Man – made disasters. Some environmental disasters are caused by humans. We are responsible for 2 main sorts of disasters.
The Westgate Bridge Catastrophe
Melbourne, 15th October 1970
The building of the Westgate Bridge was
welcomed by the people of Melbourne because
it would connect the city’s eastern and western
suburbs. Instead it turned out to be a nightmare.
Thirty-five workmen were killed when a span of
the bridge collapsed during construction.
The ‘pinging’ noise was heard, followed by the screech of metal grinding over metal. The gap widened and one end of the span collapsed. The other span slid down, its 2000-tonne weight plummeting into the river.
Hobart, 5th January 1975
On a dark, drizzly night early in 1975 a 7000
tonne ship carrying a large cargo of ore tried to
pass under Hobart’s Tasman Bridge, but didn’t
make it through. Not only did the bridge
collapse but the ‘Lake Illawarra’ sank like a
stone, claiming 12 lives.
A 73-metre long section of the bridge’s roadway fell onto the ‘Lake Illawarra’. On the bridge, cars skidded as lights went out. Four cars plunged 50 metres into the Derwent River. Two others stopped, half hanging over the edge of the bridge.
Images of this terrifying day were broadcast worldwide. Onlookers watched in horror as the Twin Towers collapsed from the impact of the collision.
This disaster remains the accident with the highest number of airline passenger fatalities.
At 9:26 pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time) on 21st April 2006 a seismic event triggered an underground rock fall at the Beaconsfield gold mine in northern Tasmania.
The bushfires in Victoria have claimed more than a thousand homes and we have a death toll nearing 200 with more expected as authorities enter ruined towns. With fires already burning, conditions on Saturday made it worse. Black Saturday, Saturday the 7^th of February was the hottest day on record, the temperature reached 46.4 degrees Celsius meaning many residents didn’t stand a chance due to extreme hear and strong winds. Hundreds of fires burn out of control, leaving only destruction, emergency services where stretched to the limit.
The Southern Aurora Crash
Violet Town, 7th February 1969
An inquest found three crew of the Southern Aurora were responsible for the crash and deaths of 9 people.
The driver was declared negligent because he had a heart condition yet continued to drive trains.
The fireman was also to blame because he left the control cabin to fill a kettle when he should have been looking out for signals at the loop.
The guard was also guilty because he had fallen asleep and so was not able to apply the emergency brake.
An oil tanker runs aground, spilling part of its cargo into the sea. Disasters like this have a terrible short-term effect on sea life and birds.
Every day huge amounts of pollution pour into our atmosphere, storing up trouble for future generations.
The Loch Ard Shipwreck, Port Campbell, 1st June 1878
It should never have
happened. On the night of
14th April 1912, the 46,000
tonne ship ‘Titanic’ smashed
into the iceberg, buckling the
plates of her hull so that the
water poured in. In under 3
hours she was gone, and than
1,500 people with her.
Today, famine continues to stalk many countries,
especially in Africa, where food shortages due to
crop failure can turn into disaster because of
war or corruption.