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WATCH: Did you know about the devastating Zabbar Vulcan Bomber crash of 1975?
What might it have been like to experience such a tragedy?

Melanie Drury

It is 1.15pm on 14th October 1975. You hear a loud explosion and look up in the direction of the sound.

You see a fireball in the sky, which disintegrates and begins to fall in pieces to the ground. There are also two parachutes.

It's a plane. It just exploded. And it is crashing down on Sanctuary Street in Zabbar as big pieces of flaming metal.


You hear screams as panic grips the townsfolk. There are deafening sounds like bombs and gun shots as the wreckage falls to the ground.

Oil from the plane washes down over several houses and cars on the street. Fire is spreading everywhere.

You hear the screaming of children as a huge piece of wreckage - the part containing three engines and the wheels - falls into a field by the playing field.


Within minutes of a wing falling on the street, you hear say that your neighbour, Vincenza Zammit, was claimed its victim. She had been heading home from the grocery store. She has a husband and two children.

You hear say that 15 houses are severely damaged as the firefighters, rescue team and RAF rush to the scene. More loud sounds reach your ears as buildings crumble to the ground under the fire and water pressure from firefighters.

Some of your friends and neighbours have been hospitalised for injuries, inhalation of smoke and shock. Others have been moved to temporary state housing.

That's what might have been your experience had you been in Zabbar on that fateful day of 14th October 1975.


Eventually you discover that it was a Mark III Vulcan Bomber of the Royal Airforce that shook your bones and your village.

It had been on a trial flight from England to Malta and exploded in midair for reasons yet unknown.

Five Royal Air Force servicemen also perished along with civilian Vincenza Zammit. They were Flt Lt Pulman, Flt Lt Lambert, Sqn Ldr Beedon, Chief Tech Barrow and Sgt Atkins.

Watch the the incredible footage about the crash here:

Video Credit: Mill-Arkivji (From the Archives) was a television programme broadcast on TVM (Television Malta) between 2007-2009.


10th September 2019

Melanie Drury
Written by
Melanie Drury
Melanie was born and raised in Malta and has spent a large chunk of her life travelling solo around the world. Back on the island with a new outlook, she realised just how much wealth her little island home possesses.

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