Disasters Underground
Nick McCamley
Home Fauld Llanberis Linley Chilmark Posion Gas

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Llanberis in north Wales and Harpur Hill in Derbyshire were artificial underground depots which consisted of concrete vaults built in worked-out quarries covered with forty feet of loose rock. But in an effort to save money their construction was under-specified – with disastrous effect!

On 25 January 1942 an ammunition train was about to be unloaded in the underground sidings at Llanberis when nearly half the depot suddenly collapsed like a house of cards and as the fragile arches gave way thousands of tons of loose rock poured in from above.

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