One of the biggest disasters in New Jersey history happened on July 10th, 1926. A bolt of lightning struck the Lake Denmark Naval Ammunition Storage Depot in Rockaway Township, part of the Picatinny Arsenal.

What ensued was a massive explosion when over 600,000 tons of explosives detonated. Everything within 3,000 feet was vaporized and the explosion leveled buildings a half a mile away and resulted in almost two dozen deaths. According to Gawker, the monetary value of the damage would be $631 million in today’s dollars, and debris was found over 20 miles away. Twenty-one reportedly died. As a result, a government oversight board was formed to coordinate the transportation and storage of explosives was formed.

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