Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

France's top consumer group sues Internet giants

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users pay tribute to South Korea ferry victims

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

A landslide victory for the 'invisible candidate' in Algeria's Presidential polls

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Presidential adviser resigns over "shoe-shine scandal"

Read more

#THE 51%

Breaking stereotypes

Read more

#TECH 24

Galaxy S5 v. HTC One (M8): Which is the right one for you?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

New PM Manuel Valls outlines priorities

Read more

  • Why Syria’s cash-strapped jihadists let hostages go

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine separatist crisis overshadows Easter celebrations

    Read more

  • The Great War's unsung four-legged heroes

    Read more

  • Divers begin pulling bodies from sunken South Korean ferry

    Read more

  • Ukraine rebels call for Russian troops after deadly clash

    Read more

  • UK’s Hamilton cruises to victory at Chinese Grand Prix

    Read more

  • Freed French journalists arrive home after Syria ordeal

    Read more

  • Syria’s Assad visits recaptured Christian town at Easter

    Read more

  • In pictures: French kite festival takes flight

    Read more

  • Le Pen’s National Front fail to woo Britain’s Eurosceptics

    Read more

  • PSG clinch fourth League Cup title after beating Lyon

    Read more

  • Militants kill Algerian soldiers in deadly ambush

    Read more

  • Scores killed in South Sudan cattle raid

    Read more

  • VIDEO: Anti-Semitic leaflets in Eastern Ukraine condemned

    Read more

  • Bouteflika, the ghost president

    Read more

  • Does Valls’ upcoming Vatican trip violate French secularism?

    Read more

  • Ukraine separatists say ‘not bound’ by Geneva deal

    Read more

  • Abel Ferrara’s hotly awaited DSK film to premiere on web

    Read more

  • Obama signs bill to block controversial Iran diplomat from UN post

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

France

Total subsidiary on trial again for 2001 chemical blast

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-11-04

A subsidiary of the Total oil giant went on trial again Thursday for possible negligence in a 2001 blast at the AZF chemical plant that left 31 people dead. A Toulouse court ruled in 2009 that there was not enough evidence to prove the charges.

AFP - A French court Thursday began hearing a new trial to decide if a subsidiary of oil giant Total and its former boss were negligent in a 2001 chemical plant blast that killed 31 people.

Prosecutors appealed after a court in the southwestern town of Toulouse ruled in 2009 there was not enough evidence to prove manslaughter charges against Total subsidiary Grande Paroisse and former plant chief Serge Biechlin.

The blast, which erupted in September 2001 in a storage warehouse packed with 300 tonnes of ammonium nitrate at the AZF chemical fertiliser plant near Toulouse, also injured 2,500 people and devastated 30,000 homes.

Hundreds of people packed a special courtroom set up for the new trial.

"I fully comprehend the importance and the solemnity of this exceptional trial, your emotion and your expectations. The court feels its immense responsibility," presiding judge Bernard Brunet said as the trial opened.

Prosecutors argued in the first trial that negligence of security measures had been behind the blast but the defence said the explosion had been a simple industrial accident.

The new case involves 2,700 plaintiffs, 60 lawyers and more than 200 witnesses, and is expected to last four months.

Since the blast, Grande Paroisse has paid out more than two billion euros ($2.7 billion) in compensation to more than 16,000 victims, according to Total's figures.

The blast came just days after the September 11 attacks in New York and initially sparked fears that it was a terrorist attack. That theory was later dismissed by investigators.

 

Date created : 2011-11-04

  • FRANCE

    Prosecutors to appeal chemical plant explosion acquittal

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Toulouse court clears Total of reponsibility in AZF factory explosion

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)