Explosions occurred on three occasions, the first and most serious in one of the fusing rooms on the night of 5 December 1916, when 35 women lost their lives. The injured were taken to the Leeds General Infirmary, aid being provided by the factory medical staff, the ambulance corps and the voluntary motor transport section. Residents of Lazencroft Cottage, at the time, are understood to have witnessed crowds of workers, many with yellowed faces, rushing along Manston Lane, all in a state of great distress. The second accident, three months later on 21 March, 1917, killed two girls and in the third accident on 31 March, 1918 (a time when the King and Queen were visiting Leeds), three men lost their lives. In the traumatic aftermath of these incidents, girls were found readily volunteering to resume work in the danger areas, once repairs had been undertaken.
The effect of the explosion