Thredbo Landslide, 30 July 1997To History
In the late evening of the 30 July, 100 tonnes of rock and mud on the hills of Thredbo's Alpine Way dislodged and tumbled towards the popular ski holiday village. It was the middle of winter and the population of Thredbo was at its peak and the ski lodges in the path of the destructive landslide were filled with holiday makers.
It was thought approximately 100 people were trapped within the collapsed buildings and rubble, with the rescue operation proving particularly precarious due to the instability of the piled debris. Some 65 hours after the landslide had occured the rescue teams surveying the rubble for bodies heard a voice below them. Uninjured but suffering from severe hypothermia, ski instructor Stuart Diver would be the only survivor to be found in the wreckage.
With 18 deaths recorded and all bodies recovered, the majority of rescue teams withdrew from the area the following week, however smaller local teams remained in the area for several weeks to ensure the area was safe. An investigation into the cause of the landslide found a leaking water main to be at fault.