On 16 February 1896, a freight train with eight trucks of dynamite - 2300 cases of 60lb each, or about 60 tonnes - was put in a siding at Braamfontein railway station. The dynamite was destined for nearby mines, but the mine's stores of dynamite were already full so the train was left in the siding - for days, in very hot weather - until there was somewhere to store the dynamite.
On the afternoon of 19 February, after labourers had started to unload the train, a shunter came to move it to another part of the siding; but after the impact of the shunter, the dynamite exploded. The explosion left a crater 60 metres long, 50 metres wide and 8 metres deep. The explosion was heard up to 200 kilometres away.
In 2012, artist Eduardo Cachuco created "Explosion, 1896", a complex artwork based on the explosion which was shown at the "looking glass" exhibition.
- "A Nauseous Pit of Death – the Braamfontein Dynamite Explosion". Retrieved 12 February 2013.[permanent dead link]
- "Dynamite explosion in Braamfontein".
- "Dynamite explosion". City of Johannesburg. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
- "The Dynamite Explosion Memorial in Braamfontein Cemetery". Archived from the original on 29 April 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2013.