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Niagara River Gorge swallows up power station

by jmaloni
Thu, Mar 15th 2012 07:00 am

Press release

The Niagara County History Center is offering a free, public program on Thursday, March 22, at 2 p.m. "The Crash of the Schoellkopf Power Station" details the tragic events that shook Niagara Falls on June 7, 1956.

This date lives on in infamy as an unforgettable moment in the history of the Niagara Frontier. It was the day that the Niagara Gorge swallowed up what was, at that time, the entire U.S. power-generating capacity of the mighty Niagara Falls. Witnesses at the time said the rockslide and ensuing crash of the Niagara Mohawk Schoellkopf Power Generating Station sounded like "the roar of a thousand lions." Thirty nine workers escaped the disaster, but the crash claimed the life of Richard Draper, the maintenance foreman.

This interesting and informative program will include recorded eyewitness accounts from survivors and breathtaking images taken at the time of the disaster. In stunning comparison to the events of Sept. 11, 2001, those who were present at the Schoellkopf Disaster tell the same eerie story of how some unsung heroes were just entering the power plant to assist evacuating employees when the building gave way. The incredible fact that only one person lost his life still seems miraculous.

The History Center is pleased to offer this chance to remember the unbelievable events of that day. There is no cost for admission, but the center will accept a freewill donation to help provide quality programming throughout the year.

For more information, call the History Center at 434-7433.

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