21st October 1966: 144 people killed in the Aberfan disaster

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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.

Within seconds a large area of the village was inundated with a thick slurry up to 12 metres deep. A farm and twenty houses on Moy Road disappeared under the surging waste, but the most devastation was wrought on Pantglas Junior School. The landslide smashed into the school and filled the classrooms, which were on the side of the school facing the mountain, with rubble. The children and teachers, who had only arrived a few minutes earlier, were buried alive. Over half the children enrolled at the school died.

Hundreds of people including parents, miners and rescue workers struggled to rescue those trapped beneath the waste. Their efforts were hampered by the continuing flow of water and mud from the tip as well as the lack of space in which to work due to the number of people who had descended on the village to help.

The National Coal Board and its chairman, Alfred Lord Robens, were heavily criticised in the aftermath of the disaster. Lord Robens didn’t go to the scene until the evening of the next day, and claimed that the disaster was caused by ‘natural unknown springs’ despite evidence that the NCB was fully aware that the ground beneath the tips was unstable. The remaining tips were only removed after government intervention.


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  1. When will people realise that the queen and the royal family are psychopaths. They are totally void of empathy, who care little for their own children much less us 'commoners'. Same goes with their ilk. Lord whatsis from the coal board. Didn't attend but dressed up to be given a university honour. Look at Prince andrew and his demenour, wondering what all the fuss is about. Stop pandering to these ritualistic satanists.

  2. And coal is dirt and coal is hurt and coal is money gone from Wales.And coal is Aberfan fy Nuw…That black black coal is coffin nails…Herbert Williams.Poet.

  3. I remember this and i still tear up just thinking about what happened. I watched the news before going to school and remember the early reports (east coast USA in Maryland)….Here I was going to school…..and here I am today revisiting this disaster. I never forgot what happened on October 21, 1966 I think of this tragedy every-so-often…It makes one realize you never know what a day will bring. Let's remember to love our neighbors as ourselves….

  4. Always remember learning about this as a child, but watching the crown gives you a very sad visual of what it would have looked like absolutely heartbreaking ??

  5. My grandad went to that school. He was only 8 years old, but luckly he was sick and didn't go to school that day. His best friend Eli died. RIP to all them poor children and adults who died. ??

  6. Never heard of this until I just watched it on The Crown. Horrifying! Crying over 40 years later for these little ones lost. 🙁 Can you even imagine….

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