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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old December 11th, 2005, 08:45 Thread Starter
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Big Oil Depot Explodes

One of the UK's biggest oil depots at Hemel Hepstead has exploded about 6am this morning.

I live about 15 miles away and it woke us up. Our cats scurried off downstairs to hide.

It doesn't appear to be a terrorist attack, just an accident.

But I can see the big plume of black smoke towering into the air and heading south.

The oil depot is right next to a couple of my work places customers sites, where I have been on site there. Luckily it is right next to the M1 and not in a big residential area. I'd be very surprised if no-one has died, lots of buildings have had their windows blown out.

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old December 11th, 2005, 08:55 Thread Starter
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From BBC ...
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4517962.stm

Massive explosions hit fuel depot

Police have confirmed there were casualties at the oil depot
Three large explosions have rocked a fuel depot near Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire shooting flames hundreds of feet into the sky.


Police say there are casualties and emergency services are at the scene.

The first blast happened at 0603 GMT at the Buncefield fuel depot, close to junction 8 of the M1 motorway, 10 miles from Luton airport.

It is being treated as an accident and rumours that a plane was involved are unfounded, said a police spokesman.

The M1 has been closed both ways between junctions 6a and 12.

Those living nearby have been evacuated.

Many houses have been damaged, with some reporting feeling effects from the explosion as far away as Oxfordshire, while it was heard in Surrey and Norfolk.

Eye witnesses reported buckled front doors, cracked walls and blown-out windows.

Witnesses said another two explosions followed the first at 0626 GMT and 0627 GMT.


It is a scene of utter devastation
Colin Campbell, BBC reporter

The Buncefield depot is a major distribution terminal operated by Total and part-owned by Texaco, storing oil, petrol and well as kerosene which supplies Luton airport.

"We are doing everything we can to support the emergency services and to bring the situation under control," said a Total spokesman.

No further details were available, he added.

'Out-of-control'

One eyewitness, Jonathan, told the BBC he was working a night shift in the building next door to the fuel depot at the time of the blast.

He received cuts and bruises.

He was sitting in his office "and the next minute I was on the floor and it was pitch black. I was thrown off my chair," he said.

He and a colleague had to break a window to get out because the doors were buckled, they got out of the front of the building and were taken to hospital by passing motorists.

BBC reporter Colin Campbell said: "There are huge fireballs gushing out of the fuel depot.

"Many people are standing by filming the scene on mobile phones. There are gigantic flames, it would be impossible to contain at the moment, it is out of control.

Plume of smoke after blast, scene from Luton
Police are describing it as a major incident

"It is a scene of utter devastation."

Malcolm Stewart, who drives a tanker at the terminal, said there were 20 tanks on the site, each holding three million gallons of fuel.

BBC correspondent Sinead Wilson, who lives in nearby St Albans said there was a huge plume of smoke covering the sky.

"There is a smell of gas, lots of fire engines, police cars in the area," she said.

"It looks to me as if the entire depot is under fire.

Eyewitness Sam Matton, who lives half a mile from the depot told BBC News: "The sky is sort of orange. The flames have got to be 60ft up in the air.

"The loft hatch in my house has actually fallen out, my neighbour's window has actually broken from the impact.

Dave Franklin told BBC News: "There was a massive loud bang which broke windows above us and to the right. The whole sky just turned orange and black."

Michael Vatty said: "The impression was that it was a clap of thunder, but as soon as we got up we saw the flames. We had the garage door blown in, the front door was also blown in."

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old December 11th, 2005, 14:57
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I am watching on it live on TV now, what happened?

Amazing in the middle of London, amazing explosion, and I dont live too far from Hampstead, actually near the heath
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old December 11th, 2005, 15:08
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Bastin's house is only 7 miles from the explosion site, but he is ok.

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old December 11th, 2005, 15:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humbird
Bastin's house is only 7 miles from the explosion site, but he is ok.
He lives outside London, doesn't he?? Hertfordshire is outside London, but just, it takes about 20 min to get to London from there
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old December 11th, 2005, 15:13
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Originally Posted by 2Pac
He lives outside London, doesn't he?? Hertfordshire is outside London, but just, it takes about 20 min to get to London from there
what are you talking about? Hemel Hempstead is in Hertfordshire, and so is Bastin.

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old December 11th, 2005, 15:20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humbird
what are you talking about? Hemel Hempstead is in Hertfordshire, and so is Bastin.


