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Last Updated: Monday, 30 October 2006, 18:15 GMT
Oil blast claims to be negotiated
Aerial view of Buncefield blaze
Some residents were forced from homes after the blast
Compensation claims by victims of the Buncefield oil storage depot explosion are to be settled by "negotiation".

Some 3,300 claims, worth a potential 700m, have been filed by individuals, loss assessors and companies after the Hemel Hempstead depot blast last year.

There were no fatalities but 43 people were injured in the incident.

High Court official Senior Master Turner approved the claims to be settled by negotiation or mediation, without admission of liability.

This will take place over a four-month period.

Processed quickly

Of the claims, there are about 250 from individuals, which total 20m, and 2,754 out of the 3,300 claims are for less than 10,000.

The blaze in December 2005 engulfed more than 20 fuel storage tanks and 2,000 people were evacuated from around the site.

All 630 businesses on the nearby Maylands Industrial Estate were disrupted and there was damage to housing in Dacorum and St Albans.

At a day-long hearing in London on Monday, Senior Master Turner said: "Men and women want their money. They are not interested in us lawyers."

Charles Gibson QC, for Hertfordshire Oil Storage Ltd, said it wanted to process the claims as soon as possible once it had received the necessary documentation from claimants.




SEE ALSO
Buncefield victims in court move
17 Mar 06 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
Buncefield blaze 'threatens jobs'
19 Feb 06 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts

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