December 13, 2005
Hell on earth?
The fire at the Buncefield oil terminal is now being fought. It will take some time to put it out as the original explosion probably damaged the fixed protection systems, and the fire resulting from that will most likely have destroyed anything that remained functional by now. For interesting pictures of this fire - said to be the largest since the second world war - you need to visit the BBC's news site.
At a guess, the initial explosion seems to have been caused by petrol vapour igniting, but there remains some doubt as to where this had collected and what the source of ignition was. As is the nature of these things, it could be any number of initiators and the vapour could have been released from a number of sources and accumulated in the right mixture in some low lying area due to the unusually still air conditions and the low temperature. The bang when it ignited was certainly spectacular - look at the picture of a car apparently flung some distance from the site by the blast on the BBC site! There are claims that it was heard in Belgium and it is reported to have measured 2.4 on the Richter scale at the seismology recording station in London.
Spare a thought and a prayer now for the fire fighters who must now face the inferno and try to put it out. This will be a long, hard and very dangerous operation.
Posted by The Gray Monk at December 13, 2005 04:00 PM
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