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Best Disaster of All Time

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    1
    Reichstag fire

    Reichstag fire

    • Areas affected: Berlin
    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Reichstag fire (German: Der  Reichstagsbrand (help·info)) was an arson attack on the Reichstag building in Berlin on 27 February 1933. The event is seen as pivotal in the establishment of Nazi Germany. At 21:25 (UTC +1), a Berlin fire station received an alarm call that the Reichstag building, the assembly location of the German Parliament, was ablaze. The fire started in the Session Chamber, and, by the time the police and firemen arrived, the main Chamber of Deputies was engulfed in flames. The police conducted a thorough search inside the building and found Marinus van der Lubbe, council communist and unemployed bricklayer, who had recently arrived in Germany, ostensibly to carry out political activities. The fire was used as evidence by the Nazis that the Communists were beginning a plot against the German government. Van der Lubbe and four Communist leaders were subsequently arrested. Adolf Hitler, who was sworn in as Chancellor of Germany four weeks before, on 30 January, urged President Paul von Hindenburg to pass an emergency decree to counter the "ruthless confrontation of the Communist Party of Germany". With civil liberties suspended, the government instituted mass
    7.22
    9 votes
    2
    Mount Mulligan mine disaster

    Mount Mulligan mine disaster

    • Type of disaster: Explosion
    The Mount Mulligan mine disaster occurred on 19 September 1921 in Mount Mulligan, Far North Queensland, Australia. A series of explosions in the local coal mine, audible as much as 30 km away, rocked the close knit township. Seventy-five workers were killed by the disaster which is the third worst coal mining accident in Australia in terms of human lives lost. Four of the dead had been at the mouth of the pit at the time of the explosion. Only eleven of the bodies were found. The disaster affected people in cities and towns all over the country. The mine, which was new at the time of the accident, was widely considered safe and had no previous indications of gas leaks. The miners hence worked using open flame lights instead of safety lamps. A Royal Commission into the accident confirmed that the disaster was caused by the detonation of a fire damp. The investigation found that explosives were used, stored, distributed and carried underground in a careless manner. It was also determined that the lack of appropriate means to render the coal dust safe in the mine was a violation of law. The mine was reopened a year after the disaster. In 1923 the Queensland government bought it from
    7.13
    8 votes
    3
    Johnstown Flood

    Johnstown Flood

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The Johnstown Flood (or Great Flood of 1889 as it became known locally) occurred on May 31, 1889. It was the result of the catastrophic failure of the South Fork Dam situated on the Little Conemaugh River 14 miles (23 km) upstream of the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, USA, made worse by several days of extremely heavy rainfall. The dam's failure unleashed a torrent of 20 million tons of water (4.8 billion U.S. gallons; 18.2 million cubic meters; 18.2 billion litres) from the reservoir known as Lake Conemaugh. With a volume that temporarily equalled the flow of the Mississippi River, the flood killed 2,209 people and caused US$17 million of damage. It was the first major disaster relief effort handled by the new American Red Cross, led by Clara Barton. Support for victims came from all over the United States and 18 foreign countries. After the flood, survivors suffered a series of legal defeats in their attempts to recover damages from the dam's owners. Public indignation at that failure prompted the development in American law changing a fault-based regime to strict liability. The village of Johnstown was founded by European Americans in 1800 by the Swiss immigrant Joseph Johns
    8.00
    6 votes
    4
    2008 Ukraine coal mine collapse

    2008 Ukraine coal mine collapse

    • Type of disaster: Mining accident
    The 2008 Ukrainian coal mine collapse occurred at the Karl Marx Coal Mine in the city of Yenakiieve, Donetsk Oblast (province) of eastern Ukraine on June 8, 2008. The mine collapse was said to have been caused by a gas pipe explosion. The explosion occurred at a depth of about 1,750 feet (533 m). 37 miners were trapped underground at the time of the collapse, located 3,301 feet (1,006 m) below the surface of the earth. Additionally, five surface workers suffered from burns and other injuries in a blast that they described as one of the most powerful in the industry. The workers in the mine were supposed to have been checking for safety concerns in the mine and fixing them, not mining, as the Karl Marx Coal Mine was one of 23 coal mines in the country closed for safety violations. However, a spokeswoman for the safety agency said that audio tapes prove that the miners were extracting coal that day, thus violating the ban. An investigation commission plans to have the management of the mine charged with negligence. Rescue crews were sent down ventilation shafts, as the main shafts were blocked because of the explosion, and two miners were rescued at some time after the collapse. One
    9.00
    5 votes
    5
    Hotel Vendome fire

