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Ny-Ålesund: Coal grading plant

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The large concrete block used to be the coal grading plant at times when Ny-Ålesund was still a coal mining settlement. This was the place where coal was separated from stone. If you look closely, you can still see paint in shape of a coffin high up on the wall. There is a story behind this: After the mine accident in 1962 which caused 21 casualties, the number of victims was painted in large letters on the side of the building facing the fjord, to remind official visitors of the duties to ensure safety in the coalfield that they had neglected. The director found this a little bit too embarrassing and requested his workers to paint over the figures, which they did – in shape of a large coffin. This is still visible when you look from the fjord.

This part of Ny-Ålesund now looks a bit like an industrial area, with a lot of containers and other stuff being stored here. Not necessarily a place of touristic interest.

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last modification: 2019-01-21 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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