Author Topic: Buncefield explosion felt in Brookmans Park  (Read 16250 times)

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Offline Editor

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Buncefield explosion felt in Brookmans Park
« on: December 11, 2005, 07:26:09 am »
Houses in Brookmans Park felt the aftershock of a number of explosions at an oil depot near Hemel Hempstead. The first was at 06:03 and there were two more around 06:27. It felt as if a strong wind had suddenly hit homes. Nearer the scene, many houses have been damaged or destroyed and the BBC is reporting that there have been casualties. The M1 is closed in both directions. The BBC says the blast was felt in Surrey and Cambridge. For the latest news check BBC News Online.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2005, 11:19:16 am by Editor »
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Re: Buncefield explosion felt in Brookmans Park
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2005, 08:09:42 am »
The blast was near the red arrow on this map.

« Last Edit: December 11, 2005, 09:40:26 am by Editor »
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Re: Buncefield explosion felt in Brookmans Park
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2005, 11:03:33 am »
A few pictures of the smoke, taken from Brookmans Park. The first is looking down Moffats with the clear sky on the right and the smoke spreading to the left, the second is looking south as the plume of smoke heads east, and the third is looking south as the smoke obscures the morning sun.


« Last Edit: December 11, 2005, 12:02:09 pm by Editor »
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Offline supersonic

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Re: Buncefield explosion felt in Brookmans Park
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2005, 11:07:10 am »
I live in Harrow, NW London, and was woken at 6.02am by the sound of the explosion. Even this far away my windows were rattling!


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Re: Buncefield explosion felt in Brookmans Park
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2005, 11:17:31 am »
We heard it in Kew.  The bedside clock said 0603.
 

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Re: Buncefield explosion felt in Brookmans Park
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2005, 04:57:26 pm »
The latest news briefing from Hertfordshire Constabulary, just emailed to this site.

UPDATE - Buncefield Explosion - Press Conference
By Corporate Communication Dept

Chief Constable Frank Whiteley:


Good afternoon and once again thank you for attending this briefing in which we hope to give you an operational update and some medical guidance around the affects of the smoke plume.

Firstly emergency service personnel continue to work to tackle the blaze and manage the large series of cordons around Hemel Hempstead. The role of police has extended to giving support to traffic management, assisting with refuge centres, and supporting our colleagues in the fire service.

Can I extend my appreciation to all the local residents affected by this for their forbearance and patience in what has been a difficult and naturally worrying day. On behalf of the emergency services can I reassure residents and local communities that everything will be done to ensure all the advice and support possible will be made available to you.

Given the latest information it’s likely the fire will continue well for at least the next 24 hours which means extended disruption in the Hemel Hempstead area. With this regard we will continue to keep families and communities informed of the latest updates. At this point schools in and around Hemel Hempstead will be closed tomorrow. Parents should check the Herts Direct website, local radio and cascaded from schools. Libaries, Day Centres will also be closed the full list will be available on the Herts Direct website.

To recap on events: The emergency services were contacted just after 6am today following reports of a series of explosions in the Buncefield area. Indeed there have been further explosions during the course of the day but these were expected. Further explosions are still likely as work to contain the blaze continues.

The fire service will be giving an update in terms of their own response.

There were a number off staff at the depot at the time of the incident and I am pleased to say they have all been accounted for. However we will continue to run a casualty bureau 0800 096 0095 for concerned people. If ringing from overseas the number is 0207 158 0125

In terms of casualties: 43 people have sustained injuries of which the vast majority are not serious. All those being treated saving two have been treated and discharged.

The plume of smoke continues to spread across the county. The contents of the cloud is clearly an irritant – it will make you cough, irritate your eyes and make you feel nauseous. People must keep out of the plume of smoke, stay indoors, close your windows and doors and tune into local radio and television.

If people feel unwell in the first instance we would ask them to ring NHS Direct on 0845 4647. If people feel acutely unwell they should go to their local hospitals.

There is extensive traffic disruption and people are asked to avoid the area and we appeal for people not to contact the emergency services unless they really need too.
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Re: Buncefield explosion felt in Brookmans Park
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2005, 06:25:03 pm »
Hertfordshire Constabulary has just mailed this site a list of schools that will be closed tomorrow because of the explosion and fire at Buncefield. All are outside this immediate area, but parents and guardians whose children go to school south and west of North Mymms might want to check the list below.

