Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for the ‘Mass fatalities’ Category

While flooding is a natural disaster, the scale of the human tragedy in Freetown is very much man-made.

Amnesty International

‘…..“The authorities should have learned lessons from previous similar incidents and put in place systems to prevent, or at least minimise, the consequences of these disasters. Devastating floods are now an annual occurrence in the country’s capital. Yet, due to a lack of regulation and insufficient consideration for minimum standards and environmental laws, millions of Sierra Leoneans are living in dangerously vulnerable homes.”
The right to adequate housing under international law requires that every home be ‘habitable’, which includes providing protections against disasters such as this. However, poor regulation and failures to ensure environmental factors are part of urban planning in Sierra Leone often result in structures being built that are both unsafe and situated in dangerous locations…..’


With some 400 bodies recovered from the mudslides and flood that devastated Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown, the dead are being buried in mass graves.

NY Times


Nine dead & nearly 20 others were taken from the rig hospitalized in dire condition, many with extreme dehydration and heatstroke


  • Thirty were hospitalized in all
  • 17 of those rescued were being treated for injuries that were considered life-threatening

7/20/2012: A 24-year-old gunman goes on a rampage at a movie theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora, killing 12 people—the youngest a 6-year-old girl—and injuring at least 70 others.

History Channel

A stampede of religious pilgrims in a pedestrian tunnel in Mecca leaves more than 1,400 people dead: 7/2/1990.

History Channel

History of UVIS (The Unified Victim Identification System)


2001: Software is developed in response to Sept 11th and Flight 587 disasters, out of which UVIS evolves.

2004: The first version of UVIS is developed in anticipation of the NYC Republican National Convention in 2004. This version has only the Call Center and Missing Person’s modules.

2005: The Family Assistance Center Module is added to UVIS. OCME and NYPD gain full Ante Mortem–Missing Persons interview capabilities.

2007: Documentation of the full cycle of victim identification is completed with the addition of the Post Mortem module. OCME now has the ability to track victims from “Cradle to Grave”. A forensic dental identification program was developed with new charting code and a smart search engine.

2008: In preparing for a possible Pandemic Influenza (PI) outbreak in the NYC area, the PI module is developed based upon the OCME’s “PI Surge Plan to Manage Decedents”. All 63 heath care facilities are connected to UVIS.

2009: UVIS continues to be developed and expanded in close collaboration with various Medical Examiners’ and Coroners’ Offices throughout the country. OCME and other Medical Examiners/Coroners offices provide important feedback for the future development of UVIS. UVIS is currently undergoing a major enhancement that will create a medicolegal case management system that will be fully integrated with all disaster components, laboratory systems and external information sources.


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