A Skating Disaster - 481

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A Skating Disaster.

One evening in Regent’s Park, London, a terrible calamity took place. There is a lake there, which becomes frozen in times of severe frost. Then people are allowed to skate and slide, on it, as they do all over Europe where there is ice that is strong enough to hold the weight of many people.

That evening, just as it was growing dark, there were about two hundred people on the ice, when it suddenly cracked in many places. Most of the people fell into the water, which was twelve feet deep. Many of them managed to escape somehow. But many were trapped, for no one could walk over or swim through the broken ice to rescue them. Boats went out, but they could not force their way through the lumps and slabs of ice in time to save anyone. Children who were clinging to pieces of ice became so cold that they could not hold out any longer, and sank in sight of their helpless parents. More than an hour passed before the work of rescue was finished, and then it became known that forty people, young and grown-up, had been drowned.

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