All throughout the world we have devastating floods, earthquakes, oil spills, and many other disasters that have affected us in terrible ways, causing deaths and terrible damage. But what if some of these situations could have been prevented? Wouldn't it have been worth it to save a few lives or prevent terrible destruction from taking over?
Disaster is all around us. It teaches us a lot of things, like how to be thankful for what we have. Nature and other forces can take things away from us, sometimes in the blink of an eye.
But collected on this list is human error. A list of disasters and catastrophes that could have easily been prevented if the people in charge had simply chosen to do the right thing. Unfortunately, we can't always count on others to do the right job. And so, many suffer the consequences of their actions.
Some of the catastrophes on this list could have been avoided if the appointed person had decided to take charge instead of standing on the side lines. In other tragedies, people just weren't paying close enough attention. Here are fifteen catastrophes that could have and should have been avoided.
15 Fukushima Nuclear Plant Disaster
14 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
One of the worst oil spills in history happened due to the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. The tragedy caused eleven people to lose their lives and many factors played out that left quite a few people at fault, considering it could have been prevented. For almost three months, the rig gushed oil into the Gulf of Mexico. After it was done causing havoc, almost five million barrels of oil had been pumped into the sea. It turned out that BP (British Petroleum) hadn't been paying attention.
13 Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster
As well know, NASA assures us that they know exactly what they are doing. However, no one is perfect, and even NASA is capable of making mistakes within its great team of geniuses.
12 Hamlet Processing Plant Fire
Processing plants almost always have certain safety inspections that need to pass in order to continue to run. However, it seems that Imperial Foods processing plant located in Hamlet, North Carolina, somehow went for ten years without one single inspection.
11 New Zealand Coal Mine Disaster
The Pike River Coal Mine located in New Zealand, was meant to bring in the big bucks. Its opening was to be in 2008, however, due to some problems with the machinery, the opening date was moved to 2010. Perhaps it was an omen for things to come, one that no one truly heeded.
10 Air France Flight 447 Crash
When it comes to airplanes and safety, we want to be assured that the crew of a plane knows exactly what they're doing. It gives us peace of mind and lets us know that we don't have anything to worry about if something goes wrong. It helps to know that you are in good hands. However, the crew of Flight 447 of Air France didn't appear to know what they were doing when their actions led to the deaths of all of their passengers.
9 Kiss Nightclub Fire
They say it's never smart to play with fire. Especially if the area of play is very susceptible to fires and hasn't been fitted with the right means of protection against a disaster. The Kiss Nightclub, located in Sao Paulo, Brazil, quickly found out that it isn't very smart to allow bad equipment in an unprepared area.
8 New Orleans Levee Failure During Katrina
Louisiana is certainly no stranger to hurricanes. Over the past few years they have been devastated by some of the worst storms the United States has ever experienced. But what about the measurements put in place in order to prevent further deaths and devastation? Did it matter that they tried to protect themselves from the forces of nature that we can't control?
7 The Dust Bowl
6 Haiti Earthquake
Considering the world has been progressing forward in development, it often comes as a surprise to many that the country of Haiti is so poor and underdeveloped. When compared to the rest of the world, it's certainly a sad subject, but what made their situation much worse was the earthquake which hit them in 2010. But what makes this such a tragic event is that geologists had been predicting the earthquake for many years.
5 The Draining of Lake Peigneur
At one time, oil rigs didn't exactly think twice when it came to drilling. They simply did their jobs and it was as simple as that. Nothing too complicated was usually involved. However, when a Texaco oil rig decided to start drilling in the 80s, they should have thought twice about exactly where they were drilling.
4 Boston Molasses Explosion
They say that being a construction worker can be a very difficult job. While this may be true, it doesn't take away from the fact that if you are in the profession, always doing a good job is definitely something to make sure of. However, that wasn't what Aurthur Jell was doing when he decided to only do half of the work he was supposed to do.
3 Sidoarjo Mud Flow
Many people may be familiar with the term "mud volcano" but for those who do not know, it is a geological phenomenon which starts beneath the surface. Underground pools of mud become filled with pressure and spew out above ground. Most of the time, they don't pose great threats, but there are a select few that have caused terrible damage over the years.
2 Aberfan Mudslide Disaster
Over a period of fifty years, people of Wales were working hard in the mines near Merthyr Mountain day in and day out. During this time, the workers decided to put all of the debris and rocks on the side of Merthyr Mountain in an area that was just above a small village known as Aberfan. This wouldn't have been a problem except for the fact that the workers did this for fifty years, which eventually led to a very large pile of debris. Eventually, the people of the town started complaining that the pile was so large that it blocked the sun. The people responsible for the pile and its location did not heed the town's complaints and continued to pile on the debris.
1 Vajont Dam Breaking
In the 1920's, SADE, the Italian energy company was aspiring to do something extraordinary by building a dam that could block up the waters of the Vajont River. It took quite a few years for SADE to convince officials that this was a good idea. After SADE assuring everyone that they had surveyed the land and even its history of landslides, people were starting to give them the go ahead. However, experts surfaced stating that sides of the Monte Toc would break off, collapsing into the basin if they decided to construct the dam. SADE did not listen and in 1959, they finished the construction on the dam. Then, in 1960, they started filling it up.
In 1963, due to a massive landslide accompanied by lots and lots of rain, the dam broke, sending a 750 foot tall wave down where the river once flourished. The wave ended up killing 2,000 people in its path.
Sources: Cracked, Listverse
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