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Companies face court over Buncefield explosion

Five companies, including Total UK and TAV engineering, will today appear in court charged in connection with the 2005 Buncefield oil depot disaster.

More than 40 people were injured in the incident, which damaged thousands of homes and was Britain’s biggest peacetime explosion.

Claims arising from the incident, including to rebuild property in the surrounding area, were reported to have totalled more than £750 million.

Total UK, Hertfordshire Oil Storage, British Pipeline Agency, TAV Engineering and Motherwell Control Systems 2003 will stand trial at Woolwich Crown Court in a case being brought by the Health and Safety Executive and the Environment Agency.

They will today enter their pleas, prior to a case management hearing.

Total UK is charged with two counts of failure to discharge a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act and one count of causing the pollution of controlled waters.

Hertfordshire Oil Storage is charged with contravening health and safety regulation and causing the pollution of controlled waters.

TAV Engineering is charged with failure to discharge a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

The British Pipeline Agency is charged with contravening a health and safety regulation and causing pollution of controlled waters.

Motherwell Control Systems is charged with failure to discharge a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act.