The hazards of alcohol are well known, but every so often a new study presents itself that uncovers more information about the dangers of drink. However, if we look back in history we can find one of the most unusual incidents that could ever happen, a beer flood. The flood happened in London in 1814 and claimed 8 lives directly.
At the time breweries used large vats to house fermented alcohol. In the Horse Shoe Brewery in London, these vats were 22 feet tall. They relied on wooden build with a strong iron ring holding the vats in place. On this faithful day in 1814, one of the iron rings failed, the vat broke open and the beer flooded the brewery. In doing so it burst open a number of other vats, creating a mammoth flood in the brewery of 320,000 gallons of stout!
Beer in abundance
The beer hit the brewery wall with such force that it knocked it completely. The beer spilled out to the streets and created a 15-foot wave of stout and debris that wreaked havoc. It flooded numerous basements in the neighborhood and in doing so wrecked the foundation of many houses causing them to collapse. Tragically, eight people died during this flood including a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old.
The London residents were unaware of the severity of the disaster that was taking place and instead saw a street flooding with beer as an opportunity. Locals took to the streets with buckets to try and claim some of this lovely liquid flowing down the street. Some reports actually indicate that a ninth death took place from alcohol poisoning as the person drank so much of the street stout.
The story brings a whole new meaning to the dangers of alcohol. Since then vats have been made to be far more secure and it appears unlikely that your local brewery will have a flood anytime soon. Keep a bucket by the door of your house though, just in case.