On the 19th January 1917 a fire broke out in a munitions factory in Silvetown, West Ham, while attempts were being made to put out the fire 50 tons of TNT were ignited. The blast completely destroyed the factory and many of the surrounding buildings including the fire station. The falling debris started more fires some of which were visible for miles around, the estimated area of damage was around 17 acres. The blast was heard more than a hundred miles away. 400 people were injured and 73 people were killed.
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