Frank Slide and Alberta Fields
The Frank Slide is a natural landslide feature in the southern Rocky Mountains of Canada, and a significant historical event in western Canada.
Frank, Alberta is a coal mining town in the Crowsnest Pass, Alberta. On April 29, 1903, at 4:10 a.m, 82 million tonnes (30 million cubic meters) of limestone crashed from the summit of Turtle Mountain and covered approximately three square kilometers of the valley floor. The slide dammed the Crowsnest River and formed a small lake, covered 2km of the Canadian Pacific Railway , destroyed most of the coal mine’s surface infrastructure, and buried seven houses on the outskirts of the sleeping town of Frank, as well as several rural buildings. Frank was home to approximately 600 people in 1903; of the roughly 100 individuals who lived in the path of the slide, more than 70 were killed.
The town was evacuated, but people were soon allowed to return and both the mine and the railway were back in operation within a month. The town of Frank continued to grow, until a report on the mountain’s stability resulted in the provincial government ordering the closure of the south part of the town in 1911. Studies and monitoring continue today.
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