Gunpowder Factory, Muiden

In 1702 the hazardous production of gunpowder was removed from the city of Amsterdam. The vroedschap of Muiden granted a permit to Reinier van Cuyk of Amsterdam to build a gunpowder mill just west of Muiden that same year.

The factory flourished during the First World War, was liquidated in 1919, and was restarted in 1922. During the 20th century its production steadily increased and the town grew towards the factory. In 1972 it was renamed "Muiden Chemie". In the 1980s, it was accused of illegal shipments to Iran. In 1990 Muiden Chemie went bankrupt and was taken over by Britse Royal Ordnance, part of British Aerospace. After a fire in 2001 and ongoing concerns over safety, it was decided to close the factory permanently.

Explosions since 1883:

  • January 9, 1883: explosion on the factory premises, resulting in 13 deaths and much damage to the factory and Muiden;
  • 1886: explosion, 2 deaths. Destroyed a part of the factory;
  • 1924/1925: several explosions, 1 death;
  • January 17, 1947: explosion of collected grenades on the factory premises, 17 deaths and much damage in Muiden;
  • 1948: a grenade exploded, 1 death;
  • 1949: explosion in a powder mill, 1 death;
  • June 13, 1963: explosion in the storage depot, no casualties;
  • June 2, 1966: explosion in the TNT factory, many injuries and much damage in Muiden;
  • December 8, 1972: explosion in drying chamber, 2 deaths, much damage in Muiden;
  • May 30, 1983: explosion, 3 deaths;
  • September 9, 1983: explosion, 1 death;
  • August 20, 2001: fire in packing materials storage, no explosions, no casualties.