December 11, 2005
Schools closed on Monday December 11
By Corporate Communication Dept


The following schools will be closed on Monday December 11.

HEMEL HEMPSTEAD

Primary

Astley Cooper
John F Kennedy RC
The Cavendish
Adeyfield
The Hemel Hempstead
Longdean
Dacorum Education Support Centre

Secondary

Aycliffe Drive
Barncroft
Bellgate
Belswains
Boxmoor
Broadfield Infants
Broadfield Junior
Brockswood
Chambersbury
Chaulden Infants and Nursery
Chaulden Junior
Eastbrook
Gade Valley
George Street
Hammond JMI and Nursery
Hobbs Hill Wood
Hobletts Manor Infant and Nursery
Hobletts Manor Junior
Holtsmere End Infant and Nursery
Holtsmere End Junior
Jupiter Drive
Leverstock Green CofE Primary
Lime Walk
Martindale
Micklem
Pixies Hill
The Reddings Primary
Rossgate Primary
South Hill Primary
St Albert The Great RC Primary
St Cuthbert Maine RC Junior
St Rosas Catholic Infants
Tudor Primary
Two Waters Primary

Library

Hemel Central
Addeyfield
Leverstock Green

BOVINGDON


Bovingdon Primary
Bovingdon Library

CHIPPERFIELD


St Pauls CofE Va Primary

NASH MILLS

Nash Mills CofE Primary

KINGS LANGLEY


Kings Langley
Kings Langley Primary
Kings Langley Library

ABBOTS LANGLEY

Parmiters
St Michaels RC
Francis Combe
Abbots Langley School
Bedmond Village Primary and Nursery
Divine Saviour RC Primary

SARRATT


Sarratt CofE

WATFORD


Secondary

Watford Boys
Watford Girls
Westfield
Chessbrook ESC

Primary

Beechfield
Bromet Primary
Cassiobury Infant and Nursery
Cassiobury JMI
Central Primary
Chater Infant
Chater Junior
Cherry Tree Primary
Field Infant and Nursery
Field Junior
Holyrood RC Infant
Holyrood RC Junior
Holywell JMI
Knutsford
Lawrence Haines School
Nascot Wood Infant and Nursery
Nascot Wood Junior
The Orchard Primary
Parkgate Infants and Nursery
Parkgate Junior
St Anthony RC Primary
St Meryl School
Alban Wood Primary and Nursery
Leavesden Green
Kingswood
Kingsway Infant
Kingsway Junior
Coates Way JMI and Nursery
St Catherine of Sienna

Library


Watford Central
Watford North

RICKMANSWORTH

Harvey Road Primary
Little Green Junior
Malvern Way Infant and Nursery
Yorkmead Primary

Croxley Green library

CHORLEYWOOD

St Clement Danes
Chorleywood Primary
Christchurch CofE School
The Russell
Chorleywood Library

RICKMANSWORTH

Arnett Hills JMI
Maple Cross JMI
Rickmansworth Park JMI
Shepherd Primary School
St Johns RC Primary
St Mary's CofE Primary
St Peters CofE Primary
Eastbury Farm JMI
Rickmansworth Library

WATFORD RURAL

Greenfields Primary
Oxhey Wood
St Josephs RC Primary
Warren Dell
Woodhall

HARPENDEN

Roundwood Park
St Georges
Sir John Lawes

Crabtree Infants
Crabtree Junior
The Grove Infant and Nursery
The Grove Junior
High Beeches Primary
The Lea Primary
Manland Primary
Roundwood Primary
Sauncey Wood Primary
St Dominics RC Primary
St Nicholas CofE VA Primary
Wood End

Harpenden Library

WHEATHAMPSTEAD


Beech Hyde Primary
St Helens CofE Primary

Wheathamsted Library

REDBOURN


Redbourn Infant and Nursery
Redbourn JM

Redbourne Library

SANDRIDGE


Sandringham
Sandridge School

ST ALBANS


Townsend CofE
St Albans Girls
Loreto RC Girls College
Verulam
Marlbrough
Francis Bacon

