Tag Archives: deadliest

Worst Ship Disasters

Worst Maritime Disasters – Civilian

The Worst Maritime (Naval, Ship) Disasters

This list contains only disasters involving civilian ships in peacetime. Military vessels and munitions ships are a separate issue.

1.
MV Dona Paz
Philippines
Dec. 20, 1987
4,341 Casualties

4,341 died when the passenger ferry Dona Paz sank after a collision with an oil tanker.

2. SS Kiangya
China
Dec. 4, 1948
2750 – 3920 casualties

While the cause of the sinking of the Kiangya is unknown, the suspicion is that it was the result of a left-over WWII Japanese mine. The exact death toll is also unknown, but the low end it thought to be 2,750 and the high 3,920.

3. Le Joola
Senegal
Sept. 26, 2002
1,800 casualties

Rough seas cause the sinking of the ferry Le Joola, leaving an estimated 1,800 dead.

4. Sultana
United States
April 27, 1864
1,800 casualties

Early steamships (as well as early railroads) had issues with boiler explosions, as with the case of the Sultana. 1,800 of the 2,400 passengers died when the steamship exploded on the Mississippi River near Memphis, Tennessee.

5. Tek Sing
Indonesia
Feb. 6, 1822
1,600 casualties

When the Chinese junk Tek Sing struck a reef near Indonesia, it sank and left some 1,600 dead.

6.RMS Titanic
Great Britain (North Sea)
April 14, 1912
1,532 caualties

At the time the world’s largest passenger ship, the Titanic struck an iceberg and sank. 1,532 were killed. Thanks to books and movies, this is the most famous of shipwrecks, but certainly not the worst in terms of casualties.

7. Toya Maru
Japan
September 26, 1954
1, 153 casualties

The Toya Maru sank during Typhoon Marie in the Tsugaru Strait, taking some 1,153 with it.

8. RMS Empress of Ireland
Canada
May 29, 1914
1,012 casualties

A collision with the SS Storstad on the St. Lawrence River sank the Empress of Ireland, and claimed 1,012 lives.

10. Al salam Boccaccio 98
Egypt
Feb. 3, 2006
1,000

The passenger ferry Al Salam Boccaccio 98 sank on the red sea on its way from Saudi Arabia to Egypt.The incident started with a fire and led to the ship capsizing due to seawater taken in during firefighting efforts.

Originally posted 2015-01-05 03:03:43.

Worst Train Disasters

The World’s Worst Railroad Disasters

The earliest recorded rail deaths may have occurred in 1650 in Whickham, England, when two boys were killed by a wagon on a wood coal tramway. In 1815, also in England, 13 – 16 people were killed by a boiler explosion of the experimental locomotive “Brunton’s Mechanical Traveller”. Since then, things have gotten worse. Here are the worst rail disasters of all time, listed by number of deaths. Note that a great many of these occurred in times of war, when large numbers of people were being transported by rail.

1)
Queen of the Sea Rail Disaster
Sri Lanka, 24 December 2004
1,700 deaths

Stuck by a tsunami wave created by the Indian Ocean earthquake, the Queen of the Sea was caught in the rising waters. Believing that it would be safe from the wave, hundreds of locals climbed aboard. Unfortunately, it was swept away, and 1,700 were killed. The victims primarily were in the eight cars, where they were unable to open the doors and drowned.

2)
Bihar Rail Disaster
India, 6 June 1981
800 – 1,000+ Deaths

A passenger train carrying at least 800 derailed on a bridge and plunged into the Bagmati River. Only 200 bodies were recovered.

3)
Frejus Railway Disasters aka Modane Train Disaster
Near Modane, France, 12 December 1917
600 – 1,000 deaths

An overloaded train carrying 800 – 1000 French soldiers returning home from North East Italy during World War I suffered brake failure and crashed while descending into a valley. As a result of the fire and wreckage, only 425 of the bodies could be identified.

4)
Ciurea Rail Disaster
Ciurea Station, Romania 13 January 1817
600 – 1,000

During the First World War, a train carrying as many as 1,000 passengers—mostly soldiers and civilians fleeing a German advance—suffered brake failure on a 6.7% grade. To avoid collision with a second train at the bottom, the runaway was switched onto a loop. The runaway train derailed and caught fire.

