope it stays like that until they run out of gas."
By 6:30 p.m., about 40 vehicles lined up at the pumps. Store supervisor Ashleigh Dargis told the Republican & Herald she didn't know prices had been lowered, adding "Nobody said anything to me. I'll have to go fix that."
By about 7:30 p.m., the store shut down its 10 pumps to reset the computers, Jones told the paper, and by 8 p.m., the glitch was fixed and the pumps were back on at the correct prices.
Human error was initially to blame for the pricing, but attempts by store employees to fix the problem actually made it worse, according to Jones, who added it was difficult to determine how much money Sheetz lost during the span, but "it was enough to warrant the shutdown."