The Bethnal Green Disaster
March 3, 2009 2:47 PM Subscribe
On March 3rd 1943, the worst civilian disaster
of the Second World War killed 173 people, including 62 children. During an air-raid alert, the noise of a new anti-aircraft battery panicked the crowd trying to get into the shelter at Bethnal Green tube station
. In the dark
, wet conditions, someone tripped and fell at the foot of the stairs, blocking the pathway and knocking others over in a domino effect. More and more people continued to pile in at the top leading to a massive and deadly crush.
In order not to unduly alarm the populace, many details of the disaster
at the time, and the report of the official inquiry was kept secret until after the war - only on the 50th anniversary was a memorial plaque erected. A proper memorial
is planned, which will list all the victims
. Their website also has a series of recollections
from survivors and relatives of victims.