Disasters · Germany

Oppau factory explosion

September 21, 1921
Oppau, Germany
An explosion at a factory producing ammonium nitrate kills between 500 to 600 and wounds another 2,000

The explosion’s exact cause is unknown as all involved died from the blast, but it’s believed to have been due to a practice of loosening ammonium nitrate (an explosive fertilizer) build-up with dynamite. The sound of the explosion was heard as far as 300km (186 miles) away, roofs of buildings 25km (15 miles) away were ripped away, and glass shattered up to 30km (18 miles) away. A crater 90m by 125m (295′ by 410′) and 19m deep (62′) was left behind and nearly 6,500 people were left homeless.

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