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Shell admits charges over gas blast

Shell UK has admitted health and safety breaches after an explosion and fire at a gas terminal in Norfolk.

In total the firm admitted seven breaches of health and safety and environmental regulations in connection with the incident at Bacton gas terminal in 2008.

The case was adjourned, with the firm to be sentenced after a two-day hearing on June 16 and 17 over the gas blast in Paston Road that February.

Shell admitted it had not taken all the necessary measures to prevent major accidents and limit the consequences to people and the environment, Norwich Crown Court heard.

It also admitted that the health and safety of its employees at Bacton had not been ensured - as far as was reasonably practicable - and that it had not made sure others not employed by Shell were not exposed to health and safety risks.

The firm also admitted that by not maintaining plant and equipment in good operating condition it had failed to operate in accordance with an Integrated Pollution Control authorisation.

It also admitted that by failing to notify the Environment Agency of the failure or malfunction of the separator vessel VG110 it had not complied with a pollution control regulation.

By failing to prevent emissions of run-off and fire-fighting foam, the firm admitted it had failed to comply with a pollution prevention control permit.

Finally the firm admitted it had not complied with a pollution prevention control permit between May 2007 and February 2008.