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London's biggest explosion

Development of Silvertown
The explosion
The rescue effort
The human cost
The cause
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Soldiers from the Essex Regiment and police outside a ruined building.
View full size imageSoldiers from the Essex Regiment and police outside a ruined building. © NMM

On 19 January 1917 the biggest explosion ever to have taken place in London destroyed a large area of Silvertown in the East End.

In the crowded suburbs of Silvertown 73 people died and many more were injured.

The shock wave from the explosion was felt across the city and the county of Essex. The huge blast was heard as far away as Southampton on the south coast and Norwich in East Anglia.






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