    Hotel Vendome fire

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Hotel Vendome fire was the worst firefighting tragedy in Boston history. Nine firefighters were killed when part of the building collapsed, June 17, 1972. The Hotel Vendome was on the southwest corner of the intersection of Commonwealth Avenue and Dartmouth Street, in the Back Bay area of Boston. Built in 1871 and massively expanded in 1881, the Vendome was a luxury hotel located in Boston's Back Bay, just north of Copley Square. During the 1960s, the Vendome suffered four small fires. In 1971, the year of the original building's centennial, the Vendome was sold. The new owners opened a restaurant called Cafe Vendome on the first floor, and began renovating the remaining hotel into condominiums and a shopping mall. The building was largely empty the afternoon of Saturday June 17, 1972, save for a few people performing renovations. One of the workers discovered that a fire had begun in an enclosed space between the third and fourth floors, and at 2:35pm rang Box 1571. A working fire was called in at 2:44, and subsequent alarms were rung at 2:46, 3:02, and 3:06. A total of 16 engine companies, five ladder companies, two aerial towers, and a heavy rescue company responded. The
    7.17
    6 votes
    6
    Cyclone Tracy

    Cyclone Tracy

    • Areas affected: Darwin
    Cyclone Tracy was a tropical cyclone that devastated the city of Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, from Christmas Eve to Christmas Day, 1974. It is the most compact cyclone or equivalent-strength hurricane on record in the Australian basin, with gale-force winds extending only 48 kilometres (30 mi) from the centre and was the most compact system worldwide until 2008 when Tropical Storm Marco of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season broke the record, with gale-force winds extending only 19 kilometres (12 mi) from the centre. After forming over the Arafura Sea, the storm moved southwards and affected the city with Category 4 winds on the Australian cyclone intensity scale, while there is evidence to suggest that it had reached Category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale when it made landfall. Tracy killed 71 people, caused $837 million in damage (1974 AUD) and destroyed more than 70 percent of Darwin's buildings, including 80 percent of houses. Tracy left more than 41,000 out of the 47,000 inhabitants of the city homeless prior to landfall and required the evacuation of over 30,000 people. Most of Darwin's population was evacuated to Adelaide, Whyalla, Alice Springs and
    6.83
    6 votes
    7
    Grdelica train bombing

    Grdelica train bombing

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The Grdelica train bombing occurred on 12 April 1999 (it was the second day of Serbian Orthodox Easter holidays that year), when two missiles fired by NATO aircraft hit a passenger train while it was passing across a railway bridge over the Južna Morava river at Grdelica gorge, some 300 kilometres (190 mi) south of Belgrade in Serbia. As a result, 14 civilians including children and a pregnant woman were killed and another 16 passengers wounded. The bombing occurred during Operation Allied Force, a NATO operation against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) aimed at forcing the FRY government to end the repression of Albanians in Kosovo. The campaign had begun by attacking mainly military targets, but by mid-April the emphasis had changed to strategic and economic targets such as transport links, particularly major bridges. Many civilian casualties were reported in the solely residential areas far beyond such targets, as well as in destroyed media homes, public transportation vehicles, hotels and clerical offices. The bombing occurred at about 11.40 hours local time. An AGM-130 missile precision-guided munition released by a NATO F-15E Strike Eagle struck the centre of the
    9.00
    4 votes
    8
    Astley Deep Pit Disaster

