British Buncefield oil explosions. Profits first, people second

Buncefield fuel depot blast

After a year, the victims of this disaster still did not receive compensation.

And the firefighters who helped to prevent even more dead and injured are getting a wage cut, and staff cuts.

From the Google cache:

UK: oil explosions. Profits first, people second

Date: 12/11/05 at 3:58PM

Mood: Looking Playing: Money, money, money, by Abba

The BBC reports:

Massive explosions hit fuel depot

A fire is continuing to blaze at a fuel depot in Hertfordshire after a series of large explosions sent black smoke drifting up to 40 miles away.

Police say 39 people were injured, two of them seriously, after flames shot hundreds of feet into the sky.

The first blast at 0603 GMT at the Buncefield fuel depot, close to junction 8 of the M1 motorway was heard more than 100 miles away.

The fire, which police believe was an accident, could burn for days.

About 2000 people living nearby the Hemel Hempstead site have been evacuated, while police have advised others to keep their windows and doors closed because of fumes. …

The Buncefield depot is a major distribution terminal operated by Total and part-owned by Texaco, storing oil, petrol as well as kerosene which supplies airports across the region, including Heathrow and Luton.

The country’s fifth largest fuel distribution depot, it is also used by BP, Shell and British Pipeline.

See also here.

Update July 2007: here.

First, our thoughts should be with the injured, their families and friends.

However, we should also consider: how could this happen?

How can we prevent disasters like this from happening again?

Like with the Texas City BP oil refinery disaster earlier this year, this may again have been a case of, for the fat cats of Big Oil: profits first; safety for workers and residents an extremely poor second.

There should be a thorough investigation of this disaster, and of the responsibilities for it of oil corporate fat cats and Blairite and/or other politicians colluding with them.

THE case against five companies charged over the Buncefield oil terminal explosion was committed to crown court on Friday: here.

A jury has been selected for the trial of three companies accused of health and safety breaches in connection with an explosion at the Buncefield oil depot: here.

Guardian: Buncefield verdict to renew focus on oil safety: here.

Oil disaster in Nigeria: here.

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