Disaster on Mount Slesse

The Story of Western Canada's Worst Air Crash

Betty O'Keefe

and Ian MacDonald

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 sixty-two people 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 Song who was rumoured to be carrying a sizable 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. 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.