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Letter: Explosive question of priorities.

Byline: EDWARD FRAMLEY

Dear Editor, - When is a major incident a national emergency? When it occurs in the southern half of the UK, of course.

Watching the saturation coverage of the large explosion that occurred at the oil depot in Hemel Hempsted on Sunday I was struck by a number of points.

Firstly, was it really necessary to drag myself out of bed at 7.30 on a Sunday morning to watch the repeat of Match of the Day when the BBC decided in its wisdom to extend its news coverage and reschedule it until 10am?

Secondly, would there have been such a decision to disrupt normal programming if the explosion had happened any further north?

Thirdly, what is the mentality of people in this country these days that certain areas witnessed panic buying of fuel and basics such as bread and milk Finally, as emergency services stood by to try and tackle the horrendous blaze, there were reports that a lot of time was being wasted trying to persuade people to evacuate the area for their own safety.

Why were so many people hell-bent on getting their 15 seconds of fame by providing video and cameraphone footage for the various news channels instead of allowing our admirable emergency services to do their difficult and dangerous jobs?

It would be too much to ask any of our 24-hour news programmes to provide answers to these questions as fact-gathering and presenting clear, cohesive and correct coverage no longer appears to be the priority for such entertainment channels

EDWARD FRAMLEY

Edgbaston, Birmingham
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Dec 13, 2005
Words:260
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