-- BBC --
On the night of 10 October 1957 a fire broke out in Pile Number one at Windscale. The reactor had been loaded beyond its original design limit in order to provide materials for Britain's nuclear weapons programme.
Nuclear fuel cartridges caught fire, releasing contaminants into the atmosphere via the reactors air cooling system. As fire ripped through the pile, the staff at Windscale struggled to find a way to extinguish it and avert disaster, a situation no-one had ever faced before.