London's biggest explosion
The first thought was that the factory had been hit in an air raid, but there were no raids that night. Another popular theory was that a German spy had sabotaged the factory.
In the end, it was suspected that a fire broke out in the melt-pot room of the plant. This quickly spread and ignited about 50 tons of TNT. Much of it was sitting in railway wagons waiting to be transported.
An unsuitable site
The government decided not to publish the report at the time. It was not made public until the 1950s.
The site of the Brunner Mond Works was never built upon and the area is still an empty space, used for car parking, at the north end of the Thames Flood Barrier.
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