Found some shocking images taken from London’s Great Smog of ’52 which i had no idea happened. The whole ordeal lasted for four brutal days as the city of London was flooded with poisons smog; a haze so heavy it reduced visibility to only a few meters.
This phenomena was the cause of over 12,000 fatalities, which is unbelievable in itself and reminds me of the start of a post-apocalyptic film where things go real bad. This horrible event, however, did trigger the wheels of change as the public’s eyes opened up to the horrors of pollution, which then lead to developments in research, government regulation, and public awareness of the relationship between air quality and health.
The National Public Radio announcement during the time says: “Roads were littered with abandoned cars. Midday concerts were cancelled due to total darkness. Archivists at the British Museum found smog lurking in the book stacks. Cattle in the city’s Smithfield market were killed and thrown away before they could be slaughtered and sold — their lungs were black. On the second day of the smog, Saturday, Dec. 6, 500 people died in London. When the ambulances stopped running, thousands of gasping Londoners walked through the smog to the city’s hospitals. The lips of the dying were blue. Heavy smoking and chronic exposure to pollution had already weakened the lungs of those who fell ill during the smog. Particulates and acids in the killer brew finished the job by triggering massive inflammations. In essence, the dead had suffocated.”
The last day of the fog, Dec. 9, 1952, took 900 more lives, but then the merciful wind swept in unexpectedly and it all vanished like a bad dream.