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In early October 1966, a ten-year-old Welsh schoolgirl named Eryl Mai Jones had something important to tell her mother. "Mummy," she said, "I'm not afraid to die." "You're too young to be talking about dying," her mother said. "Do you want a lollipop?"
On October 20, Eryl Mai woke up after having a memorable dream.” Mummy, let me tell you about my dream last night," she said. "Darling, I've no time now. Tell me again later." "No, Mummy, you must listen," she said. "I dreamt I went to school and there was no school there. Something black had come down all over it.
Her mother thought nothing more about the dream. After all, they lived in Aberfan, Wales, a poor coal-mining town. Perched high on a hill overlooking Aberfan was a coal tip, where waste from the mining process was dumped. The Aberfan coal tip caused many residents of the town to worry for their safety. So when Eryl Mai's mother heard her dream, she may have concluded that her fear of the ever-present coal tip had provoked it.
Eryl Mai went off to Pantglas Junior School that day as usual. Nothing unusual happened. The next day, Friday, October 21, she did the same. But at 9:15 that morning, the coal tip gave way, sending tons of coal sludge, water, and boulders to the village below. The avalanche mowed down everything in its path, including stone houses and trees, and swept toward the Pantglas School, where it crushed the back of the school.
In all, 144 people were killed, most of them children at the school. Eryl Mai Jones was one of the victims.