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Surviving the Killer Smog
Local Resident Speaks to Third-Year Class at Trent University

Bruce Knapp, well-known writer and local activist, visited the Trent campus on Thursday, September 19 to speak to a group of third-year students studying pollution ecology.

A resident of England for a large part of his life, Bruce was part of the British military in 1952, a year that saw a tragic event unfold. Dubbed the "killer smog" of 1952, there were over 4,000 excess deaths reported as a result of the incident.

Bruce introduced himself to the class and played an audio tape he had created about the event. Professor Magda Havas, co-instructor of the class with Tom Hutchinson, explained a bit about Bruce’s background before the tape commenced.

"Of all the lectures you hear this year, this will be one you’ll remember," she said. "Air pollution episodes are increasing in Ontario and it is estimated 1,800 people die each year in Ontario because of pollution. We are lucky to have Bruce Knapp here today to talk about his experience of living through the London Smog of 1952."

Students listened intently to the account of the tragedy and were subsequently provided with a time to ask questions.

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Last updated October 24, 2002