5)
Guadalajara Train Disaster
Guadalajara, Mexico, 22 January 1915
600+ Deaths

In the midst of the Mexican Revolution, a train carrying the families of the troops of Venustiano Carranza left Colima for Guadalajara. The train lost its brakes on a steep descent, jumped the tracks and plunged into a canyon. Some 300 survived.

6)
Ufa Train Diaster
Near Asha, in the Soviet Union 4 June 1989
575 – 645 killed

Two passing trains carrying children on holiday to the Black Sea threw sparks near a leaky liquid petroleum gas pipeline. The resulting explosion—the equivalent of the Hiroshima bomb—killed at least 575 and wounded 700 others.

7)
Balvano Train Disaster
near Balvano, Italy 2/3 March 1944
426 Deaths

After a train stalled on a steep gradient in the Armi tunnel, carbon monoxide fumes from its engines killed 426, many riding the train illegally. The carbon monoxide was exacerbated by the poor grade coal used as a result of war shortages.

8)
Torre del Bierzo Rail Disaster
near Torro del Bierzo, Spein 3 January 1944
500 deaths

The collision of three trains in a tunnel left more than 500 dead. Official counts at the time were much lower for political reasons

9)
Awash Rail Disaster
between Arba and Khora, Ethiopia 14 January 1985
428 deaths

High speed led to a derailment of four of the trains’s five cars as it rounded a curve on a bridge across a ravine. Of the 1,000 on board, 428 were killed and 500 injured.

10)
Al Ayyat Train Disaster
Between Cairo and Luxor, Egypt 20 February 2002
at least 383 deaths

A cooking gas cylinder explosion set the train on fire, burning seven third class carriages to cinders. There was no passenger list, so estimates run to as high as 1,000 deaths on the grossly overcrowded train.

Originally posted 2015-01-05 03:00:29.

Worst US Bus Disasters

The Worst Bus Disasters In The United States

The Worst US Bus Disasters
May 21, 1976
Yuba City, California
28 are killed when a bus carrying the Yuba City High School choir plunges off a cliff.

May 14, 1988
Carrolton, Kentucky
Truck driver collides head on with a church bus. 27 died; 34 injured.

Feb. 28, 1958
Prestonsburg, Kentucky
A schoolbus with 46 students struck a wrecker and plunged into the Big Sandy River. 26 children and tbe bus driver drowned.

September 23, 2005
Wilmer, Texas
While fleeing from Hurrican Rita, 24 elderly people died when their bus caught fire and burned.

June 5, 1980
Jasper, Arkansas
A tour bus rolls off a highway and kills 22 while injuring 19.

May 9, 1999
New Orleans
When a tour bus crashes into a concrete wall, killing 22 and injuring 24.

May 30, 1986
Walker, California
A tour buss crashes into the West Walker river, killing 21 and injuring 19.

March 2, 2007
Atlanta, Georgia
A bus transporting the Bluffton University baseball team crashed through a barrier, killing 7.

October 25, 1995
Fox River Grove, Illinois
A school bus is struck by a commuter train, killing seven.

March 22, 1971
Congers, New York
Five were killed and 44 injured when a train hit a school bus that failed to stop at a crossing.

Originally posted 2015-01-05 02:58:46.

The World’s Worst Airline Disasters

While airline disasters are spectacular and often cause tragically large losses of life, it’s worth noting that airline travel remains among the safest modes of travel. In a statistical sense, airplanes are far safer than cars. Each day, three million people fly; In 2000, commercial airliners carried 1.09 billion people on 18 million flights, while suffering only 20 fatal accidents. On the other hand, automobile accidents kill more than 40,000 each year in the United States alone.
1.
New York, New York
September 11, 2001
4,500+ Casualties

The majority of the deaths here were, of course, on the ground, as Islamic terrorists flew two 767s into the World Trade Center buildings.

2.
Tenerife, Canary Islands
March 27, 1977
583 Casualties

583 people were killed when two Boeing 747s collided on a foggy runway.The KLM jet had departed without permission, and struck the Pan Am as it taxied on the same runway.

