Pittsburgh gasometer explosion

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The Pittsburgh gasometer explosion, or Equitable Gas explosion, was an accident that took place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on the morning of November 14, 1927.[1] A huge cylindrical gasometer, the largest in the world at that time at 5 million cubic feet (140,000 m3), developed a leak, and repairmen were sent to fix it. The exact cause of the explosion is not known, but some of those repairing the leak were using acetylene torches.[2]

There was a loud explosion, and three gasometers at the site exploded.[2] A "dense mass of dust and smoke" rose from the ruins before igniting into a ball of fire reported as 100 feet in diameter, which rose further before burning out at a height of 1000 feet.[1] Most buildings within a radius of half a mile were damaged, with windows being broken a mile away,[1] causing upwards of $4 million worth of damage,[2] it was reported that the explosion "caused lofty downtown skyscrapers to tremble and sway as if hit by an earthquake".[2] 28 people were killed and hundreds were injured.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Brotzman, W. S. (25 January 1928). "Damaging Gas Explosion At Pittsburgh, PA" (PDF). Monthly Weather Review. Weather Bureau. 55 (11): 500. doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1927)55<500a:DGEAPP>2.0.CO;2. Archived (PDF) from the original on 29 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  2. ^ a b c d Sebak, Rick (November 2006). "One morning, the North Side exploded". Pittsburgh Magazine. WQED Pittsburgh. Archived from the original on 2008-01-10. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 

Coordinates: 40°26′50″N 80°01′16″W / 40.4472°N 80.0210°W / 40.4472; -80.0210