Firm guilty of Buncefield health and safety breach
A company was found guilty today of a health and safety breach in connection with the huge explosion at the Buncefield oil depot.
Motherwell Control Systems 2003 Ltd, which is in voluntary liquidation, was convicted of the offence at St Albans Crown Court, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said.
Jurors returned a guilty verdict to a charge that the company failed to ensure its employees were not exposed to health and safety risks between September 28 2003 and December 12 2005, an HSE spokeswoman said.
The destruction at the Hertfordshire depot came after a massive vapour cloud ignited when 250,000 litres of petrol leaked from one of its tanks.
Widely thought to be the largest explosion in peacetime Europe, the blast measured 2.4 on the Richter scale and could be heard 125 miles away.
Total UK has already admitted three health and safety breaches in connection with the explosion, while the British Pipeline Agency Ltd has also pleaded guilty to two charges.
The case is being prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive and the Environment Agency.
The trial opened on April 15 and the jury retired on June 10.
The court heard that the explosion at the depot, near Hemel Hempstead, on December 11 2005 was similar to an earthquake.
The environmental damage caused was still not known but could last for decades, jurors were told.
Jurors are considering their verdict against TAV Engineering Ltd, of Guildford, Surrey.
The company denies committing a health and safety breach between October 1 2003 and December 12 2005.
The jury of 11 men and one woman will resume its deliberations tomorrow.
sportLiverpool 5 Norwich City 1: Uruguayan striker has now scored 11 league goals against the club
arts + entsOlivier-nominated actor and singer is set to star in Lloyd Webber's musical about the Profumo affair
filmWith more than 70 per cent of early films lost, archivists are scouring the world to preserve the precious examples that remain
sportThe coach of Chalfont St Peter's under-10s football team was relieved of his duties after he sent an email to parents that said: 'I am only interested in winning'
techA piece of new hi-tech kit aims to get us scribbling again
indybestMake getting out of the wrong side of bed on cold winter mornings a thing of the past with our selection of night-time covers
life + styleClarissa Baldwin is the brains behind the slogan 'A Dog is for Life not just for Christmas'
- 1 The hardwired difference between male and female brains could explain why men are 'better at map reading'
- 2 Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
- 3 UK chef creates world's most expensive ready meal - a fish pie costing £314
- 4 Food poverty in UK has reached level of 'public health emergency', warn experts
- 5 I’m sure Kate Moss doesn't care about posing for Playboy. But I do