French court clears Total in 2001 AZF explosion

19 November 2009 19:32  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--A French court on Thursday cleared a Total subsidiary and the former director of AZF of wrongdoing in a 2001 fertilizer plant explosion that killed 31 people, according to several media reports.

A court in Toulouse ruled that Serge Biechlin and the owner of the AZF plant, Grande Paroisse (a Total subsidiary), were not responsible for the blast, which occurred two weeks after the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks in New York, according to Reuters, the Associated Press and other news agencies.

Biechlin and Grande Paroisse were accused of involuntary homicide.

The fertilizer plant explosion also injured thousands.

The blast occurred at the Toulouse plant when a 300-tonne stockpile of ammonium nitrate exploded.

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By: Brian Ford
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