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60 years since the great smog of London- in pictures   [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2015-12-2 08:45:58 |Display all floors
(From South China Morning Post and Sina)

On Friday 5 December 1952, a thick yellow smog brought the capital to a standstill for four days and is estimated to have killed more than 4,000 people. London's air may appear much cleaner today, but is still dangerously polluted. The coal pollution that caused the infamous 'pea soupers' has been replaced by invisible pollution – mainly from traffic fumes – resulting in 13,000 early deaths each year in the UK and 4,300 in London

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A London Transport inspector holding a flare leads a bus out of the terminus at Aldgate East as dense fog blanketed London, causing widespread traffic chaos. The great smog stopped traffic and trains, theatres and cinemas closed because the audience could not see the stage, prize cattle died at Smithfield show at Earl's Court, and the undertakers ran out of coffins

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Post time 2015-12-2 08:47:24 |Display all floors
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Morning traffic at Blackfriars, London, almost at a standstill because of the blanket smog. There had been smogs before, in every major conurbation. But London was the world's biggest city at the time and nearly all of its 8 million inhabitants used open coal fires. The blanket of cold air from the continent which became stationary over the capital caused the warm, smoke-laden air from homes and power stations to cool and fall back to Earth. It created a blanket of sulfurous smog so dense that visibility was less than half a metre

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Post time 2015-12-2 08:48:58 |Display all floors
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Heavy smog in Piccadilly Circus, London. The government's policies were at least partly to blame. To maximise revenue the UK was exporting its clean coal and keeping the sulphur-laden 'dirty' coal for UK power stations and domestic fires. The result was a combination of soot laden air and droplets of sulphuric acid lying in a 200ft-deep blanket across London, leading to the worst smog ever recorded


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Post time 2015-12-2 08:50:02 |Display all floors
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A London bus conductor is forced to walk ahead of his vehicle to guide it through the smog. Government estimates are that 24,000 people a year had their lives shortened as a result of air pollution

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Post time 2015-12-2 08:51:36 |Display all floors
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A tugboat on the Thames near Tower Bridge in heavy smog. The 'pea souper' brought about the first successful air pollution laws anywhere

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Post time 2015-12-2 08:52:11 |Display all floors
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Police using flames at Marble Arch to direct the traffic. The great smog was so thick people that could not see their feet. Some of the 4,000 who died in the five days it lasted did not suffer lung problems – they fell into the Thames and drowned because they could not see the river

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Post time 2015-12-2 08:59:20 |Display all floors
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This Daily Mail picture was taken at sunset from the top of Westminster Cathedral in 1953. London faced another killer smog in 1953 after 48 hours of fog trapped the smoke belching from millions of London's chimney pots

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