December 11, 2005

Hemel Hempstead Explosion.....!

The England Project is live blogging the results of the fuel storage depot explosion near Hemel Hempstead. He has some pictures from his house showing the large cloud of smoke. White Sun of the Desert speculates that it was probably an accident:
Being a risk engineer in the oil and gas business and all that, here’s my take on it: the root cause is a human error (most probably someone not following procedures) made during a non-routine operation (most probably maintenance). In short, somebody did something he was not supposed to when trying to fix something.
The BBC seems to be confirming this
The fire, which police believe was caused by an accident, could last days with more explosions expected.

Earlier rumours a plane was involved were unfounded, said a police spokesman.
If it was an accident then it will probably be one of the 36 casualties, 4 are reported seriously hurt but amazingly there are no current reports of deaths. For an explosion so powerful that it was heard more than 100 miles away this seems amazingly lucky.
Police said there was no indication the explosion would cause fuel shortages and warned against panic buying.

"We strongly advise against this as recent events have shown that panic buying alone can cause fuel shortages," said Hertfordshire Police Chief Constable Frank Whiteley.

A spokesman for Total said: "We are doing everything we can to support the emergency services and to bring the situation under control."
This was the country's fifth largest fuel distribution depot, so it will affect the cost of petrol. However the effects of a large chunk of the country fueling up now is what could cause shortages, rather than just price increases.


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