3.
Mount Fuji, Japan
August 12, 1985
520 casualties

A Japan Airlines 747 crashed near Mount Fuji shortly after takeoff. The crash was blamed on the rupture of a rear bulkhead. The crash wasn’t the end of the deaths, though. A maintenance supervisor later committed suicide over the incident.

4.
Delhi, India
November 12, 1996
349 casualties

Traveling from Kazakhstan, an Ilyushhin IL-76 Cargo plane collided with a Saudia 747. The collision was blamed on the Kazakhstan crew, which ignored instructions.

5.
Orly Airport, France
March 3, 1974
346 casualties

The cargo door of Turkish Airlines DC-10 burst open, causing de-pressurization, the failure of the airplane’s floor, and severing the control cables. The airplane crashed just outside of Paris.

6.
Irish Sea
June 23, 1985
329 killed

Sikh extremists planted a bomb on an Air India 757, which blew up over the Irish Sea enroute to Bombay. A second bomb, intended for another airliner, blew up in the luggage facility.

7.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
August 19, 1980
301 killed

The Saudia L-1011 made a safe emergency landing after an on board fire, then taxied to the end of the runway. Strangely, the plane did not evacuate, and the engines continued to run. Three minutes later, a flash fire ignited the airplane and all aboard were killed.

8.
Persian Gulf
July 3, 1988
290 killed

An Iran Air Airbus A300 is mistakenly shot down by a US Navy Destroyer

9.
Chicago O’Hare
May 25, 1979
273 killed

Until 9-11, the single largest loss of life in a US aviation incident. An engine fell off a DC-10, damaging the wing and rolling the airplane. Crashing a mile from the airport, it exploded in a huge fireball.

10.
Lockerbie, Scotland
December 21, 1988
270 killed

Libyan agents planted a bomb aboard Pan Am flight 103. Casualties included 11 on the ground.

Originally posted 2015-01-05 02:56:31.

The Ten Deadliest US Wildfires

The Ten Deadliest Wildfires In US History
As Measured By the Number of Deaths

1.
Peshtigo, Wisconsin
October 8 – 14, 1871
More than 1,500 lives were lost and 3.8 million acres burned. The United States’ worse fire, however, is largely forgotten because it occurred at the same time as the more publicized Great Chicago Fire, which occurred on October 8 – 10, 1871. Interestingly, a similarly deadly fire occurred in Port Huron, Michigan on the same date.

2.
Cloquet, Minnesota
October 13 – 15, 1918
As many as 1,000 were killed (although some sources put the total at around 500) 52,000 injured or displaced and 250,000 acres destroyed.

3.
Hinkley, Minnesota
September 1, 1894
The Great Hinkley Fire burned 200,000 acres and may have killed as many as 800, although some put the total at just over 400. The towns of Mission Creek, Brook Park and Hinckley all were completely destoryed. Among the victims was Boston Corbett, the union soldier who killed John Wilkes Booth.

4.
Port Huron, Michigan
September 5, 1881
The Thumb Fire (named for Michigan’s east side thumb-shaped peninsula), burned more than 1 million acres and took 282 lives. This was the second major fire in the area in ten years.

5.
Port Huron, Michigan
October 8 – 21, 1871
The Port Huron fire of 1871 occurred simultaneously with the Peshtigo, Wisconsin fire and the Great Chicago Fire. It destroyed more than 1,200,000 acres and killed 200.

6.
Maine and New Brunswick, Canada
October 1825
Named after a river in Canada, the Miramichi fire burned 3 million acres and killed 160.

7.
Idaho and Montana
August 20 – 21, 1910
The Great Fire of 1910—also known as the Big Blow Up, or the Big Burn—ignited more than 3 million acres. It killed at least 85 people. The blaze created a firestorm that whipped up high winds which very quickly drove the fire forward.

8.
Oakland, California
October 20, 1991
Beginning as a grass fire, this firestorm destroyed 1,520 acres and killed 25.

9.
Southern California
October 2003
Multiple wildfires destroyed more than 800,000 acres and left 22 dead.

10.
Cleveland National Forest, San Diego, California
October 23 – November 3, 2003
Burning more than 230,000 acres, this fire killed 15.

