The Aberfan Disaster Remembered 50 Years On

I was 8 when this occurred and I still remember watching the pictures on TV with horror

Stephen Liddell

Yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of one of the worst post-war disasters in Britain when on an ordinary October day, a quiet village in South Wales literally had the world fall in on them.


The village of Aberfan sat beneath the spoil tips of the Merthyr Vale Colliery.   Throughout the 20th century coal had been dumped on the hillsides above the village.  The locals had long protested that they were unsafe but their concerns had been ignored.  What had also been ignored was that the spoil heaps were much taller than the National Coal Boards own safety recommendations.   The facts that the spoil was splace on such a steep slope and blocked natural springs meant that they were fundamentally unstable and sooner or later disaster was bound to strike.

Early on the morning of Friday, 21 October 1966, after several days of heavy rain, a subsidence of approximately 10–20 feet…

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