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Video Documentary: The Deadliest Crash – The 1955 Le Mans Disaster

Submitted by on August 3, 2011

It was the most horrific, and deadliest crash in the history of motor racing. On June 11, 1955, at the Le Mans 24-hour race, at least 83 spectators were killed and hundreds more injured when the burning remains of  Pierre Levegh’s Mercedes 300SLR , flew into the crowd­ after a crash with Mike Hawthorn on the pit straight. The infield area containing cheering ­fans became a black,” hysterical horror,” according to Time magazine.

This BBC documentary looks at the story of the disaster and why it provoked conspiracy theories, blame and scandal. Was the mysterious explosion caused by Mercedes gambling all on untried technologies? Did they compound it by using a lethal fuel additive? Have the French authorities been covering up the truth ever since? Or was the winner, the doomed British star Mike Hawthorn, guilty of reckless driving and did his desire to win at all costs start the terrible chain of events?

 

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