    Astley Deep Pit Disaster

    • Type of disaster: Mining accident
    The Astley Deep Pit Disaster was a mining accident at the Astley Deep Pit, in Dukinfield, Cheshire, England, that took place on 14 April 1874, killing 54 men and boys. Astley Deep Pit was a coal mine started around 1845 to work the seam of coal known as the "Lancashire Black Mine". When finished, it was supposedly the deepest coal-mine in Britain and cost £100,000 to sink. There were a number of fatal accidents at the colliery:- July 15, 1855 - Four men were being wound out of the mine when they were thrown over the headstocks (the machinery at the top of the shaft which brings the cage up and down the shaft). Nine men were killed in the incident. March 25, 1857 - A falling stone killed a worker, Benjamin Rowson, and in 1862 a second incident killed another miner but the man's name is not known. March 8, 1870 - An explosion in the south side of the pit resulted in national notoriety, 200 men were "benumbed" (stunned and deafened), 2 badly injured and 9 men killed. This incident was mentioned in the House of Commons on the 21st of April 1874, after the "deep pit disaster". Mr MacDonald called for a "Return of all the lives lost in the Astley Deep Pit, Dukinfield, with cause of the
    8.75
    4 votes
    9
    1900 Hull-Ottawa fire

    1900 Hull-Ottawa fire

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Hull-Ottawa fire of 1900 was a devastating fire in 1900 that destroyed much of Hull, Quebec and large portions of Ottawa, Ontario. On April 26 a defective chimney on a house in Hull caught fire, which quickly spread between the wooden houses due to windy conditions. Along the river were the large lumber companies, and huge amounts of stacked lumber that quickly ignited. Two thirds of Hull was destroyed, including 40 per cent of its residential buildings and most of its largest employers along the waterfront. The fire also spread across the Ottawa River, carried by wind borne embers and destroyed a large swath of western Ottawa from the Lebreton Flats south to Dow's Lake. About one fifth of Ottawa was destroyed with almost everything in the band between Booth Street and the rail line levelled. Fortunately prevailing wind patterns and the higher elevation of central Ottawa prevented the fire from spreading east. The fire break created by the rail line also preserved the Hintonburg area. The fire engines 'The Conqueror' and 'La France' had to be abandoned to the flames, and the call went out to five communities for assistance in fighting the blaze, including Montreal and Toronto.
    6.50
    6 votes
    10
    Great Seattle fire

    Great Seattle fire

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Great Seattle Fire was a fire that destroyed the entire central business district of Seattle, Washington, USA, on June 6, 1889. In the fall of 1851, the Denny Party arrived at Alki Point in what is now the state of Washington. After spending a miserable winter on the western shores of Elliot Bay, the party relocated to the eastern shores and established the settlement that would become Seattle. Early Seattle was dominated by the logging industry. The combination of a safe bay and an abundance of coniferous trees made Seattle the perfect location for shipping lumber to California. In 1852, Henry Yesler began construction of the first steam-powered mill in the Pacific Northwest. Because of the easy access to lumber, nearly every building was constructed of the affordable, but combustible timber. Additionally, because the area was at or below sea level, the fledgling town was a frequent victim of massive floods, requiring buildings to be built on wooden stilts. The town also used hollowed out scrap logs propped up on wooden braces as sewer and water pipes, increasing the combustible loading. On the afternoon of June 6, 1889, John E. Back, a worker in Victor Clairmont's
    6.50
    6 votes
    11
    1938 Yellow River flood

    1938 Yellow River flood

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The 1938 Yellow River flood (Chinese: 花园口决堤事件; pinyin: huā​yuán​ kǒu​ jué​dī​ shì​jiàn​) was a flood created by the Nationalist Government in central China during the early stage of the Second Sino-Japanese War in an attempt to halt the rapid advance of the Japanese forces. It has been called the "largest act of environmental warfare in history." Following the onset of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937, the Imperial Japanese Army marched rapidly into the heart of Chinese territory. By June 1938, the Japanese had control of all of North China. On June 6, they captured Kaifeng, the capital of Henan, and threatened to take over Zhengzhou, the junction of the arterial Pinghan and Longhai Railways, and Japanese success would have directly endangered the major cities of Wuhan and Xi'an. To stop further Japanese advances into the western and southern part China, Chiang Kai-shek, at the suggestion of Chen Guofu, determined to open up the dikes on the Yellow River near Zhengzhou. The original plan was to destroy the dike at Zhaokou, but due to difficulties at that location the dike was destroyed on June 5 and June 7 at Huayuankou, on the south bank. Waters flooded into Henan, Anhui, and
    7.40
    5 votes
    12
    1999 Bourbonnais, Illinois train accident

