1061 of 1092 WHS have been reviewed by our community.
Villa Romana del Casale
Jakob Frenzel Germany - 13-Apr-19
March 2019 - Day 8 of our Sicily trip. After spending the night on a nice Agriturismo near Piazza Armerina, we visited the Villa Casale in the morning.
Yet, there were only few ourists at that time. The whether was crappy, but most of the sight are roofed so the visit was nice anyway. The Villa reminds rather of a construction site than a Museum. You walk 2-3 meters above the mosacis and can see every sinle one. Some of them are in very good shape, others look demolished. Some mosaics look a bit like someone made a joke and depicted todays art in roman style moasaics, especially when looking at the bikini girls or even some nude scenes. Also the way the animals are depicted, is just incredible. Definietly worth a visit, but could be a bit more visitors friendly.Read On
Les sites de métallurgie ancienne de réduction du fer dans les espaces boose et bwi (Ronguin, Tiwega, Yamane, Kindbo, Bekuy, Douroula) (T)
Wojciech Fedoruk Poland - 16-Apr-19
During my short stay in Burkina Faso in February 2019 I was unable to visit its two WHS – Arly National Park was a no-go zone and Loropeni required three more days that I did not have. So I did my best to visit the site that hopefully will become WHS in July 2019 – Ancient metallurgy sites. At least one location seemed to be quite close from Ouagadougou – ovens of Tiwega, near Kaya.
Kaya was theoretically located on the border of the no-go zone, but the taxi driver at the Ouagadougou airport assured that it was safe. We agreed for 50,000 CFA (around EUR 70) for the tripRead On
Jakob Frenzel Germany - 13-Apr-19
March 2019 - on our 6th day we arrived in Agrigento. The city was flooded with people and traffic. There was no way to access the Val di Tiempi. Very unfortunate, since there was Sagra del Mandorlo in Fiore. A festival dedicated for blooming almond trees with dances and food. We are a bit sad, that we missed this event.
Next day however, we visited the archaelogical park. You pay 10€ entrance and can take a walk along the temples. They are located on a geological fold and if you look into the right direction, you find many nice motivves for photographyRead On
Jakob Frenzel Germany - 12-Apr-19
March 2019 - day 5 of our Sicily trip. We started in Milazzo that morning and made a early lunch stop in Cefalu. Nice little town, that reminded us of Dalmatian towns. But most significant is the Cathedral with its mosaics. We visited also the local market and continued our journey to Palermo.
We arrived Saturday afternoon. Good for us, since the traffic wasnt as bad as anticipated. From the hotel we started the walk from one site to the next. Unfortunately the concept of charging 8-15€ entrance fee for each site, made it a quick round. We visited the Norman sites from outside, took some fotos and concetrated on the street food, Palermo is known for.Read On
Why people die at WHS
With the visitor numbers of sites all over the world rising and the recent selfie-craze leading to irresponsible acts, the number of fatal accidents at WHS increases as well. Just in the last few weeks “A man fell off the edge of the Grand Canyon, the third visitor death in eight days” and another “Tourist died of hypothermia after falling into Lake McDonald, Glacier Park”.
We have a connection Fatal accidents or 'disasters' about these unfortunate events. It includes sites:
- where there have been "disasters" causing significant numbers of human deaths from a single incident, or
- where repeated "tourism related" deaths have totalled a significant number
Loosely ordered by overall number of fatalities, here are the main reasons why people die at WHS:
Mining Disasters (1350+)
Perhaps surprisingly, mining is the biggest killer of them all. We already had 2 serious mining disasters in this connection: at Le Bois du Cazier (Mining Sites of Wallonia) the last major mining disaster in European history cost 262 lives. 50 years earlier, the Courrières disaster (Nord-Pas de Calais) resulted in almost 1,100 deaths.
Potosí’s Cerro Rico is a still active mining WHS: according to the latest reports that I could find there were 19 and 20 deaths from mining accidents in 2009 and 2010 respectively. These all of course included workers and no tourists.
