100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

Ammunition Explosion Kills 30 In Austria

In 1887 the French government adopted a mixture of picric acid and guncotton under the name melinite which is stabler than nitroglycerin and not prone to shock detonation. The Wollersdorf Ammunition factory in Weiner Neustadt, Austria near Vienna produced melinite which is the primary explosive compound used by the major military powers around the world.

On June 7, 1912 an explosion took place at the Wollersdorf Ammunition factory either from a decomposition of powder or someone dropping a crate of explosives. The explosion ignited the fuel in a nearby ammunition truck which detonated the munitions being carried. That explosion set off 400,000 lbs of powder killing 30 and injuring over 100. The explosion was heard 40 miles away and shattered windows 25 miles away. Stones and glass fell on 2 companies of soldiers drilling nearby. Mounted soldiers and their horses were thrown 100 yards and airplanes in a nearby aviation yard were destroyed.

Stacked munitions

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