Monday, December 12, 2005

Aircraft and Rumblings Heard Before UK Oil Blasts

Several explosions at the UK's Buncefield terminal, which holds 4 million gallons of gasoline, diesel, kerosene and aviation fuel, produced an inferno. Officials warn more explosions may come in the days it takes to extinguish the raging oil fires. A 15-mile stretch of the main north-south M1 highway was closed after the blast, causing severe traffic delays before it reopened Sunday night. The blasts were so strong they were felt throughout a large part of southeast England.

This past Wednesday, a videotape by al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri was shown on the Internet. Al- Zawahri proclaimed, "I call on the holy warriors to concentrate their campaigns on the stolen oil of the Muslims, most of the revenues of which go to the enemies of Islam."

now, From DEBKAfile:

Witnesses reported hearing an aircraft in the area at the time of the blasts. Some also reported heavy rumbles before the explosion.

We shall soon see if Al-Jazeera reports a claim of terrorist responsibility. Hertfordshire Chief Constable Frank Whiteley said there was "nothing to suggest anything other than an accident."

That may be true. There is an unfortunate history of British oil-related disasters, including the 1988 explosion and fire on a North Sea oil platform that killed 167 workers. Later, in 1994, a blast, in Wales, injured workers and caused tens of millions of dollars in destruction.


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