UK Health and Safety Executive Publishes Buncefield Evidence

photo : Hertfordshire Constabulary

The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published some of the evidence being presented in the current trial of three companies over the explosion at the Buncefield depot in 2005.

As a reminder, several explosions occurred at the Buncefield Depot in the early hours of Sunday 11th December 2005. At least one of the initial explosions was of massive proportions and there was a large fire, which engulfed a high proportion of the site. Over 40 people were injured but thankfully there were no fatalities.

There was, however, substantial damage to  properties in the area and the fire burned for several days, destroying most of the site and emitting large clouds of black smoke into the atmosphere.

A number of videos and photos have been published. The videos are stunning, showing the speed at which the vapour cloud advanced. The photos show the damage to the control room and the spread of debris following the explosions.

I'd recommend all those with an involvement in chemical manufacturing to take a look and challenge your own operations.This type of incident is totally preventable if we take the time and effort to assess the risks and then take the right actions to systematically eliminate them.

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