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On the outskirts of the small village of Hanbury, in Staffordshire, England, a few minutes walk from The Cock Inn, is a large crater created by one of the largest accidental explosions in history, which is also the largest non-nuclear explosion to occur on UK soil. The incident occurred at exactly eleven minutes past eleven on 27 November 1944.

In those day, the area was used by the Royal Air Force as an ammunition dump called RAF Fauld. The ammunitions were stored underground in disused gypsum mines, and contained, at the time of the explosion, nearly 4,000 tons of ordnance and 500 million rounds of rifle ammunition, and a variety of other weapons.

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The Fauld Crater (also called Hanbury Crater) today. Photo credit: Barry Wright/Tutbury

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