Like practically everyone else in my neighbourhood at just after 6am – everyone in my house was woken up by a very loud bang. I was convinced that a car or truck had blown up outside the house or something. I jumped out of bed and went to look out of every window – but all I saw was just fog illuminated by the street-lamps in the darkness – and nothing out of the ordinary. So I then wandered around the house trying to account for anything inside the house that might have caused the noise – but nothing.

A couple of hours later I found out from someone elses blog that it was a massive explosion at a major fuel storage depot in Hemel Hempstead – which is 22 miles further North West from where I live in NW London. The BBC is reporting around 35 injured – mostly minor – with a few seriously. I know that place very well – as I used to work in Hemel Hempstead several years ago. There are reports of people panic-buying petrol for their cars. (Sigh)

One very curious thing is that this explosion was heard (and felt) over 100 miles away in several different parts of the UK. And some people from Netherlands and Northern France have also reported hearing the explosions too. “Experts” on the TV and radio are talking about unique atmospheric conditions that made it possible for the sound to travel such great distances. e.g. sound waves deflecting from a cloud layer at a certain height.

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