The Aberfan Disaster 1966

Posted By
Steve, UK, Remember the Aberfan Disaster

It is strange when a TV documentary brings back something so vivid and terrible that happened over 40 years ago.

I can remember the Aberfan Disaster playing out on the TV and it seems so sharp in my mind like it was yesterday.

I was a normal 16 year old who did not pay much attention to the news but I can remember watching the Aberfan disaster unfold on the TV so clearly and even as I am writing this 40 years later I can feel my eyes watering.

To any who do not remember or are to young let me explain.

Aberfan is a small mining village in the valleys in Wales and it was surrounded by mines, most of the villagers worked in the mines. The mining company took all the sludge and waste mostly black because of the soot and built it into giant sludge heaps wherever they could get away with it , and one of these heaps was over 700 ft high towering over the local school. The area had had quite a bit of rain in the previous two weeks which unbeknown to anyone was causing cracks in this sludge heap and instead of disintegrating slowly in small amounts the whole bloody thing just gave way and covered the school completely.

I can remember watching the news on the BBC and just couldn't believe something like that could happen , the rescuers mostly local miners were on their hands and knees digging through the sludge hoping to save some of the children but I am afraid because of the amount and weight very few children were saved , I believe over 100 children died that day and I can remember reports that the headmaster was found with 5 children in his arms trying to save them


  1. I was a young trainee reporter working for a newspaper in Cardiff and went with a much older and wiser reporter to Aberfan , and it was the first time I had seen a grown man cry , he had been born and lived in the mining area's for many years. He also ended up on his knees digging in the slush just hoping to save a child.

  2. i was only a school kid when the disaster happened o all the school was in a panic some died i was one of the few that survived it was a hurrendes day

  3. i was only a school kid when it happened some kids died at school i survived one of the few that did

  4. my uncle died down the mine when it happened

  5. my cousin Norma was killed in the school we were the same age i still reamber her like it was yesterday