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Aperfan Disaster 1966 - Essay Example

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The small village is surrounded by mines hence its major economic activity is mining. Most of the villagers earn their living from working in these…
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Aperfan Disaster 1966
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Download file to see previous pages In 1947 the British Government entity, National Coal Board (NCB) acquired the ownership of Merthyr Vale. This was after the Prime Minister Clement Atlee’s nationalized the coal industry with the aim of further industrializing Britain. Aberfan has a population of about 60,000 people. The population is made up of the English, Welsh and Irish mixture of people who came to work in the mines. The villagers have strong kinship ties which bond them together as a unit of one family depicting strong attachment they have for the village (Rapoport, 2005).
The mining operation yielded a great deal of excavated mining spoil comprising of debris, loose rock, slag and residues referred to as tip. This led to the establishment of about 7 tips for depositing the spoil. The seventh tip was located on the Merthyr mountainside overlooking the Aberfan village. The tips were created by emptying colliery rubbish loaded trams as one creates children sandcastles. The tips contained a mixture of coarse material and tailings (the finer materials) produced as waste at the mines. The first tip was opened during the First World War (1914-1918) (Madgewick, 1996). However, there were no regulations, restriction or legislations guiding the creation of tips and monitoring the tipping practice. This led to creation of tips without consultancy from a surveyor who was supposed to examine the proposed tip site by studying its geology, metrology, hydro-geology, the soil type and mechanism (Madgewick, 1996).
The surveyors usually give advice and recommendation about the proposed site advising if it is viable for carrying out the proposed project. Therefore, the NCB dumped the spoil on the mountainside indiscriminately. The tips were built over highly porous sandstones and directly above numerous underground springs. NCB found it economical i.e. time and cost saving to damp the spoil near the mining area instead of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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