Howe Wood Primary
Park Street Primary and Nursery
The Abbey CofE VA School
Aboyne Lodge
Bernards Heath Infant
Bernards Heath Junior
Camp Primary and Nursery
Cunningham Hill Infant
Cunningham Hill Junior
Fleetville Infant and Nursery
Fleetville Junior
Gardenfields
Killigrew Infant and Nursery
Killigrew Junior
Mandeville Primary
Maple
Margaret Wix Primary
Oakwood Primary
Praewood Primary
Skyswood
Ss Albans RC Infant and Nursery
SS Albans RC Junior
St Adrian's RC Primary School and Nursery
St John Fisher RC Primary
St Michaels CofE Primary
St Peters
Wheatfields Infant and Nursery
Wheatfields Junior
Windermere Primary

St Albans Libraries

St Albans Central
Fleetville
Cunningham Hill
Marshalswick
Colney Heath
Beaumont
Nicholas Breakspear RC

LONDON COLNEY

Bowmans Green Primary
London Colney JMI
St Bernadette RC Nursery and Primary

London Colney Library

SHENLEY

Clore Shalom
Shenley Primary

ELSTREE / BOREHAMWOOD


Hertswood
St Nicholas Elstree CofE VA Primary

Borehamwood Library

MARKYATE

Markyate Village School and Nursery

BUSHEY

Queens
Bushey Meads
Bushey Hall

Ashfield Junior School
Bournehall Primary
Bushey Manor Junior
Highwood Primary
Little Reddings Primary
Meryhill Infant and Nursery
Oxhey Infant
Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School and Nursery
Bushey Heath Primary
Hartsbourne Primary

Bushey Library

LANGLEYBURY

St Pauls CofE Primary

RADLETT

Fairfield Junior
Hertsmere Jewish Primary
Newberries Primary
St Johns CofE Infant and Nursery

Radlett Library

SOUTH MIMMS

St Giles CofE Primary
« Last Edit: December 11, 2005, 08:25:14 pm by Editor »
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Offline Alfred the Great

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Re: Buncefield explosion felt in Brookmans Park
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2005, 09:51:18 pm »
I can understand that some schools might feel the need to close tomorrow but surely not as many as listed? And libraries too? Words fail me! Can I have a free day off work aswell please?
Confucius he say "a dog is for life not just for Christmas Dinner"
 

Offline sasquartch

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Re: Buncefield explosion felt in Brookmans Park
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2005, 03:18:25 pm »
I too would have loved a free day off work, however the official reason for shutting schools was to ease traffic congestion caused by the shutting of the M1/M10/A4147 and other roads around the blast site.

Although I suspect many people who work on the industrial park in Hemel and especially Boundary Way will be having either quite a few days off or working over Christmas to get everything patched up !
 

Offline Abbot

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Re: Buncefield explosion felt in Brookmans Park
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2005, 09:18:06 pm »
Hertsdirect web site now says Brookmans Park school will be closed tomorrow Tuesday. Due to particles in the air. Schools within 10 miles of Buncefield will be shut.

Do the teachers know this??
 

Offline taff

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Re: Buncefield explosion felt in Brookmans Park
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2005, 09:37:27 pm »
Brookmans park primary IS closed on tuesday 13th dec due to the buncefield explosion. This is apparently because most of Herts firefighters/appliances are in Hemel and emergency cover is limited.I am not sure about chancellors.
 

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Re: Buncefield explosion felt in Brookmans Park
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2005, 10:02:11 pm »
One of the governors at Brookmans Park school has contacted this site to confirm that the school will be closed tomorrow (Tuesday 13th December), and until further notice. More information can be found by clicking here.


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Offline shads

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Re: Buncefield explosion felt in Brookmans Park
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2005, 12:34:03 am »
As Brookmans Park School has been closed and also Bishops Hatfield can anyone let me know if Chancellors has also been closed.
Wisdom says it probably has but i have yet to see this anywhere.
Thanks
 

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Re: Buncefield explosion felt in Brookmans Park
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2005, 07:15:23 am »
Thanks to all those who have posted information on the site. I am abroad and on slow dial up at the moment and James is looking after the site (thanks James).

Could people please keep posting updates here in this thread or, if it is information for James, could you please contact him using the feedback form (click here to access it) and be sure to select 'James' from the drop down list before sending the message. That way he will receive it in his inbox.

You can also contact James through the internal messaging system.

Thanks. 

