Karen Thomas
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Surviving Aberfan: Karen Thomas - saved by a dinner lady

Fifty years ago 116 children and 28 adults were killed by a roaring avalanche of coal waste in the mining village of Aberfan.

Coal waste dumped in huge tips on the mountain above the village started to cascade down, becoming an unstoppable and deadly force.

It crashed into Pant Glas Junior School and houses directly below the tips, causing death and destruction.

Schoolgirl Karen Thomas and four other children had gone to pay dinner lady Nansi Williams their dinner money in the corridor.

"At the other end of the hall glass started coming down the corridor from the head mistress's room and Nansi the dinner lady jumped on top of us," said Mrs Thomas. "The wall I think more or less pushed us all together and she took the full impact."

The five children were found trapped alive beneath the body of the dinner lady.

"It's only down to Nansi that I'm here today. I'll never be able to thank her enough for saving us."

  • 17 Oct 2016
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