At 11.11am on Monday November 27, 1944, the quiet town of Fauld in Staffordshire became the site of one of the world’s largest non-nuclear explosions.

The RAF Fauld explosion, 70 years ago today and the largest to ever occur in the UK, left a crater 400 feet deep and a mile across. The death toll, while not exactly known, could be as high as 90 – including RAF servicemen, Italian prisoners of war, and neighbouring civilians.

The explosion happened at the Royal Air Force’s underground munitions storage depot just south of the village of Fauld. The depot housed between 3,500 and 4,000 tonnes of ordnance, mostly high-explosive bombs. The depot also contained 500 million rounds of rifle ammunition.