June 17, 2019 / 1:19 PM / 4 months ago

Dutch court orders Shell to pay $2.8 million fine for 2014 plant blast

FILE PHOTO: Staff members work at the booth of Royal Dutch Shell at Gastech, the world's biggest expo for the gas industry, in Chiba, Japan, April 4, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A Dutch court on Monday ordered Royal Dutch Shell to pay a 2.5 million euro ($2.8 million) fine for failing to prevent an explosion at its Moerdijk facility in 2014 and for breaching emissions limits at the plant.

The district court in Den Bosch said Shell had not done enough to prevent an incident on June 3, 2014 which resulted in a series of explosions and a large fire at the Moerdijk chemical plant.

“The factory, employees, the surroundings and the environment were subject to great danger that day”, the court said. “This justifies a significant punishment.”

The court also said Shell had not noticed a leak which resulted in the emission of ethylene oxide far above legal limits from the end of 2015 until early 2016.

Shell has said it “deeply regretted” what happened and had taken measures to prevent it from occurring again.

Reporting by Bart Meijer, editing by Louise Heavens

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