116 children and 28 adults died as a coal waste heap slid and engulfed a school in Aberfan, South Wales, on this day in 1966.
What was the Aberfan Disaster?
The Aberfan disaster occurred when a large colliery spoil tip (coal waste heap) collapsed and slid down a mountainside, burying a primary school and several houses in Aberfan, a village in South Wales. The spoil tip's collapse was primarily caused by a combination of factors, including heavy rainfall in the days leading up to the disaster, the instability of the spoil tip, and inadequate engineering and safety measures. The spoil tip was constructed on a layer of waterlogged clay, and the weight of the accumulated waste material eventually caused it to collapse.
What were the immediate and long term consequences of the Aberfan Disaster?
The immediate consequence was the loss of life (116 children and 28 adults ) and the devastation of the village. In the long term, the disaster led to changes in mining and safety regulations in the UK. The National Coal Board, which operated the colliery, was heavily criticized for its role in the disaster.
Was anyone held accountable for the Aberfan Disaster?
While there were investigations and inquiries into the disaster, including the Aberfan Disaster Tribunal, which reported its findings in 1967, no individuals were held criminally responsible. However, the National Coal Board was criticized for its negligence in maintaining the spoil tip.
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