Jump to content

- - - - -

Northgate HQ and explosion

13 replies to this topic

#1 Chris Pepper

Chris Pepper

    ProIV Guru

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 369 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:United Kingdom

Posted 12 December 2005 - 08:13 AM

Are any Northgate employees able to give an update on how the explosion / fire has affected the offices? From the pictures I'm sure it has been comprehensively trashed. I'm just thankful it wasn't during normal working hours. I hope everyone is OK.

(and I hope your off-site backups are up to date!)

All the best to you all.

For anyone not up to date please see this story:

#2 Tony Waszkiewicz

Tony Waszkiewicz


  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 174 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:London, United Kingdom

Posted 12 December 2005 - 08:56 AM


I'm not a northgate employee but yesterday morning heard from management that the office has been destroyed. The site is right by the oil tanks, if you go to www.getmapping.co.uk and select "digital aerial photograph" and enter the postcode hp2 7hu you will see the building centred in the photo and the car park is right by the oil tanks at the north end of the oil site and these are the tanks that exploded.

I live about 25 miles away in a direct line and felt the blast give the house a good shake and rattle. Even if the building is not completely unusable it is likely that nobody will be allowed there until the fire has been put out or burnt itself out.

Their email system went out yesterday. I think contingency is provided by sungard so we will see how long it takes to get everything back up. We are waiting for some proiv keys :x:


#3 Rob Donovan

Rob Donovan


  • Admin
  • 1,647 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Spain

Posted 12 December 2005 - 09:28 AM


I was contacted yesterday by management, and they said that they would post a company statement sometime today on ProIVrc.

All I know is that thankfully no one was injured.

Rob D.

#4 nurquhar



  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 10 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 12 December 2005 - 09:55 AM

I hope the Unix Admin man put the backup tapes in his boot on friday night !!

Could be a challenging system restore otherwise !


#5 Richard Bassett

Richard Bassett

    ProIV Guru

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 701 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:Rural France

Posted 12 December 2005 - 11:32 AM

See also Reuter's Update which suggests some of the backup systems are also toast.

The Northgate office was actually the first image I saw when I turned the TV on yesterday morning and I initially assumed I was looking at a terrorist attack. A member of the public they were interviewing was saying that all the windows were blown out and the ceilings and lighting had come down (although it wasn't absolutely clear which building they were talking about).

Let's hope the two people who were seriously injured (not from Northgate as I understand it) recover fully.
Nothing's as simple as you think

#6 Phil



  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 187 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 12 December 2005 - 02:10 PM

:x: Thats shockingly close !!! :o

#7 Ross Bevin

Ross Bevin

    ProIV Guru

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 231 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico

Posted 12 December 2005 - 05:23 PM

I just received word from Pro-IV USA that all the staff at Northgate are OK.

#8 Joseph Bove

Joseph Bove

    ProIV Guru

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 756 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ramsey, United States

Posted 12 December 2005 - 05:58 PM

I just received word from Pro-IV USA that all the staff at Northgate are OK.

That's certainly welcome and good news.

Hopefully, by the end of the week, they'll be able to communicate short-term and mid-term plans for getting back to normal - as well as any effect on operations.

I think we can all be thankful that the blast occurred over a weekend and not during business hours.

To anyone from Northgate reading this: Good luck in getting things back up and running.



#9 Ross Bevin

Ross Bevin

    ProIV Guru

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 231 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico

Posted 12 December 2005 - 06:03 PM


#10 Guest_Guest_Richard Gooding_*

Guest_Guest_Richard Gooding_*
  • Guests

Posted 12 December 2005 - 06:58 PM

Oil Depot Fire

First of all I can confirm that all PROIV staff are OK. Four Northgate staff were on site at the time of the explosion, three of whom were treated in hospital and later discharged.

An official Northgate press release is attached below.

The PROIV website is currently unavailable; please bear with us while we get this restored.

If you need to contact PROIV for keys or support please note the contact details below:

Europe, Middle East & Africa
Tel: +44 (0) 8709 501506 (** Note new number **)

US & Asia Pacific
Tel: +1 949 330 7850
Fax: +1 949 330 7851
email: support@proivinc.com

Thank you for your understanding - as you will appreciate our continuity plans mean that we have to switch people & systems to alternative Northgate sites, this process is ongoing.

