Aberfan, remembered

20 Oct

Friday 21 October 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the tragic disaster in the coal mining community of Aberfan, which saw the community devastated when a coal spoil tip collapsed, engulfing a farm, a row of terraced houses and the school, killing 116 children and 28 adults.

The area above the village had been used as a tip for debris from the mining process for fifty years, and over time millions of tons had accumulated there. The days before the disaster struck had seen continued heavy rain, and on the morning of 21 October a subsidence occurred which sent 150,000 m³ (5,300,000 ft³) of material flowing downhill at high speed. 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.

At 9.15am, around Wales and in the rest of the United Kingdom, a minute’s silence is being held to mark the anniversary of the disaster. The Pembroke Dock Sunderland Trust will join others in this mark of respect by observing one minute’s silence.

Tags: , , , ,