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50 years since Aiguille du Midi plane tragedy

1961 cable car accident kills 6 people

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| Alison Shayler, Chamonix Reporter | Published

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50 years since Aiguille du Midi plane tragedy

It is 50 years ago today that a F84-F fighter plane flew between the cabins of the Aiguille du Midi cable car, severing the cable and killing 6 people.

The cable had 36 cabins on it at the time, hung in groups of 3 and separated by 8 pylons. On 29th August 1961 a French fighter jet flew in between the Aiguille du Midi and the Gros Rognon, accidentally clipping the last section of cable. 3 cabins plunged 150m onto the rocks below, killing the 6 occupants.

A night time mission was launched to rescue the 81 people who remained in the other cabins that had come to a halt and were dangling on the other sections of the cable, fortunately saved by the connecting pylons. More than 100 mountain guides and lift staff worked through the night to winch the cabins back in and get the passengers on safe ground.

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