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Norfolk gas terminal explosion: Shell UK pleads guilty


Christine Cunningham Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Shell UK admitted seven breaches of health and safety and environmental regulations following an explosion and fire at its Bacton gas terminal in Norfolk at a hearing today at Norwich Crown Court.

The gas blast at the terminal in Paston Road happened back in February 2008.

The case was not opened and has been adjourned for a full two day hearing and sentence on June 16 and 17.

Shell admitted in count one to failing to take all measures necessary to prevent major accidents and limit the consequences to people and the environment; in a second count Shell admitted failing to ensure, as far as reaonably practicable, the health and safety and welfare at work of its employees at the Bacton site and also failing to ensure that those people not employed by Shell were not exposed to health and safety risks.

In a fourth charge, Shell admitted failing to operate in accordance with an Integrated Pollution Control authorisation by not maintaining plant and equipment, namely separator vessel VG110 and associated equipment, in good operating condition.

Shell also admitted failing to comply with a polution control regulation by failing to notify the Environment Agency on the failure or malfunction of the separator vessel VG110 which could cause significant pollution.

Shell also admitted failing to comply with a pollution prevention control permit on February 28 by failing to prevent emissions of run-off and fire-fighting foam and also admitted a final charge of failing to comply with a pollution prevention control permit between May 2007 and February 2008 by failing to provide staff with sufficient training and levels of competance properly to operate te Environmental Waste Treatment Plant.

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