3 MAY 1940, Page 3

The Explosion at Clacton

The disaster at Clacton is the first experience on a large scale in this country of the effects of air warfare upon civilians. The provisional list of six dead (including four of the crew) and i6 wounded shows what appalling loss may be suffered from a single large aeroplane loaded with explosives if it falls in a congested area. This was not, of course, a deliberate attack by the enemy on an open town. The bomber was brought down by our own anti-aircraft fire and fell with all its explosive cargo among the houses of the town. That cargo happened to• be a mine, not bombs, and the damage was, therefore, the greater. The speed and efficiency with which the A.R.P. hastened to the rescue show the wisdom of keeping defensive organisation at full strength at every populous centre.