Buncefield Fuel Depot Fire

Put Hemel Hempstead on the map!

By Ian Phipps

I live in Felden 2 miles from the Buncefield Fuel Depot in Hemel Hempstead. We were woken up by a loud bang just after 6.00 am on a Sunday morning. I was working at a car dealership – Pilling Motor Group in Hemel Hempstead at the time and on my drive into work I decided to take some photographs.

The smoke went about a mile up into the atmosphere and eventually ended up stretching as far as Kent, approximately 100 miles long. Fortunately for everyone underneath the cloud it didn’t rain, as no doubt the burnt fuel would not have been very nice.

Needless to say all my appointments cancelled for the day and we had a very quiet time.

This page was added on 20/05/2009.

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  • Sunday 11 December 2005 News reports described the incident as the biggest of its kind in peacetime Europe and certainly the biggest such explosion in the United Kingdom since the 1974 Flixborough Disaster. The flames had been extinguished by the afternoon of 13 December 2005. However, one storage tank re-ignited that evening, which the fire-fighters left to burn rather than attempt to re-extinguish it.

    By Ian Phipps (09/11/2009)
  • Does anyone know the date of the incident?

    By Janet Green (03/08/2009)