It’s a day remembered by many.
Imagine seeing darkness overcome your town and an explosion in the sky as you tend to whatever busy schedule you’d have that day. It was precisely 1.15pm on 14th October 1975 that this happened in Malta - a day that would bring devastation to the southern Maltese town of Zabbar - and 45 years later, it’s still a day remembered by many.
The Vulcan Bomber plane exploded in the afternoon sky and crashed to the ground in the form of flaming metal pellets. As a result, the Royal Air Force’s crash in Triq is-Santwarju (Sanctuary Street), sprayed fuel everywhere, spreading flames that quickly had locals in a frenzy.
The five people on board the plane died in the crash (Flt Lt Pulman, Flt Lt Lambert, Sqn Ldr Beedon, Chief Tech Barrow and Sgt Atkins) and 48-year-old Vincenza Zammit also tragically lost her life after being hit by rocks that the plane sent flying. A total of 15 houses were severely damaged, some were hospitalised for inhalation of smoke, injuries and shock, and some even were rehoused in state housing. Luckily, the school children who were out in the yard at the time of the crash came out without a scratch, despite having one of the wings pelleting down in a field nearby.
It was said that the Vulcan Bomber was on a trial flight from the UK to Malta and to this day, no one knows why it actually exploded.
Nowadays, there’s a plaque in the street that commemorates the tragedy. Locals are still impressed (and thankful) that this event didn’t take more lives. The remains of the airplane can be found at the museum in Zabbar
Watch the incredible footage here:
Ghaqda Madonna tal-Grazzja Banda San Mikiel Zabbar AD 1883 / Facebook