Four BP bosses blamed for blast

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Four of oil giant BP's top managers should be fired for failing to implement safety measures that could have prevented the fatal Texas City explosion, a report says.

A fifth manager has also been criticised by the internal report for ignoring "serious warning signals" at the refining plant before the blast in March 2005.

BP is currently undergoing an inquest into the Texas City refinery disaster by the US chemical safety and hazard investigation board (CSB), which reports that "global management was aware of problems" with safety at the plant.

Seen as the worst US industrial accident of the last ten years the explosion, caused by flammable vapours igniting, killed 15 employees and injured another 180.

All four managers, one named as group vice-president for refining and marketing Mike Hoffman, were said to have "failed to perform their management accountabilities in significant ways" by the report.

BP is yet to respond to the comments and it is not known if the four executives involved will be made redundant.

However the report, with its damming assessment of the negligence of some of the key players in BP's US operations, comes just days after chief executive Lord Browne resigned from his post after details of his private life were published in a British newspaper.

This week's media-focus on BP continues a troubled year for the oil giants – BP's Prudhoe Bay oilfield in Alaska was forced to close in August due to severe corrosion in the transit pipes, affecting the firm's output.

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