A hundred years ago Sept. 24, 1921 Archives

From the Archives (September 24, 1921): The Great Explosion

Mayence, September 22: The catastrophe at Oppau was due to excess of pressure in two adjoining gasmeters which caused the explosion. It is now estimated that the death toll may reach 1,500. It was at Oppau during the war that the Germans made poison gas. The manufactory has lately been making nitrogen compounds for agricultural fertilisation. A large hole one hundred and thirty yards wide and forty nine deep marks the former site of the gasmeters which blew up. Invaluable assistance was rendered by French troops under General Degoutte, Commander-in-Chief. The fact that several tombstones in Oppau cemetery weighing at least five kilogrammes were lifted up and hurled sixty feet shows the force of the explosion.

Berlin, Sept. 22: The explosion at Oppau killed some French soldiers who were guarding the works and injured a number of others who were boating on the Rhine. The management of the Badische works assess damage to works at 150,000,000 marks.

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