Aberfan tragedy

Aberfan tragedy

The tragedy that occurred on October 21, 1966 in the city of Aberfan, Wales County, United Kingdom. As a result of a man-made disaster, 144 people died, not the most widespread, but one of the most tragic events of the 20th century, in which 116 children aged 7 to 10 years died.

A few days before the fatal incident, torrential rains came and gradually eroded the slag heap - an artificial dump of spent rock that had been piling on a very porous layer of sandstone for over 50 years. On the early morning of October 21, 1966, more than 150 cubic meters of saturated rock rushed downward toward the village at high speed. Most of the landslide settled on gentle slopes, the rest rushed to the village, burying 20 houses and an elementary school, which was the last school day before the holidays. Classes only began when a flood of mud, stones, earth and coal slag fell on the school. The children were literally buried alive. Most of the victims received multiple injuries, died of asphyxiation or a skull fracture.

As soon as the landslide stopped, residents rushed to pull the victims out from under the rubble. Volunteers from all over the region took part in the rescue work as soon as they heard about the tragedy. In the first hour, several children were found alive; in the following hours, only the bodies were dug out.

The commission investigating the incident concluded that the blame for the incident lay with the National Coal Industry Directorate (NCB), which the local authorities had long before the tragedy about the dangerous neighborhood of the village and the dump, but their appeals were ignored by the NCB leaders. After the investigation, neither NCB Chairman Lord Robins Woldingham nor any other officials were punished or lost their positions.

One of the parents demanded to change the official cause of death of his child from “asphyxiation” to “buried alive by the National Coal Industry Authority”.

Subsequently, in 1969, the British government passed a law on waste dumps of mines and quarries (eng. Mines and Quarries (Tips) Act 1969), thereby correcting the absence of laws and regulations on waste dumps.The new law was an extension of the earlier law of 1954 on mines and quarries, in which the safety of dumps was not considered at all. In addition, in accordance with the law of 1954, the tragedy in Aberfan was not even within the competence of the Inspectorate of Mines and Quarries, because it did not occur at the mine and none of the miners were hurt.

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  • Aberfan tragedy

    Aberfan tragedy

    Aberfan tragedy

    Aberfan tragedy

    Aberfan tragedy

    Aberfan tragedy

    Aberfan tragedy

    Aberfan tragedy

    Aberfan tragedy

    Aberfan tragedy

    Aberfan tragedy

    Aberfan tragedy

    Aberfan tragedy

    Aberfan tragedy

    Aberfan tragedy

    Aberfan tragedy

    Aberfan tragedy

    Aberfan tragedy

    Aberfan tragedy

    Aberfan tragedy

    Aberfan tragedy

    Aberfan tragedy

    Aberfan tragedy

    Aberfan tragedy

    Aberfan tragedy