17.10.

1814: London Beer Flood

1814: London Beer Flood
Photo Credit To http://frogstorm.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/The-vat-before-it-ruptured1.jpg

Story Highlights

  • historical event:
  • On this day a large beer vat ruptured in a London brewery, causing around 1.47 million liters of beer to flood into the nearby streets. The tide of beer flooded basements and caused the death of eight people, who either drowned in the beer or were buried beneath collapsing buildings (most local buildings were of shoddy construction).

A most unusual accident occurred at a brewery in the London district of St. Giles (between Soho and Bloomsbury, near the current location of the British Museum) on this day in 1814. Namely, a large beer vat ruptured, causing around 1.47 million liters of beer to flood into the nearby streets.

Most of the buildings in the vicinity of the brewery were lower-class residential houses, where entire families lived in cellars. The tide of beer flooded the basements and caused the death of eight people, who either drowned in the beer or were buried beneath collapsing buildings (most local buildings were of shoddy construction).

In the local Tavistock Arms pub, the wave of beer knocked down the wall and trapped a teenage serving girl under the ruins. Unfortunately she didn’t survive. The wave of beer knocked down another two houses. Two of the victims were children aged 3-4.

The brewery was the property of the Meux company, which was founded in 1764 and was located on the junction of Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road. A lawsuit was filed against the brewery, but the incident was declared an “Act of God” at the court, and nobody was held responsible.

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