The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Environment Agency (the EA) are to prosecute five companies following the explosions and fire at the Buncefield Oil Storage Depot, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire in December 2005.

Criminal proceedings have been commenced against Total UK Ltd, Hertfordshire Oil Storage Ltd; British Pipeline Agency Ltd; TAV Engineering Ltd; and Motherwell Control Systems 2003 Ltd following a thorough and complex criminal investigation conducted by the Health and Safety Executive and the Environment Agency.

The initial court date has been fixed for 23 January 2009 at West Hertfordshire Magistrates Court, Clarendon Road, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD17 1ST. The prosecution of the five defendants in relation to the Buncefield incident is now a matter for the Court. HSE and the EA are unable to comment further on the decision to prosecute.