Originally posted 2015-01-05 02:46:58.

The Worst US Mining Disasters

The Top US Mining Disasters
As Measured By Casualties

The Top Ten US Mining Disasters

Coal mining is a dangerous, but vital business. Roof collapses, gas and dust explosions and the heavy equipment are just some of the dangers faced by these brave men.

1.
December 6, 1907
Monongah, West Virginia

361 casualties. The worst mining disaster in US history occurred when shafts 6 and 8 of a Consolidated Coal Company mine exploded. The explosion, which was apparently caused by methane gas, disabled the ventilation system causing the buildup of deadly gases.

2.
October 22, 1913
Dawson, NM

This coal mine explosion killed 263.

3.
November 13, 1909
Cherry, Illinois

A bale of hay accidentally ignites, setting the coal mine on fire. The death toll for miners and would-be rescuers reached 259.

4.
December 10, 1907
Jacobs Creek, Pennsylvania

In the same year as the Monongah mine disaster, 239 miners were killed in a separate disaster in Pennsylvania.

5.
May 1, 1900
Scofield, Utah

When a cache of blasting powder in a copper mine accidentally ignited, 200 were killed.

6.
May 19, 1928
Mather, Pennsylvania

An explosion in the No. 1 coal mine killed 195.

7.
May 19, 1902
Coal Creek, Tennessee

A methane gas buildup caused an explosion that killed 184.

8.
April 28, 1914
Eccles, WV

An explosion at the No. 5 mine killed 181.

9.
January 25, 1904
Springdale Township, Pennsylvania

When the Harwick mine explodes, 179 are killed.

10.
March 8, 1924
Castle Gate, Utah

Inadequate watering of coal dust was blamed for an explosion that killed 172.

Originally posted 2015-01-05 02:34:26.

The Ten Worst Worldwide Mining Disasters

The Ten Worst Worldwide Mining Disasters
As Measured By Casualties

By far the worst mining safety record belongs to China. Even today, hundreds (if not thousands—the secretive Chinese government does not reveal figures) die every year in Chinese mining accidents.

1.
April 26, 1942
Honkeiko Colliery, China

In what is probably the worst mining disaster of all time, 1,549 miners died in a mine operated in Japanese occupied Manchuria. China has a horrible history of mine safety. The Japanese also likely are culpable in this accident: the Chinese were treated as sub-human slave labor by Japanese.

2.
March 10, 1906
Courrieres, France

1,100 died in a coal dust explosion.

3.
November 9, 1963
Omuta, Japan

An explosion in a coal mine killed 447.

4.
October 14, 1913
Senghenydd, Wales, Uk

The worst of the Welsh coal mining diasters killed 438 men and boys

5.
January 1, 1960
Coalbrook, South Africa

437 casualties.

6.
June 6, 1972
Wankie, Rhodesia

A coal mine explosion kills 427.

7.
May 28, 1965
Dhanbad, India

375 miners die in a coal mine fire.

8.
December 27, 1975
Chasnala, India

A coal mine explosion, followed by flooding kills 372.

9.
December 12, 1866
Barnsley, England, UK

361 casualties.

10.
December 6, 1907
Monongah, WV

361 casualties. The worst mining disaster in US history is said to have provided the origins of the first Father’s Day celebration. A woman named Grace Clayton asked her church to hold a Sunday memorial for the fathers lost in the mine. The commemoration was held in a church in Fairmont, West Virginia.

Originally posted 2015-01-05 02:32:43.

The Deadliest US Tornadoes

The Deadliest US Tornado Outbreaks
The Top Ten Most Deadly Tornadoes In US History

Note: The 2011 Tornado Outbreak has been confirmed as of this writing (4/29/2011) to have killed 319, making it the highest death toll since 1932, when 322 were killed in Alabama. An April 1974 outbreak killed 325 people in 11 states. These however, are from multiple storms.The deadliest tornado remains the March 18, 1925 twister which killed 695 people on its 219 mile path of destruction. A total of 747 people were killed in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana when all tornadoes in that storm are accounted for.

