Skip to comments.Explosions Rock Oil Depot North of London
Posted on 12/11/2005 3:42:21 AM PST by Gamecock
HEMEL HEMPSTEAD, England A series of explosions at one of Britain's largest oil depots shook an area north of London Sunday, shattering windows and sending billowing clouds of smoke and flames high into the sky. Police said the blasts appeared to be accidental.
The oil depot is near an airport and some residents reported hearing an aircraft flying low overhead shortly before the first explosion at around 6 a.m. But area police issued a statement saying there was "nothing to suggest a plane was involved."
The al-Qaida terror network and other terrorist groups have threatened to target fuel depots. But police said there was no indication the blasts were acts of terrorism.
Britain has been on edge about terror attacks since the July 7 transit bombings in London, which killed 56 people including four suicide bombers. An attempted attack two weeks later failed.
The area around the fuel depot was being evacuated. Police said many roads and highways had been closed.
Luton Airport, about 30 miles north of central London and near the site of the explosions, remained open and flights were operating normally.
Firefighters, meanwhile, scrambled to extinguish the blaze at the Buncefield Oil Terminal, about two miles from the town of Hemel Hempstead.
The British Broadcasting Corp. reported an unspecified number of casualties, which police and local firefighters could not immediately confirm.
The Ramada Hotel in Hemel Hempstead was temporarily evacuated after windows were shattered by the blast. Two guests had minor injuries from broken glass and were treated at the hotel, said Calum Russell, marketing director for Jarvis Hotels Ltd. All 187 guests had since returned to their rooms, Russell said.
Residents in Hemel Hempstead reported a loud boom and some felt their houses shake. The blast was so powerful it was felt throughout a large part of London and southeast England.
"Around 6 a.m. as we were sleeping, there was a mighty explosion _ a thunderclap that woke me up," said Neil Spencer, 42, who lives less than a mile from the terminal. "It was fireball after fireball _ truly amazing."
Local resident Richard Ayers said a massive column of smoke rose into the air and said the force of explosions had blown the roofs off houses near the oil depot. "It is like it is doomsday," he told the BBC.
I can't believe I'm the first to post this..... If I did a faulty search please pull...
I am hearing reports here in Europe that a plane flew into the complex.
This is a large capacity depot.
150,000 tonnes maybe.
You aren't. Look at the lead items in Breaking News.
"I can't believe I'm the first to post this"
I was surprised too. I have been following this for a while.
You aren't, check the sidebar under breaking news.
There's been a thread going most of the night.
The plane is mentioned in the thread.
Check that sidebar link again. ;)
Wow. You never heard l.e. or gov't say THAT after events like this, do you? (/end sarcasm>)
I had 'The Blob' on, so managed to miss most of the early reports. Fox thought running The Beltway Boys was more important than tapping into British TV. It's almost seven A.M., and I'm hoping Fox and Friends will decide not to ignore the story.
Yours is from Houston Chronicle via AP and the one the posting Nazis are referring to is from SkyNews.
I'm certain that there are at least two prior threads. I've been wathcing this story develop all day (here in Asia), and I've seen the posts as they were put up.
But really, there's no problem with multiple posts from different cources over a period of several hours, is there?
I'm inclined to agree (terrorism, not an accident) if only for numerological reasons.
I'm also inclined to agree. Terrorism.
Islamic terrorist involvement?
This is the low-res treatment that Google gives to rural areas. You can zoom in one more level, but the resolution doesn't improve. ( requires Netscape 8.0 or better )
The only real info is that it's well into the countryside; plus, it's not exactly a vast tank farm.
That little map I found was off the BBC.