Firefighters on final phase of effort to extinguish the oil tank flames ignited Sunday by huge unexplained explosions at the fifth largest oil center in the UK Sunday

Firefighters have begun extinguishing the flames ignited by huge unexplained explosions at the fifth largest oil center in the UK Sunday.
Some 43 people were injured in the blasts which sent a huge fireball shooting 200ft in the air. Half the depot and refinery installations were destroyed and the neighboring industrial estate badly damaged. Windows were blown out miles away.
Thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes in surrounding towns and suburbs of Hemel Hempstead, St. Albans and Leverstock Green as a cloud of black smoke drifts east.
The Hertfordshire police ruled out external causes although they are keeping an open mind until the big, -destroyed fuel depot cools enough for an investigation. Many witnesses reported hearing an aircraft in the area at the time of the blasts. Some also reported heavy rumbles before the explosion.
Defense minister John Reid said cagily: The police still believe the disaster was accidental but do rule out alternatives.
On Dec. 7, an Islamic website ran an excerpt of an earlier videotape in which bin Laden’s No. 2, Ayman Zawahiri called on “holy warriors” to concentrate their attacks on oil targets.

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