The Incident was a 1977 drilling accident at the Swan construction site that unleashed a large amount of electromagnetic energy. Though the Swan station originally aimed to harness this energy, the DHARMA Initiative had to change its goal after they punctured the electromagnetic pocket. They instead constructed the station to contain the energy with large amounts of concrete, using a protocol to regulate the anomaly.
Lead-up and outcome
Main Article: The Incident, Parts 1 & 2
After discovering that Jack, Kate and Hurley had joined the DHARMA Initiative, Daniel Faraday returned to the Island and warned them that he believed a catastrophic event was imminent. He convinced Pierre Chang that he was from the future and had knowledge of the accident, and he revealed to Jack that he believed it could be avoided by detonating a bomb at the Swan construction site.
Chang tried to convince Radzinsky to cease drilling into the energy pocket, but Radzinsky refused to cooperate. A violent struggle erupted, but Chang and the time-travelers gained the upper hand. Jack dropped the plutonium core taken from the bomb into the drilling pit. The pocket nonetheless began pulling metal objects into the pit. Juliet fell in and struck the undetonated bomb several times with a rock. A white flash of light followed the 8th hit.
The time travelers moved forward 30 years to 2007, leaving the Others, including Richard, to later conclude they'd died.
References to the Incident
Swan Orientation film
Dr. Chang, using the pseudonym Marvin Candle, mentioned the Incident in the Swan Orientation Film, saying that it occurred soon after the station began operations. He warned against using the Swan computer for communication, saying that doing so could cause another incident. ("What Kate Did") Kelvin Inman referred to the Incident as a "leak" responsible for the charge buildup that the Swan protocol managed. ("Live Together, Die Alone")
Blast door map
The blast door map contains the following references to incident(s):
The Incident Room
In the video game Lost: Via Domus, Elliott Maslow discovered "The Incident Room" on the other side of the concrete wall. The Incident Room was accessed by a tunnel and a large locked door near the exterior of the Swan.
The room contained a large reactor amongst a room full of severely damaged equipment. The reactor was tilted to one side and discharged electricity and a fluid that looks like water. The reactor had the appearance of two large electromagnetic coils suspended over an excavation into the Island. Unlike the Swan, the Incident Room's machinery was in a state of disrepair. The Incident Room also had its own computer, much like the Swan's.
It is possible that the room was built to help stabilize the anomaly after the Incident occurred and that at some point soon after a second "incident" happened causing the room to be sealed and the button having to be pushed.
Other usages of "incident"
- The Hotel Manager told Jack that his father Christian Shephard had been involved in "an incident" at the hotel bar. ("White Rabbit")
- Hurley mentioned that there was an "incident" at the caves when Claire was attacked. ("Raised by Another")
- In the flash-sideways timeline, as Sayid repaired a vase he informed Nadia there had been "an unfortunate incident involving a boomerang." ("Sundown")