It was 11.40pm, on the 30th July 1997, 4 years ago, that it all came tumbling down.Most awoke thinking it was a fighter jet or a small explosion.They went outside to see what was happening and instead of a fighter jet, it was a 100 tonne landslide coming towards two of the lodges.Down a 40-degree slope and into the 4 story Carinya lodge pushing it 100 metres downhill into the Bimbadeen lodge. This slide had 19 people trapped and killed 18 of those 19, there was one survivor, Stuart Diver, a 21 year old ski instructor.
It is believed that his fitness helped him survive the ordeal.He survived 65 hours trapped under 2 metres of cement slabs from the lodges. A map of Thredbo Village from 1965 clearly showed there had already been a serious landslide in that area.Ms McColl, QC, assisting the coroner, said there had been 4 serious landslides over 20 years.She also said that the land around the lodges would remain stable only if kept dry and yet a water pipe line was built with no apparent permission. It is said that the landslide consisted of one of the lodges being built on unstable ground, as was the main road, Alpine Way.But the most likely, a leaky water pipe had triggered the slide. Reports by Thredbo Rangers and engineers had already warned the unstability of the land, while special geological devices had detected movement months before the slide had occurred.
In 1984 a company called'Kosciusko Thredbo Pty. Ltd.' began digging a trench along Alpine Way with the intention of installing a water pipe.The Carinya lodge constructed on 1964 had been built without planning approval and in spite of warnings that the site was unsafe. The major consequence of the landslide is the fact that 18 people died.Stuart Diver has to live the rest of his life knowing that he was the only survivor of the tragic slide and that his wife and friends were killed in the slide that he survived.One of .