France: Death in the Cathedral

The small, shiny aluminum cable cars swayed in an endless, airy line high above the Alpine stillness of the Vallee Blanche. On either side the passengers could see the granite buttresses and whitened peaks of the Mt. Blanc massif. Far below gleamed broad glaciers and snowy crags.

Then out of the sky hurtled a French air force F-84F jet fighter. It sliced in two the cableway's traction line, losing a wing tank in the glancing blow, then soared out of the valley. The severed cable cracked like a whip. Three of the cars tumbled 500 ft. to earth, killing...

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