Fight breaks out at North Carolina petrol station amid worsening shortage after Colonial Pipeline hack

Two people have been charged with assault after a fight broke out at a United States petrol station amid a worsening petrol shortage following a cyberattack.

Police officers in Knightdale, North Carolina were called to a Marathon petrol station in the town on Tuesday afternoon (local time) after receiving reports of a crash and a disturbance between two people. They were allegedly fighting over a space in a long line for petrol, the Associated Press reports.

In a video of the fight, the woman is seen getting out of a white Honda and spitting on a man in line ahead of her. He then gets out of his car and spits in her face, and the pair begin throwing punches. It ends with the man kicking the woman's phone into the street and her chasing after it.

The woman was charged with simple assault and the man was charged with assault on a female and damage to personal property, the Associated Press says. Both have a pending court date.

Several states in the southeast are facing major shortages and long lines at stations following the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline after a cyberattack.

White House officials reportedly voiced frustration privately to the pipeline operator over its weak security and lack of preparation that could've allowed the hackers to pull off the attack, CNN reports.

The FBI has confirmed the DarkSide ransomware group was behind last week's attack, which halted 2.5 million barrels of fuel shipments per day.

Fight breaks out at North Carolina petrol station amid worsening shortage after Colonial Pipeline hack
Photo credit: Twitter / @MikeSington

US President Joe Biden didn't blame the Russian government for the attack but says there's evidence that Russia is involved.

"This is something that our administration has been tracking extremely carefully, and I have been personally briefed every day," he told reporters on Monday.

"Agencies across the government have acted quickly to mitigate this attack on our fuel supply and over the weekend at my direction, the Department of Transportation issued an emergency order to lift restrictions on truck drivers in order to ensure more fuel be transported by tanker."

Colonial Pipeline restarted operations late on Wednesday afternoon (local time) but warned that it wouldn't be fully functional immediately.

"Following this restart it will take several days for the product delivery supply chain to return to normal," Colonial said in the statement.

"Some markets served by Colonial Pipeline may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions during the start-up period. Colonial will move as much gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel as is safely possible and will continue to do so until markets return to normal."