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News

HSE statement: Buncefield Oil Depot investigation

HSE InfoLine : 15 December, 2005  (Company News)
Following the excellent work of both the Police and Fire Services, as well as many other agencies, and the successful existinguishing of the fires on the Buncefield Oil Storage site, Hertfordshire Constabulary has now started its phased withdrawal from operations.
Following the excellent work of both the Police and Fire Services, as well as many other agencies, and the successful existinguishing of the fires on the Buncefield Oil Storage site, Hertfordshire Constabulary has now started its phased withdrawal from operations.

The investigation will now be handed over to the Health and Safety Executive and the Environment Agency, who together form the joint Competent Authority responsible for regulation under the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 1999. HSE, EA and the Police will continue to work together during the phased handover period to ensure minimal disruption, but to also safeguard the site, the public interests and the gathering of evidence for the investigation.

Up to this point, HSE has been available to provide advice and expertise on request. HSE has been in contact with the emergency services, Total UK Ltd, who are acting on behalf of Hertfordshire Oil Storage Limited, and EA, throughout the ongoing post incident operation.

HSE agreed with the emergency services and the EA that the site-based investigation will commence as soon as possible. To that end, some advance work has been undertaken, and some statements taken in conjunction with the police. The investigation will collect forensic and other evidence, carry out interviews, revisit the provisions of the operator's safety report and will then aim to establish the causes of the incident.

We must continue to stress that it is too early to determine or even speculate on the cause of the incident. However, the investigation will be detailed, thorough and wide-ranging. The investigation team will share any immediate lessons with the wider industry and will publish a report on the incident, the investigation and implications for the control and mitigation of on and off-site risks.
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