Skip navigation links (access key: Z)Library and Archives Canada - Bibliothèque et Archives Canada Canada
Home > Browse Selected Topics > SOS! Canadian Disasters Français

Archived Content

This archived Web page remains online for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. This page will not be altered or updated. Web pages that are archived on the Internet are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats of this page on the Contact Us page.

Banner: SOS! Canadian Disasters
IntroductionDisaster Media ReportsSearchHelpWaterEarthAirFireIce
Headline reading AWFUL CALAMITY




Thousands of Tons of Snow, Earth and Rock Crash Down on the Pass Near Sheep Creek, Crushing all Before it – Number of Killed Estimated at One to Five Hundred – Names of the Dead Recovered.

Seattle, Wash., April 8. – The steamer Aliki arrived to-night with news that a landslide has occurred on Chilkoot trail in which thirty-one men are known to have been killed and a large number injured.

Skagway, April 4, via Victoria, B.C., April 8. – At 2 o’clock p.m. the horror on the Dyea trail is growing in magnitude hourly. As the work of rescue proceeds it becomes more apparent that many more lives were lost than at first thought possible. It is now believed that between fifty and one hundred men and women met their death in the avalanche. Many of their bodies will never be recovered, until the summer sun melts the tons of snow and ice that now bury them from sight.

Two or three thousand men are working in relays of as many as can stand side by side, are shovelling away the debris, in search of the dead and dying. Up to this hour twenty-two dead bodies have been recovered and identified, and some twenty-five have been taken out alive.

The corrected list of killed and wounded, as nearly complete as is possible to obtain,is as follows: at the hour of writing is as follows: Gus Sebrath, Seattle; Frank Sprague, Seattle; Steve Stevenson, Seattle; C. H. Harrison, Seattle; W. L. Riley, Seattle; E. D. Atwood, New York; C. Beck, Sanford, Fla.; L. Widelin, Kansas City; Mrs. Ryan, Baltimore Md.; John Morgan, Emporia, Kansas.; F. M. Grimes, Sacramento, Cal.; Mrs. Anna Moxol, Jefferson County, Pa.; Ras Hepgard, Baker City, Oregon; - Atkins, Idaho; Tom Jeffart, Seattle; E. F. Miller, Vancouver; Thos. Cullenden, Kirkland, Ore.; Tom Collins, Portland, Ore. The latter two names are believed to have been confused. The seriously injured so far recovered are: Walter Chappri, New York; John C. Murphy, Kixon, N. D.; F. B. Hobrooke, Portland, Ore.; Dalhlstrom, residence unknown. Seventeen employees of the Chilkoot Railway and Tram company went up to the summit in the morning to work for the missing, and it is feared that they are numbered among the lost. It is estimated that 10,000 tons of outfits are buried under the snow and ice. For several days prior, a heavy snowstorm had raged and the snow was soft and wet. The enormous mass precipitated upon the mountain tops caused several smaller slides before the death-dealing avalanche was started. About 2 a. m. in the morning a small slide occurred, which buried several cabins. The alarm was spread, and many people were endeavoring to work back to Sheep Camp, when the big disaster occurred. The snow storm was blinding, and crowds coming down by the aid of a rope when overtaken.

The exact location is given at two and one-half miles above Sheep Camp and 100 yards above the Oregon Improvement Co.’s power house. Here an immense gorge rises at a very steep incline into the hills, and it was down this that the avalanche came.

The telephone office here has been thronged all day and night with friends anxious to get some word of those known, and believed to have been in the disaster. The wires are working well and information is gotten here direct from the scene as rapidly as it is gathered. Many people have gone from this city and Dyea to Sheep Camp, to aid in the work of rescue. It is confidently believed that when full returns are in the dead will number nearer 500 than 100. One slide covered the trail for several hundred yards and to a depth of fifty feet in many places. It has effectually blocked the travel for the present and it will be some time before it can be resumed.


Skagway, Alaska, April 3 via Seattle, Wash., April 8 – At about noon today on the Chilkoot trail at least thirty-one men met death and a large number of others were injured more or less seriously, in a snow slide. The dead were crushed under an avalanche of snow and ice, which came down from the mountain side upon the left of the trail, midway between the Scales and Stone House.