citizen journalism: fuel depot blast

Img_3395 This morning at 6.03 am I, like many thousands of others in England (and apparently as far away as Holland and Northern France) were jolted out of our sleep by a huge explosion at a fuel depot in Hemel Hempstead. I live in St. Albans, about seven miles from the blast, and as soon as I realised what had happened (we originally thought it was burglers, then settled on it being boxes falling in the attic after I’d been up their getting down Christmas decorations yesterday) I looked to see what photos were on flickr. Before I knew it I’d grabbed my digital camera and was outside snapping away myself – for the second time this year turning into a so called “citizen journalist”. It seems many others have done the same and, sometime while I was out this afternoon, a flickr photo group for pictures of the explosions and their aftermath had appeared on flickr.

More on citizen journalism this week. I’ve got photos to upload now…


  1. Speaking of citizen journalism, have you checked out Gather ( It is a relatively new public media site. I publish fequently on the site, often copying some of my best blog posts. You should also thinking of posting your pictures out there.

  2. I thought you might beunder a cloud today. Hope it’s not too bad where you are. Bet you can’t wait to get to WC tomorrow!

  3. From what my parents tell me (2 miles away in Hemel) it was one mighty bang – it opened their bedroom door and made the house shake apparently.
    The first thing I did after they woke me up at 8am with a phone call (after not getting in until 3am from a work party) was log on and check out technorati and flickr – before the news sites!
    It’s amazing how quickly the blogosphere responds to things – it’s great being able to read the analysis and opinions of people and especially the experiences of those in the area.
    I see the traditional services are getting in on the act though – BBC News Online launched a talk board yesterday and all the services have been showing photos and videos sent in.
    I also found this WikiNews entry.

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