Following the Buncefield oil depot explosion in 2005, five companies must pay a total of $9.5 million (11.3 million) after 43 people were injured in the blast.
France-based energy firm Total has been ordered to pay £6.2 million a £3.6 million fine in addition to £2.6 million in costs for its failure to protect workers and the public. Hertfordshire Oil Storage Limited is to pay a £1.45 million fine with £1 million costs. British Pipeline Agency has been fined £300,000 plus £480,000 costs, while both Motherwell Control Systems and TAV Engineering has to pay a £1,000 fine and £500 costs.
According to Judge Sir David Calvert-Smith, Had the explosion happened during a working day the loss of life may have been measured in tens or even hundreds.
The explosion took place on 11 December 2005 at the Buncefield Oil Storage Depot in Hertfordshire, UK, which measured 2.4 on the Richter scale and resulted in thousands of gallons of petrol being released in a vapour cloud. The outcome comes after a four-month trial.
However the impact of the disaster can still be seen today, and, named the most expensive industrial disaster in the UK, cost over £1 billion to clean up.