The Windscale Fire

10 Times the World Almost Ended Image source: Mirror

Windscale was a plutonium plant based in the Cumbria region of England. A possible fire there in 1957 nearly could have been the worst nuclear accident in Western Europe. The fuel channels in one of the chimneys got overheated and caught fire. A young physicist noticed the elevated levels of the radioactivity in the chimney and helped avert the disaster. Workers struggled to control the fire until makeshift hoses were used to extinguish the blaze.