Europe

50 years on, UK marks mine disaster that killed 128 children

  • FILE - In this Oct. 22, 1966 file photo, rescue workers shovel the wet coal waste 28 hours after it slipped down the man-made mountain of coal waste and engulfed the Pantglas Junior School, and some houses, in Aberfan, Wales. Fifty years ago on Friday Oct. 21, 2016, an avalanche of mine waste swept down on a Welsh village and killed 116 children and 28 adults. Britain recalls the disaster that led to tougher rules on safety and fed a distrust of government that continues to this day. (AP Photo/File)

    FILE - In this Oct. 22, 1966 file photo, rescue workers shovel the wet coal waste 28 hours after it slipped down the man-made mountain of coal waste and engulfed the Pantglas Junior School, and some houses, in Aberfan, Wales. Fifty years ago on Friday Oct. 21, 2016, an avalanche of mine waste swept down on a Welsh village and killed 116 children and 28 adults. Britain recalls the disaster that led to tougher rules on safety and fed a distrust of government that continues to this day. (AP Photo/File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - This Thursday Oct. 13, 2016 file photo shows the memorial garden dedicated to the victims of the Aberfan disaster that was built on the site of Pantglas Junior School in Aberfan Wales, as the 50th anniversary of the tragedy approaches. Fifty years ago on  Friday Oct. 21, 1966, an avalanche of mine waste swept down on a Welsh village and killed 116 children and 28 adults. Britain recalls the disaster that led to tougher rules on safety and fed a distrust of government that continues to this day (Steve Parsons/PA File via AP)

    FILE - This Thursday Oct. 13, 2016 file photo shows the memorial garden dedicated to the victims of the Aberfan disaster that was built on the site of Pantglas Junior School in Aberfan Wales, as the 50th anniversary of the tragedy approaches. Fifty years ago on Friday Oct. 21, 1966, an avalanche of mine waste swept down on a Welsh village and killed 116 children and 28 adults. Britain recalls the disaster that led to tougher rules on safety and fed a distrust of government that continues to this day (Steve Parsons/PA File via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Oct. 22, 1966 file photo, rescue workers shovel the wet coal waste 28 hours after it slipped down the man-made mountain of coal waste and engulfed the Pantglas Junior School, and some houses, in Aberfan, Wales. Fifty years ago on Friday Oct. 21, 2016, an avalanche of mine waste swept down on a Welsh village and killed 116 children and 28 adults. Britain recalls the disaster that led to tougher rules on safety and fed a distrust of government that continues to this day. (AP Photo/File)

    FILE - In this Oct. 22, 1966 file photo, rescue workers shovel the wet coal waste 28 hours after it slipped down the man-made mountain of coal waste and engulfed the Pantglas Junior School, and some houses, in Aberfan, Wales. Fifty years ago on Friday Oct. 21, 2016, an avalanche of mine waste swept down on a Welsh village and killed 116 children and 28 adults. Britain recalls the disaster that led to tougher rules on safety and fed a distrust of government that continues to this day. (AP Photo/File)  (The Associated Press)

People across Britain fell silent to mark 50 years since a mountain of coal sludge collapsed onto a Welsh village, killing more than 140 people in one of the country's worst mining disasters.

On Oct. 21, 1966, a mine dump above Aberfan collapsed, sending 2 million tons of waste cascading downhill, demolishing 18 homes and Pantglas Junior School. The wave of rubble killed 116 children and 28 adults.

Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones said it was "a truly heart-breaking moment in our history, and no one who learns about the disaster can fail to be profoundly moved by it."

A minute's silence was held Friday at 9:15 a.m., the exact moment disaster struck.

Later, Prince Charles is due to meet survivors and unveil a plaque in memory of the victims.