A number of important photo industry names have been badly affected by Sunday's massive fuel depot blast - which happened right in DPNow's own back yard
As many of you will probably know by now, one of the largest non-military blasts in peace time Europe, ever, happened in the early hours of Sunday morning at the Buncefield fuel depot, Hemel Hempstead, UK.
What you may not know is that Hemel Hempstead is home to DPNow. Fortunately, what could have been a massive tragedy turned out to be a spectacular incident but with a lot less injury than might have been if it had happened 24 hours later during a rush hour Monday.
Too close for comfort
Adjacent to the Buncefield fuel depot is the Maylands Avenue industrial park and although there is no firm confirmation yet, it is feared that many business premises there have been damaged in varying degrees. Epson UK and Kodak UK operate sizeable office premises here, while the HQ of Dixons Stores Group (Dixons, PC World and Currys), one of the biggest retailers of digital cameras in the UK, is situated next door to Epson UK.
DPNow's own modest camera test facility is just across the road from Epson and Dixons. None of us have access to these buildings at present and we are not likely to be granted access until the fire has been put out, which could be several days yet.
DPNow's ISP affected
On another note, our broadband internet service provider has been affected by the blast, so this news update is being prepared over a dial-up connection to our web servers (these are in Germany and the US).
Without broadband we are rather limited in what we can do for the moment, so please accept apologies for the lack of our usual service. We at DPNow would like to express our hope that Epson, Kodak, Dixons and the many other Maylands Avenue businesses here in Hemel Hempstead can get back to full operations as soon as possible and that there isn't too much lasting damage.
Comment and pictures on the DPNow forum
There is some chat about the fuel blast on the DPNow discussion forum, with some images, if you are interested.