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March 2001 Disasters

  • March 4, Castelo de Paiva, Portugal: Bridge over the Douro River collapsed, plunging a bus and 2 cars into the water. At least 70 people were presumed dead.
  • March 5, Mina, Saudi Arabia: Thirty-five Muslim pilgrims were crushed to death during the symbolic stoning of the devil ritual at the annual hajj pilgrimage.
  • March 6, Fang Lin, Jiangxi, China: An explosion at a village elementary school killed 41 people, most of them children. According to state media, the blast occurred when a deranged man walked into the school and detonated 2 bags of explosives. Victims' families, however, blamed school officials, who, they claimed, forced the children to make fireworks to help support the school.
  • March 15, southern Atlantic Ocean, off Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil: The world's largest offshore oil rig was rocked by a series of explosions that left 11 people dead. The rig, which was owned by the state oil giant Petrobras, listed for five days before it sank. The oil spill was reported as relatively minimal.
  • March 16, Shijiazhuang, Hebei, China: A series of explosions destroyed four residential buildings, killing 108 people.
  • March 26, Machakos, Kenya: A fire in a secondary-school dormitory killed 58 boys and seriously injured 28.

See also Major Earthquakes Around the World 2001

See also Recent Volcanic Activity


Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

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