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TALL TALE OF A TRAIL.
Report that Scores of Klondikers Have Been Killed Near Skagway.
FISHY YARN OF A MAINE MAN.
Says He Was Buried Under 30 Feet of Rock and Snow and Still Lives.
SKAGWAY, April 3, via Seattle, Wash., April 9. – Fully fifty people were overtaken by the snowslide on the Chilcoot trail to-day, and are either buried in the snow or scattered along the borders of the avalanche in a more or less injured condition.
The point at which the accident occurred is some five miles above Sheep Camp. The nearest telephone station is four miles distant. The telephone wires at this point were carried away by the slide. This fact makes it difficult to obtain further particulars at this time.
A blinding snowstorm was raging all day upon the summit, and as a consequence many of those in the vicinity were making no attempt to travel.
Thousands of people were encamped in the vicinity of the accident at the time, and were soon upon the scene, rendering such assistance as possible. Upon receipt of the news, points below Dyea telephoned up to know if assistance was required, and received answer to the effect that the five thousand people were at work on the debris, and were only in each other’s way.
Thirty-one bodies in all have been recovered.
THE HORROR GROWS.
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 50 and 100 men and women were killed by the avalanche. Many 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, shovelling away the debris, in search of the dead and dying. Twenty-two dead bodies have been recovered and identified, and 25 men have been taken out alive.
A correct list of killed, as complete as possible at the hour of writing is as follows:
RAILWAY MEN MISSING.
Seventeen employes of the Chilkoot Railway and Tram Co., who went up to the summit on the morning of the slide to work, are missing, and it is feared that they are among the lost. It is estimated that 10,000 tons of outfits are buried under the snow and ice. There were several smaller slides before the death-dealing avalanche was started.
A FEARFUL TIME.
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 one came. The snow storm was blinding, and crowds were coming down by the aid of a rope when overtaken.
The exact location of the slide is given at two and a 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 the avalanche came.
The telephone office here has been thronged all day and night with friends anxious to get some word of friends believed to have been in the disaster. Many people have gone from this city and Dyea to Sheep Camp, to aid in the work of rescue. It is believed that when the full returns are in the dead will number nearer 100 than 50.
A TALL LIAR FROM MAINE.
J. A. Raines, of Maine, who was fortunate enough to be dug out alive, says: “All of a sudden I heard a loud report, and instantly felt myself going swiftly down the hill. Looking around I saw many others buried, some with their feet out and head buried out of sight, and others vice versa. When I struck the bottom I tried to run, but the snow caught me, and I was instantly buried beneath 20 feet of snow and rock, being on the very verge of death by suffocation when I was reached by the rescuers.
“I think the slide occurred about 11 a. m. I am thankful to be alive today. Many, I presume, were saved by taking hold of a rope for hauling freight up to the summit. By this means 40 or 50 were pulled out, battered and bruised, more or less, but glad to be alive at any discount. I never want to, nor expect to, experience such an awful half hour again as long as I live.”