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Gary Hebert | all galleries >> Published Works > Frank Slide
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Frank Slide
JUL-2006 Gary Hebert

Frank Slide

Crowsnest Pass, Alberta

On April 29, 1903, at 4:10 a.m., 82 million tonnes (30 million cubic metres) of limestone crashed from the summit of Turtle Mountain and buried a portion of the sleeping town of Frank. The dimensions of the rock mass that fell are 150 metres (500 feet) deep, 425 metres (1,400 feet) high and one kilometre (3,280 feet) wide.
The bustling town of Frank was home to approximately 600 people in 1903. Of these, roughly 100 individuals lived in the path of the slide. An estimated 70 people were killed.
The primary cause of the Frank Slide was the mountain's unstable structure. Underground coal mining, water action in summit cracks and severe weather conditions may have contributed to the disaster.
In the wake of the slide:
-A brakeman for the Canadian Pacific Railway, Sid Choquette, races across the rocks to flag down an approaching passenger train. He stops the train before it collides with the slide.
-The house of Alexander Leitch is hit by the slide. His three young daughters miraculously survive.
-Temporarily trapped, 17 underground coal miners dig their way to freedom 14 hours after the slide.


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Konrad Busslinger29-Jan-2014 20:01
Great and interesting shot and commentar about this Train.
Julie Oldfield13-Jan-2014 19:07
Really nicely captured. A very sad tale.
fotabug13-Jan-2014 13:56
Wow, that was some slide! Great photo. Love that you included a train.
Simon Chandler08-Jan-2014 22:41
Excellent composition. Great historical info. v
Tom Munson08-Jan-2014 17:52
Terrific images and commentary, Gary.
yosi aptekar06-Jul-2006 18:16
excellent shot.
Bryan Murahashi06-Jul-2006 14:54
Excellent shot with the train passing by this massive slide. Thanks for the
stories with this slide.
Bob Foisel06-Jul-2006 14:50
Wow what a catastrophe. Nice capture Gary.
Zara Altair06-Jul-2006 14:33
Wonderful shot. The train adds scale and color. A "poster" image.
Gayle P. Clement06-Jul-2006 13:46
Such a massive slide!
Beverly Wickersham06-Jul-2006 13:45
Amazing story. Great shot. The train really gives some scale to the size of the rocks.
Guest 06-Jul-2006 12:57
Great photo, love the train shot.
Great story also, unfortunate for those that lived there.