Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for the ‘Structural’ Category

A pedestrian bridge suddenly collapsed onto the road below near Florida International University, crushing cars, killing 4 and sending at least 9 to hospitals



An apartment building collapsed Sunday in Poland’s western city of Poznan, killing 4 and injuring 24 others



1/29/1922: At the Knickerbocker Theatre in Washington, D.C., the accumulated snow on the theater’s roof collapses the building and tons of steel and concrete fell down on top of the theatergoers cusing the deaths of 108 and injuring another 133.

History Channel



1/20/1980: Bleachers at a bullring in Sincelejo, Colombia, collapse, resulting in the deaths of 222 people and injuries to hundreds more

History Channel


An oil spill from an Iranian tanker that sank in the East China Sea is rapidly spreading (two huge slicks covering 52 square miles)

NY Times

1/15/1919: Molasses burst from a huge tank flooding the streets of Boston, killing 21 people and injuring scores of others.

History Channel

  • A 58-foot-high tank filled with 2.5 million gallons of crude molasses.
  • The bolts holding the bottom of the tank exploded, shooting out like bullets
  • Hot molasses rushed out.
  • An eight-foot-high wave of molasses swept away the freight cars and caved in the building’s doors and windows.


12/6/1907: The worst mining disaster in American history.

History Channel

An explosion in a network of mines owned by the Fairmont Coal Company in Monongah kills 361 coal miners.

After the earthquake in Iran: The new wing of the Imam Khomeini hospital partly crumpled like “an empty soft-drink can in the hands of a child” while the original hospital building, 40 years old, stood beside the wreckage, barely damaged.

NY Times

  • The magnitude 7.3 earthquake killed more than 500 people in Iran and eight in neighboring Iraq.

  • More than 40,000 properties became uninhabitable including many newly built state hospitals, schools, apartment complexes and even army barracks.

  • The earthquake has laid bare what many Iranians have been saying for a long time: Corruption inside state organizations has led to shoddy construction work and undermined Iran’s infrastructure.


Nov. 9, 1965: The great Northeast blackout occurred as several states and parts of Canada were hit by a series of power failures lasting up to 13 1/2 hours.

11/7/1940: Only four months after its completion, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington State collapses.

History Channel

‘…………The Tacoma Narrows Bridge opened with great fanfare on July 1, 1940. Human traffic across the waters of the Tacoma Narrows increased dramatically, but many drivers were drawn to the toll bridge not by convenience but by an unusual characteristic of the structure. When moderate to high winds blew, as they invariably do in the Tacoma Narrows, the bridge roadway would sway from side to side and sometimes suffer excessive vertical undulations. Some drivers reported that vehicles ahead of them would disappear and reappear several times as they crossed the bridge. On a windy day, tourists treated the bridge toll as the fee paid to ride a roller-coaster ride, and the Tacoma Narrows Bridge earned the nickname “Galloping Gertie.”….Experts still disagree on the exact cause of the bridge’s destruction, but most agree the collapse was related to resonance, a phenomenon that also comes into play when a soprano shatters a glass with her voice. In the case of the Tacoma Narrows, the wind resonated with the natural frequency of the structure, causing a steady increase in amplitude until the bridge was destroyed……..’


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