RAF Fauld Explosion The RAF Fauld explosion was a military accident which occurred at 11:11am on Monday, November 27, 1944 at the RAF Fauld underground munitions storage site. Between 3,100 and 3,600 metric tons (3,500 and 4,000 tons) of ordnance exploded – mostly comprising high explosives but including a variety of other types of weapons and including 500 million rounds of rifle ammunition. The resulting crater was 120 meters (400') deep and 1,200 meters (0.75 miles) across and is still clearly visible just south of the village of Fauld, to the west of Hanbury Hill in Staffordshire, England. A nearby reservoir containing 450,000 cubic meters of water was obliterated in the incident, along with a number of buildings. Whilst most of the storage facility was annihilated by the explosion, the site itself continued to be used for munition storage into the late 1950s. Together with the attempt to blow up Heligoland, this ranks amongst the largest non-nuclear explosion. Casualties At the time, there was no careful tally of the number of workers at the facility. So whilst the exact death toll is uncertain, it appears that about 75 people died in the explosion: 23 workers at the site - divided between RAF personnel and some Italian prisoners of war who were working there. 41 people from a nearby plaster mill. perhaps a dozen farm workers who had been working nearby. Cause The cause of the disaster was not made clear at the time. In 1974, it was officially announced that the cause was probably a worker at the site who was working on removing the detonator from a live bomb. There is a conspiracy theory that a German V2 rocket hit the site and caused the subsequent explosion - a fact which would have been very embarrassing in 1944 and might, therefore, have been suppressed. The site of the explosion would, however, have been well out of the range of the V2.