On March 13, 1961, one of the largest man-made disasters in the history of Kyiv and Ukraine occurred. 60 years ago, a thick flow of brick production waste (pulp), which was poured into the Babyn Yar, broke the dam and flooded the Kurenivka neighbourhood of Kyiv in a matter of minutes. A huge wave with an initial height of up to 14 m and a width of up to 20 m at a speed of 3-5 meters per second destroyed many buildings, taking the lives, officially, of 145 people. According to researchers, there were many more victims.According to the official report (for official use), 68 residential and 13 administrative buildings were destroyed as a result of the man-made accident. 298 dwellings, including 163 private houses, in which 353 families numbering 1128 people lived, turned out to be unfit for living. The total amount of damages amounted to more than 3.7 million Soviet rubles. For a long time, the authorities hid and downplayed the scale and consequences of the accident. Information about it was subject to strict censorship. In order to prevent the leakage of information about the Kurenivka events outside the city border, long-distance telephone communication was turned off in Kyiv for several days. For a long time, the memory of the disaster lived only among the people, because the authorities did not want to remember the victims of their negligence.
Only during the years of Ukrainian state independence the memory of the victims of the Kureniv disaster properly is honoured annually.