We apologise for any inconvenience you may suffer during this period.


Richard Gooding
PROIV Product Manager

12 December 2005: For immediate release

damage to Headquarters at Hemel Hempstead

Business Continuity Plan Initiated

Northgate Information Solutions plc (www.northgate-is.com), the UK’s leading
supplier of specialist software and IT services for the Human Resource and Public
Service markets, has announced that its head office building has been seriously
damaged as a result of yesterday’s explosion at Hemel Hempstead.

Four Northgate employees were on-site at the time of the explosion. They were all
accounted for soon after the incident. Three were hospitalised as a result of their
injuries but they have since been discharged.

The fabric of the building and the fixtures and equipment inside have been badly
damaged. The back-up systems that were in place have also been rendered
inoperable. Northgate’s ability to service its customers has therefore been
temporarily affected. As a result, its well developed and previously rehearsed
business continuity plan has been initiated. This will allow Northgate to restore its
services using remote data centres and the other offices that Northgate has around
the country.

Northgate’s financial exposure is limited by its insurance policies that provide
sufficient cover for the building and its contents as well as for any business
interruption. This allows the Board to be confident that the long-term impact of this
incident is unlikely to be material.

For further media enquiries, please contact:

Brunswick Group LLP 0207 404 5959

Tom Buchanan/ Craig Breheny/ Phoebe Buckland

Note to Editors
Northgate Information Solutions (www.northgate-is.com), listed on the London Stock
Exchange, is the UK’s leading supplier of specialist software and IT services for the
human resource and public service markets.

The Group has three divisions – Human Resources, Public Service Applications and
Managed Services – each with market leading positions. With 25 major UK offices,
Northgate employs approximately 3,300 staff, has more than 2,700 large/medium
customers and in excess of 6,000 small/medium customers in the UK and Ireland. It
works with approximately 90% of UK local authorities, all UK police forces and is
moving into the education market.

#11 Guest_anonymous coward_*

Guest_anonymous coward_*
  • Guests

Posted 13 December 2005 - 11:01 AM

Chris Stone was on the today program (bbc radio 4) this morning (around 6:20am I think).

It's going to be at least a year before the Hemel building is "rebuilt"

I think he said that the generator was ripped out of the floor (not sure if the backup systems would have survived if they had had power or not)

Tapes from Friday nights backups had been shipped offsite. Saturday's tapes are somewhere in the rubble - were due to be taken offsite on Sunday morning.

Chris implied that everything should be back up by middle of this week. (I guess there are going to be lots of teething problems getting everything working again)

#12 Guest_Jerry Stone_*

Guest_Jerry Stone_*
  • Guests

Posted 13 December 2005 - 01:34 PM

IMPORTANT: You should know that I've just sent a message to the address in the message below from Richard Gooding, asking him to contact me.
I recieved the following system message:

Delivery to the following recipients failed. support@proivinc.com

If customers cannot reach this address, then this needs to be looked at.

Richard - if you see this, please contact me via spaceflight_uk@yahoo.co.uk

The picture on the story currently on the BBC news website has an arial photo which shows the northern part of the depot blazing. The picture shows the Northgate building to the lower left in the picture.
There is also a photo on the BBC Three Counties site which appears to be taken from Buncefield Lane - between the depot and Northgate - showing the back of the building. My desk was against the window in the centre of the picture ...

#13 Mike Schoen

Mike Schoen


  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 198 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Guelph, Canada

Posted 13 December 2005 - 02:55 PM


A few months ago, the support email address was changed to PROIVSupport@proivinc.com.

Apparently someone somewhere decided this made more sense
-- to someone, somewhere, at any rate :x:

#14 Guest_Guest_Richard Gooding_*

Guest_Guest_Richard Gooding_*
  • Guests

Posted 13 December 2005 - 08:59 PM

Both of those support email addresses should now be working. Also note that all of the usual US email addresses (those ending in proivinc.com) are still working.

If you still have trouble with them please contact one of the support phone numbers above.

Once again apologies for any inconvenience.

Richard Gooding

Reply to this topic


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users