Shell’s “neglect of basic maintenance” costs it £1.2million
Energy giant Shell UK must pay £1.24 million in fines and costs following an explosion and fire at its Bacton gas terminal in Norfolk.
The explosion blew the concrete roof off a buffering plant inside the terminal, which hurled concrete and metal debris across the site and sucked a nearby drain out of the ground. Nobody was seriously injured during the incident, which happened on 28 February 2008.
Ipswich Crown Court heard that the blast occurred inside a water-treatment plant at the site. Investigators identified the cause of the explosion as a leak of highly flammable hydrocarbon liquid into a concrete storage tank in the water-treatment plant. Once the contaminated water entered the tank it was heated by an electric heater, which raised the surface temperature significantly and caused the explosion.
Investigators from the HSE and the Environment Agency (EA) also found that there was an unauthorised release of 850 tonnes of firewater and fire-fighting foam into the North Sea during the incident. €
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