One of the world’s largest oil companies will admit in court today that Britain’s biggest peacetime explosion was the result of negligence, according to the Times newspaper.

In a statement to the newspaper, Total UK confirmed that it had advised claimants against it and Hertfordshire Oil Storage Limited (HOSL), a joint venture with Chevron, that the duty supervisor at the time was responsible for the huge blast at the Buncefield oil depot in Hertfordshire near London in December 2005.

The admission marks a dramatic turnaround as the oil giants prepare to fight claims worth almost £1 billion brought by insurance companies, small businesses and about 280 families whose properties were damaged or destroyed by the blast.

Although Total UK will admit that the incident was due to negligence, it intends to argue that it should not be liable for damages ….

Ever heard that one before???