Other Suicide Sites - Jump Sites
In addition to bridges, other sites around the world have had their share of jumping deaths. In some cases, proactive measures by local citizenry have changed that.
Bern, Switzerland. Muenster Terrace, a medieval castle, was the site of three or four jumps per year until a net was installed and the suicides ended.
Cornell, New York. Cornell University tried to stop suicides from several bridges built over a gorge on campus by posting security guards at the bridges. Suicides continued, however, until recent years when safety nets were added.
East Sussex, England. The chalk cliffs at Beachy Head were the site of about 20 suicidal jumps per year. Then access was blocked and there were no further suicides.
Florence, Italy. The Duomo
Izu Oshima, Japan. Mount Mihara is an active volcano, and it became a suicide magnet in 1933 after a 21-year-old female student jumped into the crater. Her death, widely reported by the media, led to many copycat deaths until 1936, when access was restricted.
New York City. The Empire State Building.
Paris, France. The Eiffel Tower
Rome, Italy. St. Peter’s Basilica
Some sites continue to experience an endless stream of suicides, largely because local efforts to prevent them have depended on signage, phones, and watchdog efforts of local people rather than the erection of a physical deterrent. Below are two notable sites.
Nanjing, China. The Yangtze River Bridge may well have eclipsed the Golden Gate Bridge as the world’s top suicide site. The bridge is four miles long, 120 feet above the water, traveled by many of Nanjing’s six million people every day, and is the site of at least one suicide per week, on average. The Chinese government has used guards, signage, and even butter to try and stop suicide attempts (butter was smeared on bridge railings so that they might be too slippery to climb). To date, nothing has worked.
Niagara Falls. Estimates vary regarding the number of people who have intentionally thrown themselves off the falls, but 20 to 25 per year is considered to be the average.