Emmerdale: the biggest disasters to hit the Yorkshire Dales as ITV soap celebrates 50th anniversary

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As Emmerdale faces a storm - we take a look back at the soap’s biggest disasters to mark its 50th anniversary

An unexpected disaster can leave viewers on the edge of their seats, as proven by the wind storm which put lives at risk in this week’s Emmerdale.

From Cameron being electrocuted after a flood in 2013 to Val Pollard being killed following a helicopter crash in 2015, ITV’s Emmerdale has managed to continously rack up almost 5million viewers an episode with their gripping storylines.

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Emmerdale Storm 2022 (ITV Images) Emmerdale Storm 2022 (ITV Images)
Emmerdale Storm 2022 (ITV Images) | ITV Images

As the soap celebrates its 50th anniversary, we take a look back at some of the most shocking and memorable disaster storylines throughout the years.

The Plane Crash (1993)

The Plane Crash 1993 (ITV Images) The Plane Crash 1993 (ITV Images)
The Plane Crash 1993 (ITV Images) | ITV Images

The plane crash episode also named the Beckindale disaster brought in a record 18 million viewers. Four main characters died in the episode, Mark Hughes, Elizabeth Pollard, Archie Brooks, and Leonard Kempinski.

After getting trapped under the wreckage in the wine bar Chris Tate was dug out but had spinal injuries and was left paraplegic.

The fictional village of Beckindale was partly demolished after being hit by a fireball. As a tribute to the Sugden family, who owned Emmerdale Farm, the village was renamed Emmerdale.

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Bus crash (2000)

Bus Crash 2000  (ITV Images) Bus Crash 2000  (ITV Images)
Bus Crash 2000 (ITV Images) | ITV/Shutterstock

After the brakes failed on a Tate Haulage truck, it crashed into a minibus packed with locals from the village. The lorry driver Pete died instantly, while bus passengers Bob Simmonds and Patricia Holmes also died after being pulled from the wreckage.

The rest of the passengers were pulled out by firefighters and ambulance crew with injuries. Butch Dingle was taken to hospital but after losing a lot of blood died a few days later. He married his girlfriend Emily Kirk before passing.

The Storm (2003)

The Storm 2002 (ITV Images) The Storm 2002 (ITV Images)
The Storm 2002 (ITV Images) | ITV/Shutterstock

As the villagers brought in the new year at the Woolpack, a rain storm struck the dales. Trica Dingle took shelter in the phonebox to read a love letter from her husband Marlon. Pages of the letter blew out of her hands after she left the phonebox.

As she tried to collect them lightning striked the chimney of the Woolpack causing it to fall on Trica, which left her buried underneath the rubble. She died a few days later in the hospital leaving Marlon heartbroken.

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The Woolpack Flood (2013)

The Woolpack Flood (ITV Images) The Woolpack Flood (ITV Images)
The Woolpack Flood (ITV Images) | ITV Images

Debbie Dingle’s ex-boyfriend and serial killer Cameron escaped from police custody. He returned to the Woolpack with a shotgun and took local villagers, Chas and Debbie as his hostages.

After the police tried to negotiate, he released the villagers but tried to convince Debbie to leave with him but she refused. The cellar began to flood and Chas and Debbie managed to escape.

When the pub was completely flooded Cameron touched a light which electrocuted and killed him instantly.

Helicopter crash (2015)

Emmerdale Helicopter Crash (ITV Images) Emmerdale Helicopter Crash (ITV Images)
Emmerdale Helicopter Crash (ITV Images) | ITV

Chrissie Sugden found out that her husband Robert had been cheating on her. In revenge, she decided to set his car on fire. Nearby gas cylinders blew up a plume of fire to shoot up into the air hitting a helicopter flying above.

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The helicopter crashed into a fairground trapping Val Pollard and sister Diane Blackstock in a maze of mirrors. After Diane was pulled to safety viewers watched Val light a cigarette and a shard of glass fall killing her instantly.

Motorway crash (2016)

Motorway crash (ITV images) Motorway crash (ITV images)
Motorway crash (ITV images) | ITV images

After a huge argument, Emma Barton accidentally pushed her husband James off a bridge onto the motorway. He fell onto Ashley’s car causing him to crash and flip over.

Pierce swerved to avoid crashing into the car in front but got hit by a truck behind him, meanwhile Paddy and Rhona tried to avoid hitting one of the cars but crashed and flipped multiple times. A helpless Pierce watched before getting hit again by a blue van.

Emma tried to warn Aaron and Robert as they drove into the crashed cars but failed and their car went off the road into a lake.

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