Disaster on Mount Slesse
The Story of Western Canada's Worst Air Crash
Mount Slesse, a jagged 2,500-metre peak near Chilliwack BC known locally as "The Fang," lived up to its evil reputation on December 9, 1956, when Trans Canada Airlines Flight 810 slammed into it, killing all 62 aboard. For five months nobody knew what happened. Flight 810 had just disappeared into the night. Adding to the sensation was the fact that the flight carried five professional football players fresh from the CFL All Star game in Vancouver and a mystery man by the name of Kwan Songwho was rumoured to be carrying a sizeable fortune in cash. Finally on May 10, 1957, a diminutive female mountaineer named Elfrida Pigou discovered the gruesome crash site, setting off a stampede of macabre treasure hunters. It wasn't until May 25, 1995, that the BC government placed a protective zone around the debris field, declaring it a Heritage Wreck Site. To mark the fiftieth anniversary of this historic tragedy, Betty O'Keefe and Ian Macdonald have written a gripping, blow-by-blow account of western Canada's worst aviation disaster, carefully examining its context, causes and aftermath.