Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for the ‘Historical’ Category

Sandy Hook Elementary School: The unintended consequences of well-intended generosity.


“……In the six and a half years since the deadliest elementary school shooting in American history, more than $100 million in federal, state, corporate and private money flowed into this community of about 28,000 in southwestern Connecticut……so much money engulfed the vulnerable, wounded Newtown that it inevitably sowed division. The town became a case study of how Americans’ material expressions of grief can become more an obstacle than an aid to recovery……..”

  • 60,000 teddy bears

“……..Lesson 1” from Sandy Hook is for the authorities — the mayor, the city council or the governor — to swiftly establish a single nonprofit benefiting victims and their families, so money intended for them is not atomized, or given to charities that lack the experience or ability to distribute it to them.


5/24/1964: More than 300 fans were killed and another 500 people were injured in the violent melee that followed a football match at National Stadium in Lima, Peru.

5/22/1967: A fire at the L’Innovation department store in Brussels, Belgium, killing 323.



5/22/2017: An ISIS suicide bomber detonates an explosion at Manchester Arena in England, killing 22 concertgoers and injuring 116 more.


5/18/1980: Mount St. Helens in Washington erupts, causing a massive avalanche and killing 57 people


5/17/1994: A fire in an overcrowded Honduras prison kills 103 people


“……The fire started in one of two small refrigerators located in the cell block at about 1:30 a.m…….. Guards reported that they had to fire their guns in the air in order to keep the prisoners from attacking the firefighters and escaping. Inmates claimed that the guards were preventing the prisoners from fleeing the fire. ….”

5/16/1849: The NYC Board of Health establishes a hospital to deal with a cholera epidemic that, before it ends, kills more than 5,000.


5/13/1972: A fire breaks out at the Playtown Cabaret in Osaka, Japan, killing 118.


5/4/2002: An EAS Airline plane crashes into the town of Kano, Nigeria, killing 148 people.


“……The Executive Airline Services twin-engine plane took off from Kano at about 1:30 p.m. with 76 people on board headed for Lagos…..[T]he plane immediately showed signs of distress before plunging toward the ground. It then ripped through a working-class neighborhood……About three full blocks of structures were destroyed.

Many of the victims on the ground were burned to death……”


5/3/1962: Two commuter trains and a freight train collide near Tokyo, Japan, killing more than 160 people and injuring over 300




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