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Today marks the 55th anniversary of the Hope Slide, which is one of the biggest landslides in BC history.
It happened in the Cascade Mountains near Hope in the early morning of Jan. 9, 1965 and it sent tons of rock onto the Hope-Princeton Highway below Johnson Peak.
The total volume of rock involved in the landslide has been estimated at 47-million cubic metres.
Prior to the slide, a small avalanche had forced five people to stop on the highway, which is when the major incident occurred.
Three of the five vehicles were buried, including a loaded hay truck, a convertible and an oil tanker truck, whose driver had left his rig to try and find a phone to call the highway department.
Rescue workers recovered the bodies of the hay truck and convertible’s drivers, while the convertible’s passengers’ bodies were never recovered and remain entombed under the rock.
The devastating, fatal slide closed the route for 21 days before crews were able to establish a temporary bumpy bypass over the slide.
Today, Hwy 3 has been built around the site and the original path of the Hope-Princeton Highway and it has a viewpoint where people can see the scar left by the infamous slide.
Today, to acknowledge the 55th anniversary, BC Transportation released a number of previously unseen photos of the slide site in January 1965.
It documents the hours after the crash until days later when the new route was open, a trying time for British Columbia’s Ministry of Transportation.
(The photos are in no particular order and all courtesy of BC Transportation. You can find detailed captions on the Government of BC Flickr account.)