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   Undertoad  Tuesday Dec 13 09:33 AM

12/13/2005: Hemel Hempstead oil fire



It's been called Europe's biggest peacetime fire - this massive blaze at an oil depot has produced some remarkable shots from the sky. So far, though, it's thought that the massive black smoke is not a health hazard - hard to believe. There seems to be more worry about the fire-fighting foam they're using to help extinguish it. It may still be burning...






Trilby  Tuesday Dec 13 09:39 AM

That last shot is pretty impressive. Is this north of London?



Undertoad  Tuesday Dec 13 09:47 AM

About 20 miles north.



glatt  Tuesday Dec 13 09:51 AM

Wow. Very impressive. And very dirty.

What a waste. All that pollution going up into the atmosphere, and we aren't able to harness it at all. Normally, we would get to move several hundred thousand cars around for the same amount of pollution, but this is just being wasted. What a shame.



Sundae  Tuesday Dec 13 09:51 AM

Hemel Hempstead is 14 miles from my family's home town. They were all woken up & listened immediately for sirens, thinking it was a bomb, that the nearest garage had blown up or that a local factory tower (under demolition) had come down.

Luckily (for them) Aylesbury is North of Hemel, so they are not even in any potential danger from the smoke, which is headed South.

I hadn't seen that picture before though - it's really impressive. If that's the right word to use...



grazzers  Tuesday Dec 13 10:15 AM

Wow, those are great pics! I was watching the news on the morning of the explosions, thinking there would be dozens of people killed, then the BBC reported the police as saying only limited injuries. Oddly though, half an hour later, ITV news (which I hate for it's ignorance) reported the police as saying no injuries... Very odd.

Love the satellite pics of the smoke too, got any of those?



Undertoad  Tuesday Dec 13 11:16 AM



This is not the best of them... I can't really make out what's fire and what's Parisian ghettos.



Wormfood  Tuesday Dec 13 01:06 PM

Are they sure this isn't a vulcano poping up near London.



Elspode  Tuesday Dec 13 02:40 PM

"Ladies and Gentlemen, we welcome you to Virtual Saudi Arabia 1991!"



capnhowdy  Tuesday Dec 13 02:59 PM

Quote:
So far, though, it's thought that the massive black smoke is not a health hazard - hard to believe.
Extremely hard to believe!


Happy Monkey  Tuesday Dec 13 04:09 PM

I suspect there's some.. ah.. "information management" going on. Just like the US Gov't. said that the WTC debris wasn't harmful. They figure that by the time it comes out that they're lying, it will be too late, and they'll have avoided a panic. And maybe they can scapegoat some scientist and/or pass a law preventing lawsuits.



xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Dec 13 09:04 PM

The massive black smoke is not a health hazard..... because it's headed for France.



Griff  Wednesday Dec 14 06:51 AM

[world]Of course, you English know this will count against your Kyoto emissions. Tough luck, that.[/police]



grazzers  Wednesday Dec 14 10:50 AM

By looking at the pics all the smoke seems to go straight up, so it isn't really affecting air quality at ground level. The Fire Brigade are letting it burn off a bit more of the escaped gas before they put it out fully this afternoon.



chrisinhouston  Wednesday Dec 14 10:51 AM

Where's Texas oilwell fire fighter Red Adair when you really need him? Opps he's dead... Pretty cool guy though.

http://www.redadair.com/

makes me want to put on my DVD of Hellfighters!
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063060/



Cyclefrance  Wednesday Dec 14 12:16 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brianna
That last shot is pretty impressive. Is this north of London?
Picture quoted as being taken from Millennium Dome which is redevelopped Docklands area to east of central London. The tall buildings in the foreground right are in Canary Wharf, with the main Canary Wharf tower blocked out almost by the other buildings - you can just see the pyramid top as a black object behind the others.

Below map shows approximate angle of view looking across north and east of London towards fire located north-west of London


xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Dec 14 01:44 PM

Red Adair was a larger than life character.
I noticed one of his many awards was the "Houston Distinguished Sales and Citizenship Award".
Makes me wonder if Sales and Citizenship are inextricably linked in Houston?



insomnianiac  Wednesday Dec 14 04:24 PM

This is a map showing where Hemel is in relation to London.



I live in Hemel, in an area called Gadebridge.

The next link will take you to a map that shows where I am in relation to the oil depot.

Gadebridge can be seen in the centre square on the left hand side of the map &
the Buncefield Oil Depot is, or should I say, was in the centre square on the right hand side....

http://tinyurl.com/8yvqb

I don't have a camera, typically, but I did mange to get one picture with my webcam from my living room window.

It isn't that great , & it certainly doesn't do justice to how near and how dark the smoke stack was,
but I thought I'd show you it anyway

http://tinyurl.com/9a7c7







capnhowdy  Wednesday Dec 14 04:38 PM

welcome to the Cellar insomnianiac.

Tell me.... what does the "FM" stand for on some of the areas on your map link?



glatt  Wednesday Dec 14 04:41 PM

Thanks for stopping in to tell us about it, insomniac.

How did/does the air smell? You could obviously see the smoke, and probably hear the sirens, but could you smell anything? Or is it all going straight up into the sky? Did you hear the explosion?



Wombat  Wednesday Dec 14 06:07 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by capnhowdy
welcome to the Cellar insomnianiac.

Tell me.... what does the "FM" stand for on some of the areas on your map link?
Fm stands for Farm... for example Lovetts End Farm, Wood Farm.


Cyclefrance  Wednesday Dec 14 07:20 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by capnhowdy
welcome to the Cellar insomnianiac.

Tell me.... what does the "FM" stand for on some of the areas on your map link?
If it's the 'Fm' that you are referring to that's a little old English abbreviation for the word 'farm' - we just love to take an opportunity to save ink - even when only two letters are involved!

(Gosh - it must be getting late - I completely missed Wombat's answer that preceded mine.... time for me cocoa, methinks....)


capnhowdy  Wednesday Dec 14 07:59 PM

thank you both... just wondering.



xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Dec 15 05:07 AM

Thanks insomnianiac.
How's the air quality where you are? Can you smell the smoke on the ground or is the fire sucking in fresh air from around you?



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