UK News: Aberfan disaster: What happened in the 1966 mining disaster which killed 144 people in Wales - and what caused it - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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UK News Aberfan disaster: What happened in the 1966 mining disaster which killed 144 people in Wales - and what caused it

19:00  21 october  2019
19:00  21 october  2019 Source:   inews.co.uk

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The Aberfan disaster was the catastrophic collapse of a colliery spoil tip at around 9:15 am on 21 October 1966 . The tip had been created on a mountain slope above the Welsh village of Aberfan

Approximately 150,000 cubic meters of mining debris from waste tip No. 7 surged down the mountainside, of which 40,000 cubic metres swept in to the village.

a man in a white uniform standing in front of a crowd © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

Fifty three years ago disaster struck the small Welsh mining village of Aberfan which saw the deaths of 144 people.

Pupils were just getting ready for lessons on October 21, 1966, when an avalanche of liquefied slurry from Merthyr Vale Colliery crashed down the hillside and claimed the lives of 116 children and 28 adults.

a crowd of people standing on top of a mountain © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

What caused the mining disaster?

The night before the disaster brought heavy rains, which lead to a build up of water in the colliery slag tip, which was stationed on a mountain top.

The next morning, the tip slid down the side of the hill in waves of 20-30 feet, engulfing a row of houses, a farm and a school with 1.5 million cubic feet of debris.

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Tragedy in the valleys. What was the Aberfan disaster Today marks the 50th anniversary of the mining tragedy which devastated the south Wales village, killing 144 people , most of them children. 50 years ago the Welsh village of Aberfan was devastated by a horrific mining disaster that But how did the tragedy happen , how was it allowed to occur and what happened afterwards?

Today 52 years ago, 144 people , mostly children, were killed in a mining disaster in Aberfan , south Wales . Liquefied waste came sliding down a hillside onto the village's primary However, the warnings were ignored - and the fight for justice afterwards left many in the village feeling even more angry.

Pantglas Junior School was struck by the avalanche which filled the classrooms with thick mud and rubble, and destroyed much of the building's structure.

Helpers filling sandbags on the tip above the shattered Pantglas Junior School to divert a spring and avert the risk of further landslides (Photo: Fox Photos/Getty)

There were 240 attendees at the school that morning, of which 109 children and five teachers were killed. Some of the staff died attempting to protect the children including the deputy headmaster and dinner lady.

Around 18 of the surrounding houses were also destroyed by the debris slide, and many other residents were forced to evacuate their homes.

What happened in the aftermath of the disaster?

Following the rescue efforts and retrieval of victims' bodies, which took a week, a tribunal was appointed to investigate the disaster.

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What disaster happened in 1966 involving a slag heap and a school? Five teachers and 116 young pupils died at the Pantglas Junior School in Aberfan , Wales on Friday, October 21, 1966 . The village and school were inundated by liquified coal slurry from a nearby colliery.

What disaster happened in 1966 involving a slag heap and a school? The Aberfan disaster . A survey conducted by the BMJ found that the number of children killed in the disaster had been The Aberfan landslide (also known as the Aberfan disaster ) occurred in the village of Aberfan , in Wales

Launched on 2 November, it heard 76 days' worth of evidence from over 100 witnesses.

The tribunal ruled responsibility for the accident lay primarily with the National Coal Board (NCB) and nine of its employees.

On the 21st of October 1966, 116 children and 28 adults were killed in the horrific Aberfan disaster caused by the failure and callousness of the National Coal Board. We remember those who lost their lives and stand with the community of #Aberfan always. pic.twitter.com/uZwGY9H04B

— Plaid Cymru (@Plaid_Cymru) October 21, 2019

However, the company was not prosecuted and none of its staff members faced repercussions. Instead an offer of £500 was made to each bereaved family, which many believed to be insufficient.

The tribunal also made several recommendations, including an extension of the 1954 Mines and Quarries Act to cover tips and a National Tip Safety Committee to advise the government.

A disaster fund was later set up by the mayor of Merthyr Tydfil and it totalled £1.75m which was shared among the victims' families.

In 1997, the Welsh government donated £1.5m to the Aberfan Memorial Charity and £500,000 to the Aberfan Education Charity.

Later the same year the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh planted a tree at the Aberfan Memorial Garden.

Memorial events took place to mark the 50th anniversary of the disaster in 2016. Among those who attended were the Prince of Wales and government ministers.

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