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The Deadliest Structural Failures and Building Collapses in Human History

Over the course of time, structural failures have caused mass amounts of damage for varying reasons. We’ve seen bridges collapse, dams completely fail, and we’ve seen buildings fall to the ground, and some of these instances have led to some of the deadliest situations ever, where hundreds or even thousands of people have lost their lives.

From the team at Forney Vault comes this new infographic that looks at 30 structural failures that have resulted in the highest death tolls in recorded history, and these are all real catastrophic.

According to the research conducted by the team at Forney Vault, the deadliest structural failure ever can be attributed to happening in Rome, Italy back in 27 C.E. – it was there at the Fidenae Amphitheatre where 20,000 people lost their lives.

According to this infographic, it was the amphitheater that was cheaply constructed with wood, and certainly wasn’t able to withstand the 50,000 people who came to witness the gladiator games. It ultimately collapsed, and approximately 20,000 people were killed. This structural failure was so massive and so deadly, in fact, that the death toll on this instance is more than four-times that of the second ranked instance.

The second-highest death toll resulting from a structural failure, according to this infographic, happened at Ponte das Barcas in Porto, Portugal back in 1809. It was a bridge that was very uniquely built by connecting wooden boats together, but it collapsed under the weight of several thousands of people who were trying to escape the country when Portugal was under attack from France. When this happened, it’s estimated that 4,000 people lost their lives.

These two instances, along with three others on this infographic, are the five situations where at least 2,000 people were killed.

The other three include the World Trade Center in New York, New York (2001), the South Fork Dam in Johnstown, Pennsylvania (1889), and the Vajont Dam in Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy (1963).

Deadliest Structural Failures and Building Collapses in History

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Jessica Smith

Jessica is the author in charge of our website. Moreover, she takes care of all the back office and business administrative duties. Jessica is the mom of two adorable kids.

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