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The Grim Side of the Grand Canyon

Updated on June 21, 2015

The Grand Canyon is a breath taking mystical place that encompasses over 250 miles through multiple states. Millions of visitors come from all over the world to see this fascinating and splendid wonder in person for themselves. Considering the vast size of the Grand Canyon, the wonderful park rangers do a great job of insuring the safety for all of it's visitors.

Even with tons of safety measures in place this isn't a perfect world we live in, and every now and then something may go wrong. No one ever knows exactly when their time is going to be up, and surely no one expects it to be at such a beautiful place as the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon has had a checkered past at times, and there are over 800 untimely deaths on record now.

They range from the 1869 John Wesley Powell 1,000 mile Green & Colorado river journey, where three crew members were lost. To up in the air on June 30th 1956 where one of the worst commercial civilian airline disasters, up to that period of time in history took place. Over the Grand Canyon a United Airlines DC-7 collided in midair with a TWA four engine Super Constellation killing 128 people.

There were also automobile tragedies where children remained in the vehicle, and the parents failed to set the parking brake while getting a closer look at the Grand Canyon. There was a women who was obsessed with the movie "Thelma and Louise", and visited the Grand Canyon and tried the stunt herself. There were also people who were kicked in the head by mules, killed by rock falls, bitten by snakes, and just about anything that could have happened elsewhere, has also happened at the Grand Canyon.

What's really amazing is that there really aren't as many accidental falls from the Grand Canyon's rim as one would originally think. I've been there, and I myself along with many others took unnecessary risks to get out just a little bit further out on the rim for that better photograph. The following list of statistics on accidental and non-accidental deaths are from 1860 to 2011, and are by no means 100% correct. I've broken it down greatly into ten different categories, for better reading.

Untimely Death Statistics -

379 - Aircraft disasters

108 - Drowning

75 - Suicides

41 - Heat stroke & dehydration

46 - Cardiac, heart attacks & heat related

54 - Falls inside of the Grand Canyon

55 - Falls from the Grand Canyon rim

32 - Homicides

8 - Cold & hypothermia

28 - Accidents, errors, & unknown causes

The Grand Canyon is truly one of Nature's wonders of the world
The Grand Canyon is truly one of Nature's wonders of the world


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    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      9 years ago from New York

      Though the amount of deaths are small in comparison to the amount of visitors its still scary to think about! Nice job on this hub. Voted interesting.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      9 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I can't imagine ever going near this place..Thank's for the heads up. Cheers

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      9 years ago

      This was interesting to read. I will think twice about an airplane ride over the canyon! Seriously, I would have thought there would be more suicides due to the isolation of the area.


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