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Jim Kershner’s This Day in History

From our archives, 100 years ago

Just when it seemed the 1910 winter toll couldn’t be more horrendous, news hit The Spokesman-Review’s front page of yet another killer avalanche, this one not far to our north at Rogers Pass, B.C.

A slide roared down the slopes and swept a work train and dozens of Canadian Pacific railroad workers into a deep creek ravine below. The final death toll numbered 62.

The news reports out of Canada listed the names of several dozen men believed dead, plus, callously, “27 Japanese.” The workers had been sent up to this high, perilous pass near Revelstoke to clear off a previous slide.

Rescue attempts were hindered by snow slides all along the Canadian Pacific line. One 400-yard stretch of track was buried 60 feet deep.

This occurred only four days after the Wellington Avalanche killed 96 people near Stevens Pass in the Cascades. The entire Northwest had been battered by relentless storms for weeks.

Also on this date

1770: The Boston Massacre took place as British soldiers who’d been taunted by a crowd of colonists opened fire, killing five people. …

1982: Comedian John Belushi was found dead of a drug overdose in a rented bungalow in Hollywood; he was 33.

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