Aberfan

OldTaff

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On this day 54 years ago a clock stopped at 9:15am - and with it stopped the lives of 116 children & 28 adults when a spoil tip from coal mining became waterlogged and crashed down a Welsh mountainside engulfing a small school and all it‘s occupants.

In a moment an entire generation from a small community was wiped out.

It happened the year before I was born but we were taught about it as kids, we visited the cemetery too pay our respects and schools do the same today lest we never forget.

My father worked in Ebbw Vale steelworks was one of several hundred who answered the urgent call for able bodied men to help with the rescue attempt - they laboured with picks and shovels or bare hands where there were no more tools.

To his last days he could not look at the cemetery as we drove through the valley past the village without breaking down in tears, something I’ve seen repeated with others who were there. We take a minutes silence to remember and pray those left can forget some of the grief and pain they still carry with them.
 

Lee Richards

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An excellent post for the wrong reasons.
Sadly with the passing of time the memory of the events of that day lessen.
 

Neil ofthe nene

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There are, sadly, many instances of accidental mass deaths. Some I recall -

1971, Ibrox Stadium, 66 dead
1943, Bethnal Green Tube Station, 173 dead
1975, Moorgate Tube Station, 43 dead
1989 Hillsborough, 96 dead
1985 Heysel Stadium, 39 dead
 

Lee Richards

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I am doing a H&S NEBOSH supplement on fire safety at the moment and at last week's course we watched rarely shown footage of the Bradford Stadium fire.
One of the fatalities was a male who was walked from the terrace with his coat smouldering and then his head hair suddenly combusted.
He later died from his burns along with another 55 others.
The fire doors were locked to stop fans from getting in for free.
 

160642fishing

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I am doing a H&S NEBOSH supplement on fire safety at the moment and at last week's course we watched rarely shown footage of the Bradford Stadium fire.
One of the fatalities was a male who was walked from the terrace with his coat smouldering and then his head hair suddenly combusted.
He later died from his burns along with another 55 others.
The fire doors were locked to stop fans from getting in for free.
The thing I remember most about that tragedy was the speed that the fire ran along the underside of the roof.
 

Lee Richards

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I remember the very day as was sat with my dad watching Grandstand, then they cut to the ground and it was already starting.
It engulfed the entire wooden stand with its bitumen covered tarpaulin roof in a couple of minutes
 

SpenBeck

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I saw the thick black smoke cloud from my back garden as I only live 6 miles away! :(
 

H T B

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There are, sadly, many instances of accidental mass deaths. Some I recall -

1971, Ibrox Stadium, 66 dead
1943, Bethnal Green Tube Station, 173 dead
1975, Moorgate Tube Station, 43 dead
1989 Hillsborough, 96 dead
1985 Heysel Stadium, 39 dead
Add the Bradford stadium fire to the list. 56 died! 1985
 

RedhillPhil

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Go back further to railway accidents and the daddy of them all was Britain's worst peacetime disaster at Quintishill.
226 dead
246 injured.
 

Geoff P

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Tantric Socks

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A week ago today in 1913 439 miners died at Senghenydd

Interesting piece about Aberfan. the NCB were a disgrace

 

NoCarpPlease

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The worst involving children, which was the real tragedy.

I remember driving in to work at the MOD building in London while on exercise, when we arrived we heard of the tragedy, it was a very quiet building that day.
True. And within living memory for many of the Members here. Only one year before I was born.

My grandfather, in his retirement, pioneered some low tech and low cost methods of stabilising old colliery spoil heaps in Lancashire with vegetation cover.
 

nejohn

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I remember Aberfan, I was in my 1st year at school and when I got home there were several coaches parked up in the village some of the miners from the Durham coal field got off the bus bringing them from their shift down the pit and jumped straight on the coach to take them down to South Wales to give whatever help they could, my best friends farther amongst them, I spoke to him much later and he said it was probably one of the worst experiences of his life
 

PeteC

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There are times when items of news in days past appear on t.v and it stops you in your tracks... Aberfan is one such event. I remember the footage very well..I was 10 at the time and there was an eerie silence in the house when the story broke..it's the same now and the black and white footage and the look of sheer desperation on the faces of everyone are heartbreaking.
I remember the other harrowing stories too..Bradford, Heysal, Moorgate, Hillsborough and more modern 9/11 etc...there's just something at the time that you just can't comprehend and it's not until you see it years later that the gravity and full story hit home...so very sad.
 

Ken the Pacman

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I was a similar age to many of the dead and I remember the coverage well down to the muttering from my Grandmother about how could they allow it to happen, somebody must have known the potential for a slag heap to have a landslide or was it a case of nobody cared until it happened.
 

Yosemite Sam

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I was a similar age to many of the dead and I remember the coverage well down to the muttering from my Grandmother about how could they allow it to happen, somebody must have known the potential for a slag heap to have a landslide or was it a case of nobody cared until it happened.
I’ve heard that a lot of the old miners and local experts warned the powers that be from the local coal mine that this could happen. They were fobbed off and ignore.
 

Maesknoll

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I can remember this on the day, not in great detail as I was still at infant school, but it was (obviously) a extensively reported event.
 
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