David
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Offline James Bentall

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Re: Buncefield explosion felt in Brookmans Park
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2005, 07:23:30 am »
As Brookmans Park School has been closed and also Bishops Hatfield can anyone let me know if Chancellors has also been closed.
Wisdom says it probably has but i have yet to see this anywhere.
Thanks

According to the list here:

http://www.hertsdirect.org/scholearn/schadd/#secondary

Chancellors School is still open, as is Mount Grace and Owens.

James
James Bentall, Brookmans Park, Herts.
I post in a personal capacity and not on behalf of North Mymms Parish Council
 

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Re: Buncefield explosion felt in Brookmans Park
« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2005, 04:25:28 pm »
We have been contacted again by Brookmans Park School to let us know that the school will be open as usual on Wednesday 14th December. The Herts Direct website suggest that all other schools around the Hatfield and Potters Bar areas will be open as well.
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Offline Neville Hobbs

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Re: Buncefield explosion felt in Brookmans Park
« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2005, 06:05:05 pm »
I am puzzled. Why are the local schools closed?
Surely the children have to breathe whether they are at home or at school.  ???

« Last Edit: December 14, 2005, 09:51:05 am by WINDSORS »
 

Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: Buncefield explosion felt in Brookmans Park
« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2005, 10:20:33 am »
If Taff's information is correct that schools were closed because of lack of fire cover, then what should the rest of us do?  Evacuate Hertfordshire? 

This is yet another example of some idiot in authority overstepping the mark.  Is it the 'afraid of being sued' mentality in overdrive yet again?  We need to know who made this decision. 

Happy Christmas!

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Re: Buncefield explosion felt in Brookmans Park
« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2005, 11:14:07 am »
You’ll be lucky. The way these things usually work is that someone gives ‘advice.’ The advice doesn’t tell anyone what to do, but it is worded in such a way that the advice giver can’t be held responsible if the advice isn’t followed and the worst happens nor can they be held responsible if the school is shut because they didn’t actually take that decision, they gave ‘advice’. The person receiving the advice is left in the position where they will get criticised for either decision, but the criticism will be much worse - and they can be sued - if they fail to shut the school and a fire occurs – even if the lack of cover makes no difference to the outcome. The added benefit is that the person receiving the ‘advice’ can claim that in shutting the school they were simply following ‘advice’ and deny any responsibility.

In short no-one takes a decision – they give or receive advice - and everyone’s actions are dictated by avoiding responsibility (or CYA). The cynics amongst us will spot the similarities to how no-one is to blame for us going to war over WMD that never existed.
 

Offline Neville Hobbs

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Re: Buncefield explosion felt in Brookmans Park
« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2005, 11:23:46 am »
What ever  happened to good old fashioned common sence? It used to work well when people were responsible for themselves.
 

Offline sasquartch

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Re: Buncefield explosion felt in Brookmans Park
« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2005, 12:58:46 pm »
I think it's very easy to take this attitude, but remember this was quoted as being possibly the worst explosion in European peacetime history - you cannot possibly be completely prepared for something of this scale.

The fact is, the fire services said the fire was 'uncharted territory' for them, so no-one could really know for sure what the effects would be. Extensive monitoring of the air was carried out and experts said there might be a possible small risk to health - so all they could do is advise rather than give detailed predictions of what would happen.

I think the emergency services have done a fantastic job - not only is the fire all but out but NO-ONE was killed or seriously injured fighting the fire (or during the exposion itself although that was luck) - let's remember a relatively minor fire in a Stevenage block of flats claimed a firefighters life recently if I recall. And the FBU should be absolutely ashamed of themselves, trying to make cheap political capital out of this.

So, schools were shut as a precaution - so what ? Yes, Neville, people should be responsible for themselves, but schoolkids ARE MINORS ie not responsible for themselves (well Primary School kids at any rate) You are an adult and can decide on the evidence available if you want to risk going outside - which in the event was completely safe to do so.

Let's all be grateful that we live in a country with excellent, well organised emergency services that coped superbly, rather than just winge about what, with the benefit of hindsight, might have been.
 

