Friday, July 14, 2006

the Eiger falling apart - Big Chunk of Swiss Mountain Falls: "

GRINDELWALD, Switzerland (AP)—A large section of stone broke away and tumbled down a famous Swiss Alps mountain Thursday, shrouding a resort in dust but causing no injuries, officials said.

Stone from the east face of Eiger mountain fell hundreds of feet in a thundering, 15-minute avalanche, Grindelwald rescue chief Kurt Amacher told TV station SF DRS.

The more than 20 million cubic feet of stone came to rest on a mountainside, sending up a cloud of dust that shrouded nearby Grindelwald resort for hours. Amacher said no one was injured and no buildings were hit in the rock fall.

Rock on the Eiger had been crumbling in recent days because glacial ice that had been holding it together had melted, geologists said.

A 100-foot-high rock formation on the Eiger known as the 'Madonna'' collapsed earlier Thursday.

The Eiger's north face, which towers over Grindelwald, with a mile-high sheer wall and a summit at 13,025 feet is considered one of Europe's greatest challenges to mountaineers."


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