FOLLOWING the recent theft of Yorkshire stone surrounding a memorial dedicated to people who died in a chemical works explosion in Low Moor, Bradford, we take a look in the T&A archives to that fateful event which killed 39 and brought horror to the home front.

Even today mystery surrounds the cause of the blast at 3.16pm on a summer Monday. It has been attributed to a fire though how that occurred in such an establishment is unknown.

What is known is highly combustible substances used in the manufacture or military explosives went up, raining chunks of debris on the roofs of houses in the vicinity. Gasholder No 1 was punctured and deflated like a balloon. Factory workers fled the scene, their hair bleached and their faces stained yellow by the picric acid with which they worked.

Despite being one of Bradford's worst disasters, it was said that the world was kept in ignorance through the reporting of the event as Britain was at war and the Low Moor explosion was deemed war-sensitive information by the Ministry of Munitions.