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Last Updated: Friday, 21 March 2008, 11:04 GMT
MPs back WWII disaster memorial
Commemorative plaque
Survivors want a better tribute than the existing plaque
MPs are supporting a campaign for a memorial to the 173 people who died in what was one of Britain's worst incidents during World War II.

The Bethnal Green Tube disaster took place 65 years ago this month. People were crushed following an air raid warning.

A plaque at the east London station serves as a reminder but survivors want a more permanent memorial.

Andrew Rosindell MP has tabled a Commons motion to support the campaign.

The Tory MP for Romford's motion has been backed by nine other MPs.

This permanent memorial has got to happen
Survivor Alf Morris

The disaster, in which 62 children lost their lives, happened on 3 March 1943.

The crush is thought to have started when a woman with a baby tripped in the darkness on wet steps.

The warning was, in fact, British troops testing equipment in nearby Victoria Park.

Speaking at the memorial service held on the exact 65th anniversary this month, survivor Alf Morris, who was 13 years old at the time of the tragedy, said: "This permanent memorial has got to happen."

Mr Rosindell said he gave his full support to the Stairway to Heaven Trust, which is campaigning for the permanent memorial to be erected on the steps to Bethnal Green station.

Bethnal Green and Bow MP George Galloway introduced a similar early day motion a year ago which attracted the support of 37 MPs.

The campaigners believe the crush caused the greatest loss of civilian life through any single incident in Britain during WWII, although a similar number died when a packed air raid shelter suffered a direct hit by a bomb in Stoke Newington, north London, in October 1940.

Fatal wartime Tube crush marked
02 Mar 08 |  London


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