A court ordered Royal Dutch Shell to pay more than $2.4 million in fines and court costs related to a 2008 natural gas explosion at the Bacton gas terminal.
The court heard evidence that Shell had a legacy of neglect at the plant, which officials said was operating at a level deemed unsafe for a "considerable period," The Daily Telegraph newspaper in London reported.
Investigators said they found flammable hydrocarbons leaked from a corroded vessel into a storage tank heated by an electric heater.
Shell admitted that safety standards were subpar and pledged to enact a "significant" number of improvements.
Steve Johnson, the lead investigator in the case, said the incident shouldn't be taken lightly.
"That there was no serious injury or loss of life in this incident was solely down to good fortune," he was quoted as saying. "We could just as easily be standing here today, counting the human cost."
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