|The RAF Fauld explosion was a military accident which occurred at 11:11am on Monday, 27th November 1944 at the RAF Fauld underground munitions storage depot. |
Between 3,450 and 3,930 tons (3,500 and 4,000 tonnes) of ordnance explodedómostly comprising high explosive (HE)-filled bombs, but including a variety of other types of weapons and including 500 million rounds of rifle ammunition. The resulting crater was 120 metres (400 ft) deep and 1,200 metres (0.75 miles) across and is still clearly visible just south of the village of Fauld, to the west of Hanbury Hill in Staffordshire, England. A nearby reservoir containing 450,000 cubic metres of water was obliterated in the incident, along with a number of buildings. Flooding caused by destruction of the reservoir added to the damage directly caused by the explosion.
The RAF Fauld explosion was one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history.
At the time, there was no careful tally of the number of workers at the facility. So whilst the exact death toll is uncertain, it appears that about 75 people died in the explosion.