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Tragedy Devastates Radio Astronomers

Science  09 Jul 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5425, pp. 181-183
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5425.181b

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PARIS-- Scientists and staff at the Institute of Millimetric Radioastronomy (IRAM), one of the world's leading radioastronomy research centers, were in shock last week after a cable-car accident on 1 July killed 20 people, all workers employed by IRAM and its subcontractors. The cable car, which was ferrying the workers to IRAM's facility 2552 meters atop the Bure plateau in the French Alps, somehow came loose from its cable and plummeted 80 meters. The accident is likely to delay completion of a new radiotelescope.