Memorial to men killed in gas explosion

Unveiling of memorial to Effimgham Street Gas Works explosion in October 1973 that killed six men. From left, Jean Taylor from the Retired Employees Association, Hannah White, Land Regeneration Manager National Grid Property, Frank Evans, Head of Operations National Grid Property.
Unveiling of memorial to Effimgham Street Gas Works explosion in October 1973 that killed six men. From left, Jean Taylor from the Retired Employees Association, Hannah White, Land Regeneration Manager National Grid Property, Frank Evans, Head of Operations National Grid Property.

The National Grid has unveiled a memorial to those who died and were affected by an explosion at the Effingham Street gas works in Sheffield in 1973.  

The memorial commemorates the terrible accident 45 years ago, which saw six men lose their lives and scores more injured.

Rescuers on the scene of the deadly explosion at Effingham Street gas works in October 1973

Rescuers on the scene of the deadly explosion at Effingham Street gas works in October 1973

The explosion blew apart a disused petroleum tank at the then East Midlands Gas Board works in Effingham Street, Sheffield on October 24, 1973.

The six men who died were William Donaldson, Cyril Kennedy, John Lomas, Patrick Sleight, Harry Smith and Harry Wilson.

Forty-five years to the day, Jean Taylor, from the company’s Retired Employees Association, unveiled a memorial plaque at an event held at the Royal Victoria Holiday Inn.

It was also attended by relatives of those who died or who were affected by the explosion.

National Grid has recently started work to dismantle the last remaining gasholder in an area that has been associated with gas production and storage since the early 1800s.

Hannah White, land regeneration manager at National Grid, said: “We are grateful that so many relatives who were personally affected by the explosion chose to get in touch with us and were able to attend.

“We also had people who helped in the rescue efforts including fire and police officers.

“It’s fitting that a permanent memorial is now in place at the site.

“As our works progress to dismantle the last unused gasholder at the site, it is a sobering reminder that our constant and rigorous focus on health and safety must never wain nor be taken for granted.”

The memorial plaque has been permanently sited next to the existing war memorial within the Effingham Street site.