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On This Day In Photos: December 5 1952 – Smog Kills Thousands In London | Anorak

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On This Day In Photos: December 5 1952 – Smog Kills Thousands In London

ON This Day In Photos: December 5 1952: A cold fog hit London. It trapped the air pollution. A Ministry of Health report estimated that 4,075 more people had died than would have been expected to under normal conditions. Other estimates say the pea souper killed 12,000 people. Londoners knew all about smog, or though they did. A Londoner, HA Des Voeux, had invented the term “smog” to describe the fog intensified by smoke in the capital in the early 20th century. But even for war-hardened Londoners in a dreary city this was something else.

On December 5 1952, the fog fell over London. The temperature fell to freezing, and Londoners burned more coal to stay warm. The smoke mixed with the air, forming a deadly blend of carbon dioxide, hydrochloric acid, and sulphur dioxide turned into sulphuric acid.

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Posted: 5th, December 2011 | In: Flashback | Comment