December 11, 2005
Breaking News: Explosions North of London
Something went boom north of London:
A series of massive explosions were reported north of London by witnesses ringing into British media early on Sunday.
It's way too early to know if it's terrorist-related, but I wouldn't be surprised. I would be impressed if al-Qaeda pulled off such a large attack. Since Sep. 11, 2001 their attacks have gotten smaller and smaller.
"Large Explosions Reported North of London -Witnesses"
The BBC reports, "Three large explosions have taken place at an oil depot near Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire." The first happened at 0603 GMT with two others occuring about 20 minutes later. If the three happened very close to each other I'd assume it was a terrorist attack. But it's possible the first explosion was man-made. A witnesses say a plane flew into the depot.
"Oil Depot Blasts Cause Casualties"
UPDATE: gunves space is monitoring Sky News and has a small map of where the depot is in relation to London.
UPDATE II: CNN reports that police are calling the explosions an accident. Also no plane from nearby Luton Airport crashed into the depot.
"Explosions Near UK Fuel Depot"
[via Stephanie Booth]
UPDATE III: The Little Green Footballers are jumping all over the possible terrorism angle. No evidence so far. None.
UPDATE IV: The BBC has some pictures near the depot.
The BBC reports officials are urging locals to keep their windows closed. There's nothing good in that black plume.
UPDATE V: Gary Turner is "impressed with the speed at which the backstage web communications light up."
UPDATE VI: Reports of injuries have come in:
Police say there are 36 casualties, with four people seriously hurt.
Authorities are waiting for the fire to burn out. That could be a while:
In total, 20 petrol tanks are involved in the fire, each said to hold three million gallons of fuel.