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Re: Buncefield explosion felt in Brookmans Park
« Reply #21 on: December 14, 2005, 02:55:52 pm »
I don’t think anyone has criticised the emergency services. They have done a superb job, as usual. What criticism there has been has been directed at burocrats who take a CYA position – while the people at the sharp end pull out all the stops to get the job done. Take a look at this:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/4525818.stm

Quote
In a statement, the council says that it has been "working towards reopening, but the safety of children and young people has been paramount and we have followed health guidance".

A translation of we have followed health guidance is exactly as said: don’t blame us because we didn’t make the decision either
 

Offline Neville Hobbs

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Re: Buncefield explosion felt in Brookmans Park
« Reply #22 on: December 14, 2005, 04:35:20 pm »
Sasquartch,

Quote
Yes, Neville, people should be responsible for themselves, but schoolkids ARE MINORS ie not responsible for themselves (well Primary School kids at any rate) You are an adult and can decide on the evidence available if you want to risk going outside - which in the event was completely safe to do so.

I cannot see what relevence this comment has. It wasnt the kids choice to close the school.
I was referring generally when parents took overall responsibility for their children and schools took responsibility for the children when at school - the good old days before the American sueing culture took hold of the UK.
Perhaps the schools could have become on full alert, had extra precautionary fire drills and excercise more vigilance as the fire services are busy elsewhere - I didnt close my wooden office!

John Fraser, you make good sense - too much CYA going on.
 

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Re: Buncefield explosion felt in Brookmans Park
« Reply #23 on: December 14, 2005, 05:07:00 pm »
The question to ask is: Did taking several thousand primary aged children out of a structured and controlled environment and have them placed in hastily arranged and ( consequentially) possibly unstructured and/or less controlled environment actually reduce the fire risk? Clearly it did not, it just reduced the schools’ and councils’ risk of being sued.
 

Offline Mary_Morgan

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Re: Buncefield explosion felt in Brookmans Park
« Reply #24 on: December 14, 2005, 09:02:50 pm »
JF and I do not agree very often, but I do agree "it just reduced the schools' and councils' risk of being sued".  I have no doubt that this is the reason a lot of schools were closed.   I query the necessity to close libraries.

However, there are other factors to consider:

The large number of fire crews that were at Buncefield must have seriously depleted those left to cope with other fires.   So a school that catches fire with, say, 600 pupils is potentially a large nightmare.   600 pupils in their own homes, say 2 children per household, in 300 homes has got to be less of a hazard, and

Getting teachers to school could have been problematic - I am not there and do not know how really bad transportation has been. 

At the end of the day, it must be that if we have children we are responsible for them and if the schools deems it necessary for safety reasons to close we are responsible for keeping our own children safe, and if a schools deems it safe to stay open, but we are unsure, we keep our children at home as we are still responsible for their safety.

To wind up, I am so glad that the injuries at Buncefield were so much lighter than they could have been, and I really hope that any fall out from the fire/smoke does not harm anyone, least of all the children.

M
 

Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: Buncefield explosion felt in Brookmans Park
« Reply #25 on: December 15, 2005, 11:52:18 am »
Following the logic of closing schools with 100s of people on one site, why didn't the huge offices at Hatfield (T-Mobile etc) not close down.  Maybe because they have a business to run?

Offline James Bentall

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Re: Buncefield explosion felt in Brookmans Park
« Reply #26 on: December 15, 2005, 01:06:12 pm »
Hertfordshire County Council's original post said that the schools had been closed as a precuationary measure as they were not too sure of the health implications of smoke particles falling out of the sky as the blaze became less intense. Children are apparently more suspectable to problems than adults which is why the schools were closed.

James
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Offline Neville Hobbs

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Re: Buncefield explosion felt in Brookmans Park
« Reply #27 on: December 15, 2005, 01:57:53 pm »
I received this on my mobile phone - I didnt write it!

Police have today admitted that George Best was not in fact buried in Belfast last week and that in retrospect, it was a mistake to cremate him early Sunday morning  in Hemel Hempstead
[/b]
 

Offline ADM

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Re: Buncefield explosion felt in Brookmans Park
« Reply #28 on: December 15, 2005, 02:18:41 pm »
Please don't be offended.

I'm sure George Best wouldn't have been.
 

Offline Cassie

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Re: Buncefield explosion felt in Brookmans Park
« Reply #29 on: December 15, 2005, 05:48:41 pm »
LOL!!!

I heard it on the radio as well :)
 

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