"A series of large explosions at a fuel depot which injured 43 people has been described as the 'largest incident of its kind in peacetime Europe'.
The three blasts near Hemel Hempstead were so powerful they rocked houses up to 40 miles away and were heard in Holland.
More than 60 billion gallons of fuel erupted in a ball of flames hundreds of feet in the sky, creating an acrid cloud of smoke which is stretching for miles and moving south-eastwards."
Well, I've got no idea if this has made the news stateside, but Hemel Hempstead is about 12 or 13 miles from me, and from my upstairs window I've been able to make out the plume of smoke rising from the fire at ground level quite clearly. The skies have been a dark grey as far as the eye can see, and the air, whilst not having any discernible smell, has been heavy. Everyone around here has headaches, and many are feeling sick.
And, as you would expect, people have actually been having fights in local petrol stations as they queue to fill up their tanks, even though they've been told categorically that there isn't going to be a petrol shortage. Amazing.
I was fast asleep through all of the blasts, which occurred between 6 and 6.30am, even though they were loud enough to be clearly heard in mainland Europe. I had a bit of a wild time last night, and having finally drifted off at around 5 I awoke at 10 and wandered downstairs to make a coffee. When my ex phoned to ask me what I thought about "the explosion" I had no idea whatsoever as to what she was talking about.
How embarrassing is that?
P.S. I'll reveal a little more (maybe even a lot more) about last night... tomorrow. I'm still in recovery.