Dam Burst

On This Day……… 4th April 1929

Early in April 1929, heavy rainfalls of 450mm saturated the catchment above the Briseis Dam, in Tasmania. On the 4th of April 1929, another 125mm was dumped in the space of an hour and a half. The deluge broke the dam, sending a wall of water down into the valley, which swamped the town of Derby and the Briseis Dam. Fourteen people were killed in the only dam-burst in Australia’s history to date to cause loss of life. The final body was recovered early in May. A coroner’s inquest concluded that no blame for the deaths could be attached to the Briseis Company, either in the construction of the dam, or in the safety standards of the tin mine.