June 11 in sports activities historical past: Dozens die, however stunningly the race goes on

Here is a glance again at notable sports activities information on June 11 by way of the years.

1955: It was one of the crucial tragic days in sports activities historical past.

In entrance of a crowded grandstand on the 24 Hours of Le Mans auto race in France, a Mercedes touring 160 miles per hour smashed into the rear of one other automobile and, in keeping with a newspaper account, “catapulted over the heads of a screaming throng of spectators and exploded like a bomb.”

“Flaming gasoline dumped on their heads,” in keeping with a wire service report. “Elements of the automobile flew like shrapnel in all instructions by way of the gang. Straw bales forming a part of the barrier burst into flame. The screams of the dying had been drowned by the roar of the highly effective vehicles nonetheless racing down the straightaway.”

“In just a few ghastly seconds,” in keeping with a newsreel account, “loss of life worn out entire households.” 

The preliminary loss of life toll was 70, nevertheless it quickly climbed to 83; a whole lot had been injured within the worst crash in auto racing historical past. The driving force of the Mercedes, Frenchman Pierre Levegh, died.

For a stretch alongside the observe, items of clothes and even some our bodies had been scattered. Blood-stained followers wandered alongside the obstacles. Many of the huge crowd of 250,000 alongside the 8.3-mile course knew nothing concerning the tragedy. 

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