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Operafjellet & Gruve 6

A little excursion into the younger history of Spitsbergen. The grey weather was quite appropriate when we made the sad pilgrimage to the memorial for the 1996 airplane crash at Operafjellet, where 141 people died when a Russian aircraft crashed into the slope of Operafjellet during the landing descent in poor visibility. This was the biggest catastrophe that people had to endure in Spitsbergen on land, and the Russian communities were hit very strongly.

The visit to mine 6 was less dramatic. Coal was mined there between 1969 and 1981 (building started in 1967). Interesting insight into local mining history and what they call industrial archaeology – and a very rewarding playground for photo freaks who like their HDR and panorama techniques or (even better!) both at the same time.

spitsbergen operafjellet (gallery)

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Operafjellet

A Russian plane collided with Operafjellet in late August 1996. 141 people were on board: miners, employees of the mining company, their families, and the crew of the aircraft. All 141 died instantly. This was the biggest catastrophe ever in Spitsbergen, apart from war-time dramas at sea. The cause was bad navigation in poor visibility. The accident was a factor when Pyramiden was closed in 1998.

Gruve 6

Mine 6 is in Adventdalen, between Todalen and Bolterdalen. Abandoned many years ago, it is easy to reach, an interesting bit of industrial history and a fascinating playground for photographers.

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last modification: 2013-12-27 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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