Total pleads guilty over Buncefield
Posted Fri, 13 Nov 2009
Oil company Total UK has admitted health and safety breaches connected to the Buncefield oil depot explosion.
It will be tried once four other companies - Hertfordshire Oil Storage, British Pipeline Agency, TAV Engineering and Motherwell Control Systems 2003 - have been sentenced.
Total entered guilty pleas to two charges under the Health and Safety Act and one under the Water Resources Act.
The other companies involved have all pleaded not guilty in the case, brought by the Health and Safety Executive and the Environment Agency.
A series of explosions, including a major one, ripped through the depot in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, on December 11, 2005, leaving 43 people injured and forcing 2,000 to leave their homes.
Widely thought to be the largest ever explosion in peacetime Europe, it measured 2.4 on the Richter scale and could be heard 125 miles away.
Copyright © Press Association 2009