An oil worker who was caught in the Buncefield oil plant explosion is making a £1 million pound injury compensation claim.
Tanker driver Bruce Rice had just pulled onto the staff car park at Buncefield oil depot in December 2005, when the enormous explosion happened. It rocked his car and caused him spinal problems. The London Evening Standard newspaper is reporting that it also left him with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Now Mr Rice is reportedly making a claim for compensation for his injuries, thought to be in the region of a million pounds.
The incident on the 11th December 2005 was the largest explosion in peace time Britain, and measured 2.4 on the Richter scale. It occurred after an industrial petrol tank began to overflow, causing 250,000 litres of petrol to leak and form a huge vapour cloud. This ignited and caused a colossal explosion and fire which burned for a total of five days, the smoke of which was visible from space.
In July this year, after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive, five companies were found guilty of breaking health and safety and prevention of accident guidelines in relation to the incident. The companies – Total UK Ltd, Hertfordshire Oil Storage Ltd, British Pipeline Agency Ltd, TAV Engineering Ltd and Motherwell Control Systems 2003 Ltd – were fined a total of £9.5 million pounds between them. A proportion of this figure – £1.3 million – was made up of fines for the pollution caused to the environment.