Oil depot blast case adjourned

A court hearing for five companies charged with health and safety breaches in connection with an explosion at the Buncefield oil depot was adjourned today.











Total UK Ltd, Hertfordshire Oil Storage Ltd, British Pipeline Agency Ltd, TAV Engineering Ltd and Motherwell Control Systems 2003 Ltd are being prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive and the Environment Agency.



Their plea and case management hearing at Woolwich Crown Court in south east London was adjourned until 13 November.



The case comes almost four years after a series of explosions ripped through the depot in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, on 11 December, 2005.



Widely thought to be the largest explosion in peacetime Europe, it measured 2.4 on the Richter scale and could be heard 125 miles away.



Total UK is charged with two counts of failure to discharge a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act and one count of causing the pollution of controlled waters.



Hertfordshire Oil Storage is charged with contravening health and safety regulation and causing the pollution of controlled waters.



TAV Engineering is charged with failure to discharge a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act.



British Pipeline Agency is charged with contravening a health and safety regulation and causing pollution of controlled waters.



Motherwell Control Systems is charged with failure to discharge a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act.