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In northeast England, an accidental explosion of nitroglycerin kills the Sheriff of Newcastle and six others.

Fire and Earthquake Disasters, iconic image
12/17/1867

In Newcastle-upon-Tyne, a merchant was discovered to have purchased a supply of nitroglycerin, the new alternative to gunpowder, and had now found it in an unstable state.  The Sheriff of Newcastle, a ceremonial position, happened to be a student of chemistry and took charge of the disposal of the explosive materials which were to be buried outside of the the town.  During the disposal, a significant portion of the cache exploded suddenly, killing five officials and carters immediately and mortally wounding two others, including the Sheriff John Mawson and the town surveyor.  (By John Osborne).  

Source Citation: 

"Chronicle of Remarkable Occurences in 1867", The Annual Register or a View of the History and Politics of the Year 1867 (London: F. & J. Rivington, 1868), 176-178.

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