The Fauld Explosion

11:11 am. 27 November 1944:

The depot at Fauld became the site of the largest explosion in the UK, when 3,670 tons of bombs stored underground exploded en masse. Two explosions occurred where bombs were stocked in bunkers covering 180,000 sq ft of concreted corridors. The passages were 12′ high x 20′ wide and had space for trucks. Inside the atmosphere was ‘clear air’ at 55 F.

After the explosion there was a mushroom cloud, about 50 yards wide and upwards out of sight. Mounds of earth weighing up to a ton in weight fell to the ground. Afterwards a fine dust up to 4 inches thick fell, and it was possible to walk without making any noise. A crater, half a mile across and 100 feet deep was left behind.

Firefighters from Burton, Stafford and Lichfield attended. At the depot, both R.A.F. personnel and Italian prisoners of war were employed. Both airmen and Italians were killed in the blast.

The entire mine was not destroyed, but the hills housing the mine completely disappeared. Virtually every house in Hanbury Village was severely damaged

Related:
Wikipedia’s entry on the Fauld Explosion.