• Short Summary

    AT LEAST MINE PEOPLE PLUNGED TO THEIR DEATH AND MANY OTHERS WERE LEFT STRANDED IN MIDAIR, WHEN A FRENCH JET FIGHTER ENGAGED IN LOW ALTITUDE EXERCISES SEVERED THE TRACTION CABLE OF THE MONT BLANC CABLE RAILWAY, FRANCE, AUG 29.

  • Description

    AT LEAST MINE PEOPLE PLUNGED TO THEIR DEATH AND MANY OTHERS WERE LEFT STRANDED IN MIDAIR, WHEN A FRENCH JET FIGHTER ENGAGED IN LOW ALTITUDE EXERCISES SEVERED THE TRACTION CABLE OF THE MONT BLANC CABLE RAILWAY, FRANCE, AUG 29. WITH ONLY MINOR DAMAGE DONE TO ONE WING OF HIS AIRCRAFT, THE JET PILOT WAS ABLE TO RETURN TO BASE AND RAISE THE ALARM.

    SUNNY, CLEAR WEATHER HAD BROUGHT UP A STEADY STREAM OF PEOPLE FROM CHAMONIX TO THE AIGUILLE DU MIDI, WHERE MANY OF THEM TRANSFERRED TO THE TELE-CABIN SYSTEM FOR THE SOARING RIDE ACROSS THE GLACIER TO THE HEILBRONNER - A JOURNEY OF SPECTACULAR VIEWS OF THE ETERNAL SNOWS. THE WHITE VALLEY SYSTEM, A UNIQUE FEAT OF ENGINEERING, HAS ABOUT THREE MILES OF CABLE ON WHICH SUSPENDED CABINS TRAVEL AT INTERVALS OF EIGHT FEET OR SO, ACCORDING TO DEMAND. THE MAXIMUM HEIGHT OF THE CABINS ABOVE GLACIER AND ROCKS IS 650 FT, AND DURING THE DESCENT OF PASSENGERS THE ONCOMING CABINS ARE HALTED TO GIVE THE OCCUPANTS MORE TIME TO ADMIRE THE VIEW.

    ABOUT 100 TOURISTS AND ALPINISTS WERE TRAVELLING AT VARIOUS POINTS ON THE CABLE SYSTEM, THE WORLD'S HIGHEST, AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT. THE SUDDEN RUPTURE OF THE TRACTION CABLE SET UP A WHIP-LIKE REACTION IN A SUPPORT CABLE, CAUSING TWO GROUPS OF SUSPENDED CABINS TO COLLIDE. SEVERAL BECAME DETACHED AND CRASHED TO THE GLACIER BELOW, OTHERS SLID ALONG THE CABLE AND CRASHED AGAINST A ROCK. SO FAR, NINE BODIES HAVE BEEN RECOVERED BY RESCUE PARTIES FROM CHAMONIX.

    TWENTY CABINS, CAPABLE OF CARRYING FOUR PEOPLE EACH, WERE HALTED HIGH ABOVE THE WHITE VALLEY BETWEEN THE 1,506 FT AIGUILLE DU MIDI AND THE 3,600 FT HEILBRONNER. BEFORE NIGHT FELL PASSENGERS FROM SIX CABINS HAD BEEN BROUGHT TO SAFETY BY HELICOPTER, AND IT WAS THEM ESTIMATED THAT 30 REMAINED MAROONED ABOVE THE VALLEY. THESE SPENT A CHILLY NIGHT IN THE PRECARIOUSLY BALANCED CABLE CARS. ALL OF THEM WERE RELEASED BY 7 AM AFTER A HAZARDOUS RESCUE OPERATION.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA9LQK2QH7USQ876TTOLZCPV481
    Media URN:
    VLVA9LQK2QH7USQ876TTOLZCPV481
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    30/08/1961
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:00:39:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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