Scenes of chaos and devastation face hundreds of British firefighters, as they attempt to tackle the biggest fire in Europe in peacetime.
Two hundred and fifty thousand litres of foam have been brought to the Buncefield fuel depot near Hemel Hempstead north of London, after three oil terminals exploded yesterday morning.
Two thousand people were forced to leave their homes and take refuge at emergency centres nearby. The force of the blast damaged homes nearby. Windows were shattered and doors ripped from their hinges.
The authorities say its too early to say what caused the explosions, which injured 43 people, one person seriously. The depot is the fifth largest in the UK and supplies petrol and fuel oil for most of south east England. Officials say the fire is unlikely to cause fuel shortages though – they haveurged motorists to avoid panic buying fuel.