Breaking News: St Albans explosions

by ozziepost 10 Replies latest social current

  • ozziepost

    Breaking news dowunder - any in UK getting this:

    Explosions heard north of London 6:00 PM December 11

    A series of loud explosions have been heard near a town just north of London and huge flames have been seen pluming into the sky.

    A reporter for Britain's Sky News television says he heard a "low, loud rumbling" near the town of Saint Albans around 6:00am local time, followed by a "massive" explosion.

    The reporter says orange flames and smoke could then be seen in the sky up to a great height, just east of the town.

    According to Sky, the blasts are thought to be located at Bunsfield fuel terminal, an oil depot located near Saint Albans.

    The area is also close to Luton Airport, a major air hub north of London, as well as the major M1 motorway, a section of which has been closed following the blast.

    Other witnesses report hearing up to four separate blasts over the course of 30 minutes.

    One witness told the television station that the force of one blast blew in windows at a hotel near Saint Albans, which is around 40 kilometres north of the British capital.

    - AFP

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    I just got this from CTV in Canada

    Massive blasts hit fuel depot north of London News Staff

    A series of explosions tore through one of Britain's largest oil distribution depot north of London early Sunday, shooting towers of flames and smoke hundreds of feet into the sky.

    Police say the blasts at Buncefield Oil Terminal near Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire county, which injured 36 people, appeared to be accidental.

    "All indications at this stage are that this was an accident," said Frank Whiteley, the county's chief of police told a news conference.

    "However, clearly we will keep an open mind, as with all investigations, until we can confirm that for certain."

    Britons have been on edge since July's deadly transit bombings in London, during which four suicide bombers blew themselves up and killed 52 commuters.

    Earlier rumours that an aircraft was heard flying low overhead before the first explosion were unfounded, police said.

    Witnesses reported hearing a loud boom and felt their homes shake when the first blast happened shortly after 6:00 a.m. GMT, as well as another two explosions that followed within half an hour.

    "Around 6 a.m. as we were sleeping, there was a mighty explosion - a thunderclap that woke me up," said Neil Spencer, who lives less than a kilometre-and-a-half from the terminal, told The Associated Press. "It was fireball after fireball - truly amazing."

    Local resident Richard Ayers said he saw a massive column of smoke billow into the air and said the sheer force of the blasts appeared to blow the roofs off nearby houses.

    "It is like it is doomsday," he told the BBC.

    More than four hours after the blast, a huge tower of black smoke continued to blow several hundred feet into the air.

    "It's probably the largest that I have seen ... in terms of actual fire size," the county's chief fire officer Roy Wilsher told a news conference.

    More explosions are expected throughout the day.

    "The fire is contained," Whiteley told a news conference in Hertfordshire. "Yes, it's big and it's going to burn for some time. But it is under control."

    Some flights were forced to delay at London's Heathrow Airport because of smoke, but Luton Airport -- which is near the oil depot -- was said to be operating as usual.

    Meanwhile, the area around the site has been evacuated, and police are advising nearby residents to stay indoors as the plume of smoke travels eastward.

    The Buncefield depot, the country's fifth largest fuel distribution depot, is operated by Total and partly owned by Texaco that stores petrol and fuel oils for a large part of southeast England.

    Police said there was no indication the blasts would cause fuel shortages and warned against panic buying.

    "We strongly advise against this as recent events have shown that panic buying alone can cause fuel shortages," said Whiteley.

  • nicolaou

    This is all over the UK news. Thankfully no fatalities but about 40 injured - some serious. Reports are it was an accident, nothing more. The satellite photo's are stunning!


  • nicolaou

    This is all over the UK news. Thankfully no fatalities but about 40 injured - some serious. Reports are it was an accident, nothing more. The satellite photo's are stunning!


  • Golf

    For a moment I thought it was St Albans Vermont. I can well imagine the huge damage it caused.

    Let me share an explosion story, we were erecting a new court house in Cambridge Mass back in the early seventies. We didn't have a scale box to put a acetylene and an oxygen bottle that was requested, so we used a cable with eyes on each end which we call in our trade (choker) and these bottles are hoisted to its destination. Such bottles are cutomarily choked with a 2x4 to avoid the cable from slipping. Anyways, the acetylene bottle was not choked with a 2x4. While in mid-air about 75 feet up the bottle slip out of its' sling and narrowly missed a fellow ironworker. The bottle exploded, the ironwoker who ran across the stell had the back of his hair singe. The old court house being beside us had all its' window blown out while the court was in session. The fire trunks were on the seen within ten minutes! No one was injured.

    Therefore, I can picture the explosion in St Albans.

    This is one of the many hair raising stories and I could tell you.


  • nicolaou

    Ooops double post. Sorry.

    Is it just me or is JWD running real slow right now? I think I hit the submit button twice because I felt the the first time hadn't registered - clearly it had. I guess everyone is logging on waiting for Barbera's big news!

  • DannyHaszard

    (Smoke continues to billow from Buncefield Oil Depot near Hemel Hempstead, England, where a number of massive explosions happened early Sunday, Dec. 11, 2005. The blasts appeared to be accidental. Thirty-six people were injured, four seriously, police said. Photo: AP)


    Eight Allegedly Killed in Oil Depot Explosions near London

    British Police Deny Plane or Terrorists Involvement in Depot Blast
    Explosions at one of Britain's largest oil depots jolted an area north of London early Sunday, hurling multiple balls of fire into the sky, shattering windows and blanketing the area with smoke. Police said the blasts, which injured 43 people, appeared to be accidental.

  • dorayakii

    They've said that the smoke from the explosion is covering the whole of the South East of England. The weatherman showed the map of England and the patch of smoke is very visible on the satellite photograph. I can't see anything in the sky now because its night,

    However, i can smell a distinct smell of burning oil. I'm not sure if its actually the smoke from the explosion, (to get across the magnitude, i live 20/25miles away in South London). The thing is, i don't want to jump to conclusions, but i can't see any bonfires in any of the local gardens and i can't think of anyone in the area stupid enought to light their bonfire with petrol. Its quite likely seeing that the pillar of smoke is so sidely visible. (Can anyone else in South East England smell burning petrol when they open their windows?... it's intriguing me whether or not it really is that smoke).

    The weatherman also said that we might get some sooty residue in our rain tomorrow in a 50 mile radius from the explosion, depending on wind.

    No one has died, but i feel sorry for all the people who have lost their homes. In true British fashion, most have just picked up and left, not caring about their belongings or looters, and keeping their spirits up with a distinct community spirit. I love this country.

  • Peppermint

    I live 16 miles away from the explosion . Fortunately the cloud of smoke is spreading east, south and west but not to the north where I am. I can see it on the horizon. It doesn’t look good.

  • ballistic

    As others have pointed out, this post should read Hemel Hempstead as opposed to St Albans. It is the biggest disaster of this type in peace time Europe. Hemel Hempstead congregation of J.W. cancelled their Sunday meetings today.

Share this