Bloomberg News

Total Halts Unit at Normandy Fertilizer Plant After Blast

September 29, 2011

Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Total SA, Europe’s biggest refiner, shut down a unit at a fertilizer plant in Normandy following an explosion and fire.

A blaze that broke out in the machine room of the GPN factory in Grand-Quevilly was brought under control by firefighters, according to a statement from the Paris-based French oil company. No one was injured and no “abnormal concentrations” of toxic gases were measured in the area, the statement said.

Total last year pledged to improve safety at French plants following fatal accidents in 2009. Five people died in accidents at the company’s sites in that year, including two in an explosion at a steam cracker at the Carling petrochemicals complex. Three people died in separate incidents at the Flanders and Provence refineries and the Grand Quevilly plant.

--Editors: Stephen Cunningham, Alex Devine.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tara Patel in Paris at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at

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