“Buried Alive by the National Coal Board”

My heart goes out to all those still suffering the loss of family and friends all those years ago.

Gift of The Gob

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Fifty years ago today, disaster stuck a small town in the Welsh valleys. It was one of the first disasters to be widely reported on television and the shocking footage was seen around the world. Aberfan was a mining town, but this disaster did not strike the pit and its miners, but instead the vast majority of the victims were schoolchildren.

Coal-mining is a dangerous business but it is a dirty one too. It produces vast amounts of waste products. At the Merthyr Vale colliery, this waste rock, or spoil, had been piled into tips on the mountainside for decades. By the middle of the sixties, seven of these tips rose above Aberfan. Several of them had been built on porous sandstone, on top of underground springs. Concerns had been raised by the locals, especially given the proximity of the tips to Pantglas Schools, but the National Coal Board or…

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