Hertfordshire oil fire smoke, UK, 2005

Hertfordshire oil fire smoke, UK, 2005


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Smoke cloud (black) from the explosions and fire (red dot) at the Buncefield Depot, an oil storage terminal near Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, UK. The explosions occurred between 06:00 and 06:30 GMT on the morning of 11th December 2005. The first and largest explosion is thought to have been the largest explosion in Europe since WWII, measuring 2.4 on the Richter scale. Although the explosions caused huge structural damage to the depot and nearby buildings, no-one was killed. The hot smoke plume punched through the lower layers of the atmosphere and drifted at an altitude of some 3000 metres, covering much of southern England. Image taken by the MODIS instrument on the Aqua satellite at 13:35 GMT on 11th December 2005.

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