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3Com 'Up And Running' After U.K. Oil Depot Blaze

3Com said Wednesday that its European operation was up and running in the wake of the massive oil depot fire in the United Kingdom that shut down its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) headquarters.

Some 300 3Com workers were housed at the site. "We've set up three temporary offices," said company spokesman Joseph Vukson. "Our employees have WAN and LAN access." He added that employees whose computers were lost or made unavailable as a result of the fire have been provided with new gear and many are working from home.

The explosion at the Hemel Hempstead oil depot near London was so virulent that it spewed smoke as far away as France. The blast, thought to be accidental, also caused apprehension in international oil markets.

In addition to 3Com, the blast knocked some major U.K. Websites offline. The fire damaged the Northgate Information Services data center, which operated several popular Internet sites. The U.K. Labour Party Web site was closed down for a time because of the fire.

Vukson said its building was still off limits to 3Com's workforce. "The important thing was that no one was injured," he said. "As of today, we're up and running."

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