It’s 202 years to the day since the London Beer Flood killed eight people



A huge vat containing 610,000 litres ruptured inside the Meux and Company Brewery (Picture: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Exactly 202 years ago, today, eight people died after 1,470,000 litres of beer flooded the streets of London.

Yes, really.

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The London Beer Flood, which took place on October 17 1814, saw a huge vat containing 610,000 litres rupture inside the Meux and Company Brewery on Tottenham Court Road.

And as if that wasn’t bad enough, the bursting vat caused a domino effect – meaning one by one the containers toppled, and the liquid gushed out onto the street.

The enormous wave of beer hit homes and caused two to crumble.

Two pints of beer bitter on wooden barrel in London pub.

A total of 1,470,000 litres of beer flooded the streets of London

It also collided with the wall of the Tavistock Arms pub – causing it to fall and kill 15-year-old employee Eleanor Copper.

Within moments, the area was swamped with beer and businesses were flooded.

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Seven others aged three to 63 were killed, including a mother having tea with her daughter and several people at a wake.

Following the incident, the owners of the brewery were taken to court, however the disaster was ruled as ‘an act of God’.

A successful application to Parliament allowed the company to restock and continue trading until the building was demolished in 1922.

Today the Dominion Theatre stands on the site.