During a planned, nightly explosives detonation in the mine, an unusually large pocket of pressurized carbon dioxide was suddenly released, resulting in the ejection of large blocks of salt through the mine shaft at very high velocities.
The expanding gas as well as the blocks of salt demolished the building above the mine shaft, resulting in blocks of concrete being ejected as well.
Three died as a consequence, one from being hit by debris, two from asphyxiation.
- Hedlund, FH (2012). "The extreme carbon dioxide outburst at the Menzengraben potash mine 7 July 1953" (PDF). Safety Science. 50 (3): 537–53. doi:10.1016/j.ssci.2011.10.004.
- Hedlund, FH (2013). Past explosive outbursts of entrapped carbon dioxide in salt mines provide a new perspective on the hazards of carbon dioxide.. In Huang C and Kahraman C (2013). Intelligent systems and decision making for risk analysis and crisis response (PDF). CRC Press. pp. 763–769. doi:10.1201/b16038-108. ISBN 9781138000193. Archived from the original on 2015-01-09. Retrieved 2015-01-01.