Thursday, February 9, 2012

This Day in History February 10, 1970

Another sad day in history to share with all of you.  On this date in 1970, the worst avalanche occurred in Val D'isere, France.  Thirty-nine people, mostly young boys, were killed.  Here is how the story played out.

This particular ski resort was operated by a non-profit group that attracted young skiers.  The morning of that fateful day, most of the occupants of the hotel were eating breakfast in the large room facing the mountain.. Without warning, there was a terrific noise followed by 100,000 cubic yards came crashing down the mountain and into the window.  Trail workers were instantly killed, and people within the hotel were alternately thrown aside and buried by the horrific avalanche.  Cars were stopped on the road, and in some places, the snow was 100 yards deep. 

Sixty other people were injured (in addition to the 39 dead).  The president of France ordered the evacuations of nearby resorts which proved to be a great idea.  There was a chain reaction of avalanches within the next few days.

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