• Short Summary

    A LANDSLIDE, TRIGGERED BY AN AVALANCHE, CRASHED THROUGH AN ALPINE SANATORIUM NEAR ST GERVAIS IN THE FRENCH ALPS EARLY TODAY (THURSDAY 16TH APRIL) KILLING 72.

  • Description

    A LANDSLIDE, TRIGGERED BY AN AVALANCHE, CRASHED THROUGH AN ALPINE SANATORIUM NEAR ST GERVAIS IN THE FRENCH ALPS EARLY TODAY (THURSDAY 16TH APRIL) KILLING 72.

    MOST OF THE DEAD AND MISSING WERE YOUNG AGED BETWEEN FOUR AND FIFTEEN. THE SANATORIUM CATERED FOR TUBERCULAR CHILDREN. HUNDREDS OF TONS OF ROCK, FROZEN EARTH, AND SNOW DEMOLISHED THREE OF THE MAIN DORMITORY BUILDINGS SHORTLY AFTER MIDNIGHT.

    THERE WERE 185 PEOPLE IN THE SANATORIUM AT THE TIME OF THE TRAGEDY BUT MORE THAN A HUNDRED OF THESE WERE HOUSED IN SECTIONS WHICH WERE NOT HIT.

    TEAMS OF WORKERS HAVE WORKED NON-STOP AMONG THE TONS OF RUBBLE BUT SO FAR ONLY SEVEN SURVIVORS HAVE BEEN FOUND. LITTLE HOPE IS HELD OF FINDING ALIVE ANY OF THOSE STILL MISSING. ONLY NINETEEN BODIES HAD BEEN RECOVERED BY MID-AFTERNOON.

    AN ENQUIRY INTO THE TRAGEDY HAS ALREADY BEEN OPENED, BUT A SANATORIUM OFFICIAL HAS STRESSED THAT LITTLE OR NOTHING COULD HAVE BEEN DONE TO STOP THE FALL OF THE LANDSLIDE. PROTECTIVE BELTS OF TREES PLANTED ON THE UPHILL SLOPE AS A SAFEGUARD SNOW AVALANCHES, AND THE THREE STOUT BUILDINGS WERE SWEPT ASIDE AND CRUSHED LIKE STRAW.

    EARLIER IN THE WEEK THE SANATORIUM WAS EVACUATED UNDER THE THREAT OF AVALANCHES, BUT AFTER THE AREA WAS PRONOUNCED SAFE AGAIN THE CHILDREN AND STAFF RETURNED TO THE BUILDINGS.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA373VARO17LUV7CM8CT883JKLR
    Media URN:
    VLVA373VARO17LUV7CM8CT883JKLR
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    16/04/1970
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:21:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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