Dams, lives and statistics: the worst dam collapses in Britain

10 August 2019

9:00 AM

10 August 2019

9:00 AM

Dams, lives and statistics

The town of Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire, was evacuated after heavy rainfall caused the partial collapse of a reservoir slipway. No one has been killed in a dam collapse in Britain since 1925, but the worst incidents up to that date were:

— Dale Dyke, Sheffield, 1864. Puddle clay core of dam fractured while the reservoir behind it was being filled for the first time. 244 were killed.
—Biberry Dam, Holmfirth, W. Yorkshire, 1852. Dam had settled since construction 17 years earlier. Water overtopped the dam during a storm, causing collapse. 81 died.
— Whinhill Dam, Greenock, 1835. Embankment had been undermined by burrowing rats and moles. 31 died.
— Dolgarrog, N. Wales, 1925. Leak in upper dam caused its failure. Cascading water caused collapse of lower dam. Later examination suggested the foundations had been unsatisfactory. 16 were killed.

The fruits of no deal

There were more claims that supplies of fruit and vegetables will be constrained in the event of a no-deal Brexit. What is our balance of trade in food with the EU?
(Figures represent billions of pounds)

Fruit and vegetables
11.1 / 1.2
6.7 / 1.8
3.9 / 2.1
Dairy and eggs
3.2 / 1.8
3.2 / 1.9

Source: HMRC

Who pays income tax?

According to an analysis by the IFS, 43 per cent of adults pay no income tax at all.
Earnings p.a. of the 57 per cent who do:

50th percentile
90th percentile
99th percentile
99.5th percentile
99.9th percentile


Piling on the pounds

BBC presenter Michael Buerk claimed that obese people save the NHS money by dying earlier. Is he right?
— A study by the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in 2008 looked at the lifetime healthcare costs of three theoretical groups of 20-year-olds: obese; healthy-living; and smokers.
— The obese group, it concluded, would live an average of 59.9 further years and incur lifetime healthcare costs of €250,000.
— The healthy group would live 64.4 more years and incur costs of €281,000.
— The smokers would live 57.4 more years and incur costs of €220,000.

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