Hemel Hampstead is in London, I drive by there everyday
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old December 11th, 2005, 15:26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Pac


Hemel Hampstead is in London, I drive by there everyday
Hampstead is in London, near Belsize Park. Hemel Hempstead is north of London in Hertfordshire.

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old December 11th, 2005, 15:29
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Yesterday a squarrel broke its leg while being fed with nuts by an old man.

It doesn't appear to be a terrorist attack, just an accident.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old December 11th, 2005, 16:04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hungaria
Yesterday a squarrel broke its leg while being fed with nuts by an old man.

It doesn't appear to be a terrorist attack, just an accident.
The point isn't that it may have been a terrorist attack (which it almost certainly wasn't), but that it may prove to be a deadly disaster. The depot is spewing fumes, which may or may not be toxic, all over one of largest and most important cities on the planet. Now, with winter upon us, this could easily create a smog that could claim thousands of lives.

I think I'm the closest XTer to this, and it's not pleasant outside. The morning mist has not risen, and has combined with the smoke to create a fog that smells distinctly of benzene. The endless black clouds in the sky to the northeast don't bode well for Watford or St Albans. I'm guessing that the advice is to stay inside for the next few days, but that's easier said than done.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Humbird
Hampstead is in London, near Belsize Park. Hemel Hempstead is north of London in Hertfordshire.
BWAH! That'll teach him to lecture you on Hampstead.

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old December 11th, 2005, 16:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bastin
The endless black clouds in the sky to the northeast don't bode well for Watford or St Albans. I'm guessing that the advice is to stay inside for the next few days, but that's easier said than done.
Actually London has a rather nice and strange sky colour this evening

Quote:
BWAH! That'll teach him to lecture you on Hampstead


Technically it maybe in Herts, but still London reaches it geographically


@Humbird: Have you been to our lovely capital city
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old December 11th, 2005, 17:13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Pac
Technically it maybe in Herts, but still London reaches it geographically
No, it really doesn't. In between, there's Borehamwood, Watford, and a lot of open land. Had you driven past Hemel Hempstead every day, you'd be taking that trip up the M1, and be four junctions out of London by the time you'd reached Hemel.

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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old December 11th, 2005, 17:13
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Apparently it was heard as far off as Holland - some special weather condition meaning it could be heard as far as Holland and Northern France. Personally, it didn't reach my eardrums in S. London but then again I probably wouldn't wake up if it had been next door.

2pac, Hemel Hempstead is Herts not London

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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old December 11th, 2005, 17:16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalya
Apparently it was heard as far off as Holland - some special weather condition meaning it could be heard as far as Holland and Northern France. Personally, it didn't reach my eardrums in S. London but then again I probably wouldn't wake up if it had been next door.

2pac, Hemel Hempstead is Herts not London
I know, but London is so huge it merges with Herts

I am just making a joke about the extreme size of London, I hate the place, takes me 4 hours to get anywhere :depress:
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old December 11th, 2005, 21:30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bastin
The point isn't that it may have been a terrorist attack (which it almost certainly wasn't), but that it may prove to be a deadly disaster. The depot is spewing fumes, which may or may not be toxic, all over one of largest and most important cities on the planet. Now, with winter upon us, this could easily create a smog that could claim thousands of lives.
Im perfecty aware that it wasnt the point its just that the comment is so ridicoulus and discusting at the same time. It could have just as much been stated that: "It doesn't appear to be a sabotage by a displeased employee , just an accident."
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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old December 11th, 2005, 21:42
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Good to hear you're ok Bastin. I gather you're not one of the people who were forced to evacuate?

I've been in bed most of the day due to a cold, so I don't know how it is here cause sky is black anyway...

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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old December 12th, 2005, 00:01
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Glad you pommies are alright. While this is in Political Debate, someone wanna blame Bush real quick? Lets just get the expected drivel over with before we get into the meat of it.




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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old December 12th, 2005, 14:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMOROSO!
Good to hear you're ok Bastin. I gather you're not one of the people who were forced to evacuate?
No, itt's only people in eastern Hemel Hempstead that are being moved.

The firefighters have run out of foam. Huzzah.

Glen: "That last post of Bastin's is just too authoritative to argue against."

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Cacìni: "Ah, there you go using that absurd über-memory of your's...not fair."

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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old December 12th, 2005, 21:51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Bean
Glad you pommies are alright. While this is in Political Debate, someone wanna blame Bush real quick? Lets just get the expected drivel over with before we get into the meat of it.
It's his fault. There you have it.

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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old December 13th, 2005, 03:02
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Blame CANADA!

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