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Big Environmental Disasters

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The Great Smog. From December 5 to December 9, 1952, London was shrouded in a thick layer of smog, caused by windless conditions and cold weather that prompted Londoners to burn more coal to keep warm. Visibility was reduced to only a few feet, and car, bus, and air transport ground to a halt. A Ministry of Health report estimated that 4,075 died as a result of the poor air quality and another 100,000 were sickened; more recent research suggests that the Great Smog, as it became known, killed 12,000 people.

PHOTO: Newscom/File

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