Kirovsk, Soviet Union Ice Avalanche, Dec 1935

88 Die in Ice Avalanche on Soviet Arctic City; Rescuers Dig Out 44 Hurt on Kola Peninsula

MOSCOW, Monday, Dec. 9
Eighty-eight persons were killed
and forty-four injured when an
avalanche of ice swept down Thursday
upon Kirovsk, Soviet city beyond
the Arctic Circle on the Kola
Peninsula, according to a communique
issued here today. Kirovsk
is the location of the world's largest
deposits of apatite, a mineral fertilizer,
and all the adult inhabitants
are employed in the mining industry
Those caught in the avalanche
lived in three apartment houses.
The government's report, lacking
color arid details, says many of
those who had been trapped were
saved by the efforts of 2,000 fellow workers,
who dug them out. The
Soviet government has appropriated
300,000 rubles for the relief of
the families of the dead and injured,
and a committee has been
organized to investigate the catastrophe.
The city of Kirovsk, formerly
called Khibinogorsk, was founded
six years ago when the Bolsheviki
decided to exploit the apatite deposits.
It is situated in a small
pocket of a valley between the eternal
snow and ice upon the mountains.
The Baltic-White Sea Canal
is just south of Kirovsk. It is believed
the avalanche was caused by
a heavy snowstorm.

By The Associated Press.
MOSCOW, Monday, Dec. 9 —
The ice avalanche that buried community
dwellings at Kirovsk, at
the foot of Mount Yuxpor, overturned
a railroad locomotive.
Medical supplies, clothing and
food were rushed from surrounding
points to Kirovsk. A committee
was sent from Leningrad t o investigate
the disaster.
The Soviet Government has spent
large sums in the construction of
the city of Kirovsk, which is only
a few years old. It was not until
1932 that the reserves of apatite,
estimated at 830,000,000 tons, were
discovered in the frozen region of
Khibin, on the Kola Peninsula. The
region is linked by a railroad that
runs from Murmansk to Leningrad.
Because of the rigorous climate
of the Kola Peninsula it s not inviting
to settlers. It is probable
therefore that a considerable part
of the inhabitants is composed of
persons sent there for various offenses
against the governmen, tsuch
as kulaks or rebellious farmers
and others.

Dec. 10, 1935 edition of The New York Times