On 16 May 1968, a gas explosion in the kitchen of an 18th floor flat resulted in the collapse of the entire south-east corner of Ronan Point, a 22-storey east London tower block, killing four people and injuring 17. The disaster led to a loss of public confidence in high-rise residential buildings and resulted in major changes in UK building regulations
Ronan Point was a 22-storey tower block in Canning Town in Newham, East London, which partly collapsed on 16 May 1968, only two months after it had opened. A gas explosion blew out some load-bearing walls, causing the collapse of one entire corner of the building, which killed four people and injured 17. Although there were few casualties, the spectacular nature of the failure (caused by both poor design and poor construction), led to a loss of public confidence in high-rise residential buildings, and major changes in UK building regulations resulted.
The building had just opened, and three of the four flats immediately above Hodge's were unoccupied. Four of the 260 residents were killed immediately and seventeen were injured, including a young mother who was stranded on a narrow ledge when the rest of her living room disappeared. Hodge survived, despite being blown across the room by the explosion—as did her gas stove, which she took to her new address.