Buncefield Disaster – Essay Example

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The blast did not only blaze the buncefield depot but also destroyed the emergency water supply system and entirely hindered perimeter roads. The blasts and explosions are identified as having severe affects on both short-term and long-term wellbeing of people who experience it or are exposed to the burning pollutants. Hoek, Bracebridge and Oliver carried out a research to identify the impacts of this devastating incident on people’s health. The study was designed to measure the medical consequences of this explosion on people and included records of A&E departments of Hemel Hempstead and Watford.

The records were closely examined and it was the basic motive to examine only those who are affected by this particular event. The study concluded that most of the cases involved showed respiratory irritation like exacerbation of asthma, difficulty in breathing properly, throat infection and cough. The study places injuries as the second most common case identified. However, the injuries that are reported do not include any serious wound except one fracture. Headache, psychological strain and anxiety were also identified to be the common consequences of this incident (Hoek, Bracebridge and Oliver, 2005).

The blast resulted in increasing plume which happened because of the high buoyancy caused by the heat of combustion. The plume penetrated the layers of the atmosphere to yet pose another adverse affect on the air. The wind shear on the first day of explosion was observed which ended up creating a fan like emergence of the plume as exposed by images from NASA and Aqua satellites. The anti-cyclonic situations kept the atmosphere quite normal by keeping the plume from the boundary layer.

Much of the plume was identified to move towards rge free troposphere (UK, 2005). On the second of the blast, north-easterly winds resulted in the transportation of the plume to the south-west. During 13th and 14th December the winds reversed the plume towards the north. On the last day (i. e. 15th December) a little fire was reported at the area. The winds that day were recorded to be strong and were blowing towards the north-west. The rest of the plume was hence reported to move and disperse in the moderate winds of south-east.

Appropriate measure and investigations suggest that this incident did not result in affecting the ground-level air quality and the reason that resulted in this situation is the high buoyancy of plume helping the emissions to move aloft the lower atmosphere.

Bibliography

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Buncefield Major Incident Investigation Board. Buncefield Major Incident Investigation, initial report 10 June 2006. Available at: <www.injurywatch.co.uk/news-and-groups/news/major-incidents/buncefield/13_07_06_buncefield_report.pdf>.

The Buncefield Incident 11 December 2005 The final report of the Major Incident Investigation Board Volume 2. 2008 <http://www.buncefieldinvestigation.gov.uk/reports/volume2a.pdf>

GREAT BRITAIN, & BUNCEFIELD MAJOR INCIDENT INVESTIGATION BOARD (GREAT BRITAIN). (2008). The Buncefield incident, 11 December 2005: the final report of the Major Incident Investigation Board. Sudbury, Health and Safety Executive.

BUNCEFIELD MAJOR INCIDENT INVESTIGATION BOARD. (2006). The Buncefield Investigation: progress report. Great Britain, s.n.].

UNITED KINGDOM: SMOKE PLUME FROM FIRE AT BUNCEFIELD OIL DEPOT DISAPPEARING. 2005. US Fed News Service, Including US State News, December 14, http://www.proquest.com/ (accessed January 20, 2010).

HOEK MR, BRACEBRIDGE S, & OLIVER I. (2007). Health impact of the Buncefield oil depot fire, December 2005: study of accident and emergency case records. Journal of Public Health (Oxford, England). 29, 298-302.

Major joint investigation launched into Buncefield blast. 2006. The Safety & Health Practitioner, February 1, 7. http://www.proquest.com/ (accessed January 20, 2010).

Roy Wilsher. 2006. BUNCEFIELD OIL DEPOT FIRE. NFPA Journal, May 1, 86-92. http://www.proquest.com/ (accessed January 20, 2010).

DEFRA: Initial review of Air Quality aspects of the Buncefield Oil Depot Explosion <www.defra.gov.uk/environment/airquality/buncefield/buncefieldreport.pdf>

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