Sunday 17 December 2017

London: Bethnal Green tube disaster memorial unveiled

A memorial has been unveiled to the 173 people who died in one of London’s deadliest single disasters of World War Two.   

On March 3, 1943, the BBC reported a 300 bomber raid on Berlin, and Londoners braced themselves for retaliation.   As sirens sounded, people headed for the shelters.   Then 500 yards from Bethnal Green tube station (pictured), a new battery of anti-aircraft rocket launchers opened fire.
There was a rush for the steps leading down to the station, and close to the bottom, a woman stumbled.     Others fell over her, and a deadly crush began.    Altogether 173 people were suffocated or crushed to death, including 62 children, and another 100 people were injured.    In fact, no bombs fell on the East End of London that night.
A survivor who was 8 at the time, said at today's ceremony that it was 'fantastic' to see the memorial finally unveiled 73 years after the event. He spent nine months in hospital after suffering injuries to his spleen, legs, neck and arms.

For more, see London's Disasters from Boudicca to the Banking Crisis. 

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