Climbing Accidents (400+)
Among tourists / travellers / explorers, climbing accidents are the biggest life-takers. More than 296 people have died trying to climb Mount Everest. Mt Kilimanjaro takes about 10 lives a year and even the less popular Kangchenjunga has seen over 50 deaths since 1905.
And it's not only the climbing, the fatigue & the falling: avalanches and earthquakes in the climbing areas also contribute. The 2015 Sabah earthquake claimed 18 fatalities on Mount Kinabalu for example.
Terrorist Attacks (300+)
Terrorist Attacks are part of a separate connection, but they have made hundreds of victims. One event that in particular stands out is the attack on Queen Hatshepsut's tomb in Ancient Thebes, in November 1997. 62 people died, mostly tourists.
Plane Crashes (150+)
I would have guessed that plane crashes would be higher up the list, as they often have large numbers of fatalities. Planes often fall down close to an airport or near a mountain however, WHS core zones are relatively free of major crashes. Smaller accidents have appeared in Te Wahipounamu, at the Nasca Lines and even several times at the Everglades.
Human Stampedes (150+)
Wikipedia even has a List of Human Stampedes. It features an event in Valletta from 1823: about 110 children died in a stampede while attempting to leave the Convent of the Minori Osservanti during the Carnival celebrations. We already had discovered 2 more of these freak accidents which wiki has not listed: at least 26 people were crushed to death in a deadly stampede in the famous Djinguereber mosque in the city of Timbuktu (2010) and at the Qutb Minar a stampede of schoolgirls inside the tower when the power inside the tower failed lead to 20 deaths (1979).
Attacks by wild animals (35+)
People dying after an attack by a wild animal in a WH designated area seems to happen very rarely. Among the safari destinations Mana Pools stands out in a negative way: I found incidents with lions and with an elephant at Mana Pools. No direct link with the park's policy to allow walking safaris seems to exist. Last year, 2 people were killed by a hippo at Lake Navaisha. All these are not ‘significant’ enough to warrant a connection however.
More dangerous to human life are bears. Glacier NP reports 9 fatal bear attacks since the 1960s. Jasper NP has 3. Since Yellowstone was established in 1872, 8 people have been killed by bears in that park. To put this in perspective though: more people in Yellowstone have died from drowning, burns (after falling into hot springs), and suicide than have been killed by bears.
The real killer animal though is the tiger: both at Chitwan and the Sundarbans, significant numbers of people have been killed by this big cat. In 1988, 65 deaths were reported during a fourmonth period at the Bangladeshi part of the Sundarbans. It's unclear whether they occurred inside the core zone or also at the buffer zone, but the significant numbers can be explained due to the high population density around these parks.
Boat accidents (25+)
15 people died after a sightseeing boat sank in Lake Ohrid (2009) and at Ha Long Bay 12 tourists were killed on a boat that sunk in February 2011. These are the only 2 WHS that I found with significant boating accidents that took a human toll.
Els - 21 April 2019
Els Slots 21 April 2019
Thanks for the updates, I have added them to the connection. I started researching and updating the topic after looking into deaths by wild animals.
Watkinstravel 21 April 2019
Another to add to the mining disasters would be Sewell WHS in Chile. Site of one of the largest metallic mining disasters in history in 1945 when 355 miners died.
Jay T 21 April 2019
Rather morbid, but timely, topic, since I had just come to the site after watching the film “Hotel Mumbai” to see if there was any mention of the terrorism event of 2008 at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. I’d forgotten how many casualties were at the railway station (58 dead and 104 injured).
The air disaster section reminds me of an event largely forgotten by Americans: the 1956 Grand Canyon mid-air collision, which killed 128 people after two planes had changed altitude unbeknownst to each other. The planes crashed into the canyon (near Chuar Butte and a Temple Butte). This disaster led to Congressional hearings and the creation of the Federal Aviation Agency (now Administration), which has oversight of US airspace. I learned about this crash through a rather grim but fascinating book a co-worker has recommended called “Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon”, which, like this post, details the myriad ways visitors to Grand Canyon have died. There is also a companion book called “Off the Wall: Death in Yosemite” that I haven’t read.