50th Anniversary of the Aberfan Disaster

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aberfan graves

Tomorrow at 9:15am, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Aberfan disaster, there will be a minutes silence across the United Kingdom.

The disaster happened when a colliery spoil tip collapsed in Aberfan, a village near Merthyr Tydfil, Wales. It resulted in the deaths of 144 people including 116 children. The collapse was caused by the build-up of water in the accumulated rock and shale tip, which suddenly slid downhill in the form of a slurry.

aberfan_cemeteryMore than 1.4 million cubic feet of debris covered the village in minutes.

The classrooms at Pantglas Junior School were immediately inundated; young children and teachers died from impact or suffocation. If the disaster had struck a few minutes earlier, the children would not have been in their classrooms, and if it had struck a few hours later, they would have left for the half-term holiday.