What follows is a list of the deadliest single twisters.

1.
The Tri State Tornado
Missouri, Illinois and Indiana
March 18, 1925
Death Toll: 625

The worst tornado in US history began in southeastern Missouri, crossed through southern Illinois, and then turned into southwestern Indiana. The 625 deaths more than doubled the second deadliest tornado in US history. More than 2,000 were injured. Property damage was assessed at $16.5 million, which would be $1.7 billion in today’s dollars. The tornado left a 219 mile track, which is the longest ever recorded. It rated an F5 on the Fujita scale.

2.
The Great Natchez Tornado
Natchez, Mississippi
May 7, 1840
Death Toll: 317

Forming southwest of Natchez, the tornado moved north along the Mississippi River. When it struck Natchez, it destroyed dozens of buildings, killing at least 48. Another 269 were killed as the tornado destroyed numerous flatboats on the river. The actual number of casualties, however, may have been much higher, because in pre-Civil War Mississippi, slave deaths would not necessarily have been recorded.

3.
The St. Louis – East St. Louis Tornado
St. Louis, Missouri and East St. Louis, Illinois
May 27, 1896
Death Toll: 255

One of the few tornados to strike a major city, this tornado touched down in St. Louis, leaving a mile-wide path of destruction through homes and commercial buildings. It then crossed the Mississippi River and blew through East. St. Louis, Illinois. The official death toll is 255, but some have estimated that the death toll may be as high as 400, since it is impossible to know how many died in boats on the Mississippi River. When adjusted for inflation, the tornado would be the costliest in US history, with an estimated price tag of $2.9 billion.

4.
The Tupelo Tornado
Tupelo, Mississippi
April 5, 1936
Death Toll: 233

Part of a storm system that also spawned the deadly Gainsville tornado, the Tupelo storm cut its way through the residential areas of Tupelo, Mississippi. One noted survivor was one-year-old Elvis Presley.

5.
The Gainsville Tornado
Gainesville, Georgia
April 6, 1936
Death Toll: 203

Following the Tupelo storm of the previous night (see number 4 above), the Gainsville Tornado destroyed several major buildings in Gainsville, Georgia, including 70 at the Cooper Pants Factory.

6.
Glazier-Higgins-Woodward Tornadoes
Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas
April 9, 1947
Death Toll: 181

This tornado—or perhaps series of tornados—is named after the three towns that suffered the greatest percentage of casualties. Seventeen were killed in Glazier, Kansas, 51 in Higgins Texas, and 107 in Woodward, Oklahoma. The tornado is thoguht to have been as much as two miles wide. More than 100 city blocks were destroyed in Woodward. In addition the the 181 killed, another 970 were injured.

7.
Amite-Pine-Purvis Tornadoes
Louisiana, Mississippi
April 24, 1908
Death Toll: 143

Leaving only seven houses intact in Purvis, Mississippi, the storm killed 143 and injured 770.

8,
Joplin, Missouri Tornado
Joplin, Missouri
May 23, 2011
Death Toll: 117

9.
New Richmond Tornado
Wisconsin
June 12, 1899
Death Toll: 117

Strong enough to blow a 3,000 pound safe a block away, the storm began as a waterspout on lake St. Croix.

10.
Flint Tornado
Michigan
June 8, 1953
Death Toll: 115

Beginning just north of Flushing, this tornado destroyed the north side of Flint before breakign up near Lapeer. It travelled 46 miles in an hour and a half. The same storm system spawned a tornado in Worcester, Massachusetts a day later.

11.
Waco Tornado
Texas
May 11, 1953
Death Toll: 114

The deadliest twister to ever hit Texas, the Waco storm damaged 600 businesses, 850 homes and 2,000 cars.

Originally posted 2015-01-05 02:28:42.

The Deadliest US Volcanic Eruptions

The Deadliest US Volcanic Eruptions

The Worst US Volcanic Eruptions

1.
Mount St. Helens, Washington State
May 18, 1980
Death Toll: 57

The 1980 eruption created a debris avalance of about 0.7 cubic miles in volume, killing 57 and destroying more than 200 homes.

