January 19, 1917Silvertown explosion.
The Silvertown explosion occurred in Silvertown in West Ham, Essex (now part of the London Borough of Newham, in Greater London) on Friday, 19 January 1917 at 6.52 pm. The blast occurred at a munitions factory that was manufacturing explosives for Britain's World War I military effort. Approximately 50 tons of trinitrotoluene (TNT) exploded, killing 73 people and injuring over 400, and also causing substantial damage to buildings and property in the local area. This was not the first, last, largest, or the most deadly explosion at a munitions facility in Britain of the war: an explosion at Faversham involving 200 tons of TNT killed 105 in 1916, and the National Shell Filling Factory, Chilwell exploded in 1918, killing 137.