We know its in order to smell leaks, but what happened that someone realized this needed to be done?

A terrible disaster. Unfortunately, that is usually the case. But that is why there is a gift in every failure. So that we learn.

In this case, the event was the New London Schoolhouse explosion.

“I did nothing in my studies nor in my life to prepare me for a story of the magnitude of that New London tragedy, nor has any story since that awful day equaled it.” Walter Cronkite

Propane doesn’t smell. It’s odorless in its natural state. But if there is a leak, you smell a nasty odor.

Ever wonder why?

It would have been fortuitous if this had been done as more and more buildings began to use propane and gas for heating. But no one thought of doing it until they realized they had to.

Lessons learned that save lives later, often come at high cost.

The Facts

On March 18, 1937, a gas leak was sparked, causing an explosion that killed approximately 293 students and teachers at the New London School in New London, Texas. It is still the deadliest school disaster in U.S. History.

The cascade events leading up to the explosio, and all the mistakes and bad decisions are in Stuff Doesn’t Just Happen: The Gift of Failure.