2.
Novarupta, Alaska
1912
Death Toll: 0

The 1912 Novarupta was the largest volcanic explosion of the 20th Century. Ten times more powerful than the eruption of Mt. St. Helens, it ejected 9.2 square miles of debris.

Originally posted 2015-01-05 02:26:14.

The World’s Worst Volcanic Eruptions

The World’s Worst Volcanic Eruptions
As Measured by Death Toll

This list of the world’s worst volcanic eruptions includes only those whose death toll can be reasonably documented. The death toll from some of the worst eruptions in history can only be guessed. The eruption of Santorini in Greece in 1650 BC destroyed competely destroyed entire civilizations. Scientist also theorize that an eruption of Tuba around 75,000 years ago caused a volcanic winter that came close to wiping out mankind.

1.
Mt. Tambora, Indonesia
April 10 – 15, 1816
Death Toll: 92,000

The eruption of Tambora killed an estimated 92,000 people, including 10,000 from explosion and ash fall, and 82,000 from other related causes.

The concussion from the explosion was felt as far as a thousand miles away. Mt. Tambora, which was more than 13,000 feet tall before the explosion was reduced to 9,000 feet after ejecting more than 93 cubic miles of debris into the atmosphere.

The effects of the eruption were felt worldwide: 1816 became known as the “year without a summer” because of the volcanic ash in the atmosphere that lowered worldwide temperatures. It snowed in New England that June, and crop failures were common throughout Northern Europe and North America. As many as 100,000 additional deaths from starvation in these areas are thought to be traced to the eruption.

2.
Mt. Pelee, West Indies
April 25 – May 8, 1902
Death Toll: 40,000

Thought to be dormant, Mt. Pelee began a series of eruptions on April 25, 1902. The primary eruption, on May 8 completely destroyed the city of St. Pierre, killing 25,000. The only survivors were a man held in a prison cell, and a man who lived on the outskirts of the town. Several ships also were destroyed with all hands.

3.
Mt. Krakatoa, Indonesia
August 26 – 28, 1883
Death Toll: 36,000

The August 1883 of Mt. Krakatoa (Krakatua) destroyed 2/3 of the island, ejecting more than six cubic miles of debris into the atmosphere. The sound of the explosion was the loudest ever documented, and was heard as far away as Australia.

Interestingly, it’s probable that no one died in the initial explosion. The casualties all came from the resulting tsunami.

4.
Nevado del Ruiz, Columbia
November 13, 1985
Death Toll: 23,000

A small eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano melted part of the volcano’s ice cap, creating an enormous mudslide that buried the city of Armero, killing 23,000.

5.
Mt. Unzen, Japan
1792
Death Toll: 12,000 – 15,000

The eruption of Mt. Unzen was followed by an earthquake, which collapsed the east flank of the dome. The resulting avalance created a tsuanami which killed 12,000 to 15,000 in nearby towns.

6.
Mt. Vesuvius, Italy
April 24, AD 79
Death Toll: 10,000+

In one of the most famous eruptions of all time, Mt. Vesuvius erupted and completely destroyed the Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The eruption, which is said to have lasted 19 hours, buried Pompeii in ten feet of volcanic ash. The intense heat—perhaps as much as 750 degrees—carbonized much of the organic material in the area. Many of the victims have been found with the tops of their heads missing—their brains having boiled and exploded.

7.
The Laki Volcanic System, Iceland
June 8, 1783 – February 1784
Death Toll: 9350

Nearly a year of constant eruptions created a dusty volcanic haze that created massive food shortages. Iceland suffered 9,350 deaths mostly due to starvation.

8.
Mt. Vesuvius, Italy
December 1631
Death Toll: 6,000

The notorious Mt. Vesuvius has erupted more than a dozen times since it destroyed the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The 1631 eruption killed as many as 6,000 people when lava flows consumed many of the surrounding towns. Boiling water ejected from the volcanos added to the destruction.

9.
Mt. Kelut, Indonesia
May 19, 1919
Death Toll: 5,110

Most of the casualties apparently were the result of mudslides.

10.
Mt. Galunggung, Java, Indonesia
1882
Death Toll: 4,011

Originally posted 2015-01-05 02:24:26.