The public prosecution department says Shell should pay the maximum fine of €2.4m for the explosion on the Moerdijk industrial estate in 2014 and a further €250,000 for not taking immediate action to halt the leak of a dangerous gas in 2016.
Shell should pay the maximum fine for the explosion because it had not done all it could to prevent the blast taking place, placing both workers and local residents in danger, the prosecutor said at a court hearing in Den Bosch on Tuesday.
‘It is pure luck that this did not turn into a major disaster,’ the prosecutor said. Two workers were slightly injured in the explosion.
The explosion and subsequent fire at the Moerdijk plant near Rotterdam took place in Jun 2014. The plant maked oil-based products which are used in the production of packaging, soft drink bottles, dvds, mattresses and car tyres.
The Dutch safety research council said in an earlier report that Shell was not fully aware of the risks at the plant, that internal procedures were not being followed properly and that officials had not learned from previous incidents.
The chemicals leak took place at the same plant at the end of 2015.
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