Buncefield Oil StudyIntroduction: The calamity at the Hertfordshire Oil Storage Terminal of 2005 has certainly been deeply entrenched in the mindsets of people around the world due to its immensely catastrophic nature, which according to many resulted from a series of explosions early on the morning of the 11th of December 2005. This workstation which is known popularly as the Buncefield Depot is basically an oil storage facility which is situated at the edge of the Hemel Hempsted in Hertfordshire, England; which is in close proximity to the M1 motorway.
According to different news reports, this was the biggest incident that took place of its specific genre since the advent of peacetime Europe. The fire that ablaze on the 11th of December 2005 was finally extinguished on the afternoon of the 13th of December 2005. This was despite the fact that there was a separate incident of the ignition of a fuel storage tank; which was left by the fire-fighters ablaze as opposed to undertake measures to prevent it. Probable Causes: Given the rather precarious political situation in England at that point in time, the police issued a statement which said that the treatment of the incident was along the lines of an accident as opposed to a terrorist attack.
Rumour mongers claimed that the rather emphatic noise that was heard at the beginning of this ordeal was indicative of a deliberate terrorist activity along the lines of the September 11 attacks in the U. S. whereby an aerial vehicle had been purposefully crashed in the storage site. There might have been some truth to these rumours given the somewhat close propinquity between this site at the Luton airport and also the fact that numerous flights crossed paths with each other at the time of incident but these rumours were subsequently proven to be just that: rumours.
Despite these notions, a TV channel which was broadcast from Italy showcased its opinion on the morning of the catastrophe as being a possible terrorist activity, even going to the extent of displaying footage of the recent July 2005 London bombings in a bid to ascertain a correlation between the two events. Their claims were further corroborated by the fact that there were speculations regarding the alleged release of a videotaped message from Al-Qaeda that had been released four days prior to the eventual attack which stated that the next probable targets for any terrorist activity would be on oil depots and refineries which contained as they quote ‘oil stolen from Muslim countries’.
Despite these facts, the actual causes of the blast have remained unknown till the release of a full investigation report on the entire catastrophe. In the aftermath of the event, an oil industry specialist also came up with a theory for the probable cause of the blast where he claimed on BBC news that a vapour leak could have been the reason behind the explosion as the leak could have built up to explosive intensities due largely to the ground frost in the area that was ascertaining the vapour intensity at the ground level.
The increase in the intensity of the vapours could have resulted in a fuel-air explosion. However, there are some loopholes to this theory as for it to be true, there must have been a leakage in the system which was not detected by the leak detection system; which would come as a conflict to prevalent industry norms whereby fully functioning leakage systems must be put in place in order to determine any leaks in the system.