Five companies face prosecution for Buncefield fuel depot blast

FIVE companies are to be prosecuted following the explosions and fire at the Buncefield Oil Depot nearly three years ago. The Health and Safety Executive and the Environment Agency have instituted criminal proceedings against Total UK, Hertfordshire Oil

FIVE companies are to be prosecuted following the explosions and fire at the Buncefield Oil Depot nearly three years ago.

The Health and Safety Executive and the Environment Agency have instituted criminal proceedings against Total UK, Hertfordshire Oil Storage, British Pipeline Agency, TAV Engineering and Motherwell Control Systems 2003 after carrying out a complex criminal investigation.

An initial court hearing has been fixed for January 23 at West Herts Magistrates Court in Watford.

The charges relate to failing to ensure the health and safety of staff at Buncefield and people in the wider locality, causing pollution and not taking necessary measures to prevent major accidents

Although the main impact of the Buncefield blast was felt in the Hemel Hempstead area, some properties in the St Albans district were affected and the residents forced to leave their homes.

A large cloud of smoke hung over the district for several days after the blast in December 2005.