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Dallas: CNG-patrol cars have no leaks

DALLAS, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- Dallas officials say tests on the city's compressed natural gas-fueled police cars have not uncovered why an officer became ill driving one last week.

Crews found no natural gas or carbon monoxide leaks in weekend tests on the 70 cars, The Dallas Morning News reported Tuesday. Further independent tests by a Ford dealer will be conducted this week.

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City Manager Mary Shum said she expects the independent testing to support the initial findings by maintenance crews that the compressed natural gas fleet is safe.

Chief David Kunkle said he would take one of the CNG-fueled cars to show that the less polluting vehicles are safe. The other CNG cars will be returned to lighter duty. There are 500 vehicles in police department's aging fleet.

The CNG-fueled cars were pulled from service Friday after an officer became sick driving one of them. Tests at a hospital indicated she had elevated levels of carbon monoxide.

Since Dallas began converting gasoline-fueled cars to natural gas some officers have complained that they don't have the acceleration of the gasoline cars and they have to make fuel stops more frequently.

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