The Michigan Daily - Monday, November 13, 2000 - 7A
lire rom cable car crash leaves 10 riders dead
I APRUN, Austria (AP) - Relatives and friends who
had waited through the night in this Alpine village
began to get word yesterday on whether their loved ones
were among the dead in a cable car fire that killed about
170 people in a mountain tunnel.
With the village hall draped in black and candles
urning on shop steps, shattered townsfolk gathered in
the Kaprun church for Sunday Mass. As they mourned,
emergency crews tried to reach the spot where scores of
people, many children and teen-agers, were killed Satur-
day by smoke and flames.
"We understand Christ's wail on the cross: 'My God,
-why have you forsaken me?" priest Peter Hofer said in
his sermon. Others gave thanks after realizing their
loved ones were safe.
"My son is, thank God, all right," said Gottfried
Nindl. His boy had planned to go on the cable car with
is friends, but didn't because they had slept too late, he
The car, pulled on rails underground for most of the
3,200 yards up the Kitzsteinhorn mountain to a glacier
region, stopped, blazing, about 600 yards inside a moun-
tai tunnel Saturday morning. The cause of the fire has
not been determined.
Rescuers could not reach the victims as the fire raged
on Passengers tried to flee through the deep tunnel, but
most were felled by the thick smoke and flames. Eigh-
teen people survived, mainly by fleeing downwards in
e tunnel where the smoke was thinner, authorities said.
It was still unclear how many people- were in the cable
car, but it was believed that it had a capacity of 180 peo-
ple and was full.
The retrieval of the bodies was delayed by toxic fumes
inside the tunnel and the need to secure the charred car.
Chief firefighter Anton Brandauer said the tunnel was
now almost smoke-free and that the retrieval of the bod-
ies could begin.
But as night rolled in, other officials said the accident
site remained too dangerous, suggesting recovery efforts
could be delayed until today.
Once the remains of the victims are brought into
town, authorities plan to set up a large tent in the town
center where relatives and friends can say final
farewells. From there, authorities planned to take the
bodies to Salzburg for forensic examination.
Authorities said yesterday they had identified 155 of
the victims with near certainty. Among them were 52
Austrians, 42 Germans, 10 Japanese, eight Americans,
two Slovenes and a Croat.
The victims were identified by eliminating those who
had returned alive from a list of 2,500 people who had
taken the cable car up the slope before the fire.
Three U.S. army personnel were confirmed among the
dead. The Americans were part of a group of mostly
military personnel from Wuerzburg, Germany, and their
families, said Maj. Drew Stathis, a member of the
Stathis said missing Americans from the group
included a family of four with two children,
couple and a man and his son.
Smoke billows out of a tunnel on the Kitzsteinhorn mountain in Kaprun, Austria, yesterday where a fire in a cable car killed at
least 170 people, including eight Americans.
Continued from Page 1A
Tierney waited until after James V Neel's death to
release the book.
"I think that it's not an accident that they waited
:until my father died. If he were alive, I believe he
would have absolutely no difficulty in correcting all
the errors," Neel said.
Neel said knowing how dedicated his father was to
his work has led him to believe Tierney's book is
more fiction than fact.
"As a family, it's very hard to read Mr. Tierney's
altegations, knowing that (James V Neel) was a
committed scientist that observed the highest moral
andethical standards," Neel said. "The evidence is
overwhelming that this is much closer to a hoax."
Last Thursday, Bruce Alberts, president of the
National Academy of Sciences, released a statement
ying many of the points made by Tierney are not
esearched well and that the author contradicts some
of his points within the book itself.
Alberts said the Edmonston B vaccine was
deemed safe and while it has been administered to
18 million infants, only three have died.
Alberts also said while some members of the
Yanomami tribe reacted to the vaccine with a fever,
none died as a result of the vaccine.
"Given all of the foregoing, Mr. Tierney's misuse
of source material and the factual errors and innuen-
does in his book do a grave disservice to a great sci-
entist and to science itself," Alberts said.
On Oct. 12, the National Book Foundation
announced "Darkness in El Dorado" was a finalist
for the nonfiction National Book Award.
In response to the announcement, University Vice
President of Research Fawwaz Ulaby wrote a letter
to the foundation asking them to conduct a fair
review of the book before bestowing it with the
"A number of distinguished scholars made it clear
that the excerpt had significant errors of fact and that
it improperly characterized the activities" of Neel
and Chagnon, Ulaby wrote.
"We were seriously concerned about the allega-
tions in the article and evidently in the book. We
conducted an internal investigation and believe the
allegations are false," he continued.
In a letter written to Time Magazine dated Sept.
29, Chagnon said he was appalled by all claims in
"Their assertion that James V. Neel, I, and oth-
ers of our research team deliberately infected the
Yanomami Indians with measles in 1968 to docu-
ment how many would di-e is nothing short of
heinous,' Chagnon wrote.
Neel's son said he and his family are grateful
for the support they have received since the alle-
"As a family, we were heartened by the tremen-
dous support on the part of the University, the Acad-
emy and numerous other societies and individuals all
over the world," he said.
Continued from Page 1A
"It's good for students to walk by
and see this," said LSA senior Josh
Schore, referring to the vigil.
Members of the Air Force, the
Army and the Navy took part in an
event at the Veterans Hospital,
where U.S. Rep. Lynn Rivers (D-
Ann Arbor) spoke to veterans.
Members of the three divisiis of
the military were able to in'teract
with women and men who defeinded
the United States in World War 11,
the Vietnam War and the Korean
"It's a reminder that freedom isn't
free," Gaughan said. "Someone has
to pay the price."
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