    1999 Bourbonnais, Illinois train accident

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The 1999 Bourbonnais, Illinois train accident was a train-truck collision between Amtrak's southbound City of New Orleans passenger train and a semi truck in the village of Bourbonnais, Illinois, near the city of Kankakee. Almost the entire train derailed, costing 11 lives. A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation into the accident attributed the cause to the truck driver trying to beat the train across a grade crossing. However, the Illinois State Police investigation found Track Circuit malfunction as the cause. The NTSB's recommendations from the accident included increased enforcement of grade crossing signals, the installation of event recorders at all new or improved grade crossings, and procedures to provide emergency responders with accurate lists of all crew members and passengers aboard trains. The city of Bourbonnais erected a memorial near the site to commemorate those killed in the accident. The accident occurred at 9:47 pm Central (local) time on March 15, 1999, in Bourbonnais, Illinois, in the United States on the Illinois Central Railroad. The southbound Amtrak train 59, the City of New Orleans, hit a semi truck, loaded with steel, that was
    7.40
    5 votes
    13
    Great Fire of Smyrna

    Great Fire of Smyrna

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Great Fire of Smyrna or the Catastrophe of Smyrna (Greek: Καταστροφή της Σμύρνης, "Smyrna Catastrophe", Turkish: 1922 İzmir Yangını, "1922 Izmir Fire", Armenian: Զմյուռնիոյ մեծ հրդեհ) was a fire that destroyed much of the port city of Izmir (then generally referred to by its ancient name of Smyrna in English) in September 1922. Eye-witness reports state that the fire began on 13 September 1922 and lasted until it was largely extinguished on September 22. It occurred four days after the Turkish forces regained control of the city on 9 September 1922, effectively ending the Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922) in the field, more than three years after the Greek army had landed troops at Smyrna on 15 May 1919. Estimated Greek and Armenians deaths resulting from the fire and massacres range from 10,000 to 100,000 Approximately 50,000 to 400,000 Greek and Armenian refugees crammed the waterfront escaping from the fire and were forced to remain there under harsh conditions for nearly two weeks. The systematic evacuation of Greeks on the quay started on 24 September with the permission and cooperation of Turkish authorities when the first Greek ships entered the harbor under the supervision
    7.40
    5 votes
    14
    Harmelen train disaster

    Harmelen train disaster

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The Harmelen train disaster was the worst railway accident in the history of the Netherlands. Harmelen, in the central Netherlands, is the location of a railway junction where a branch to Amsterdam leaves the Rotterdam to Utrecht line. It is common at high-speed junctions to avoid the use of diamond crossings wherever possible — instead a ladder crossing is employed where trains destined for the branch line cross over to the track normally employed for trains travelling in the opposite direction for a short distance before taking the branch line. Shortly before 9.20 a.m. on Monday, 8 January 1962, a foggy day, a Rotterdam to Amsterdam train consisting of electric multiple unit sets 700 and 297 was authorised to carry out this manoeuvre, protected by a red signal to stop trains approaching from Utrecht. The EMU was travelling at approximately 75 km/h (47 mph). Simultaneously, an express train from Utrecht to Rotterdam, hauled by electric locomotive 1131, was approaching at about 100 km/h (62 mph). Perhaps because of the foggy weather, the driver of the train from Utrecht missed the warning yellow signal and applied the emergency brake when he saw the red signal protecting the
    6.33
    6 votes
    15
    1938 Changsha Fire

    1938 Changsha Fire

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Changsha Fire of 1938 (Chinese: 长沙大火), also known as Wenxi Fire (Chinese: 文夕大火), was the greatest human-caused city-wide fire that ever besieged China. It happened in 1938 during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The result of this fire made Changsha one of the most damaged cities during World War II, alongside Stalingrad, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On October 25, 1938, the city of Wuhan fell to the Empire of Japan. Soon after, a great number of refugees and injured soldiers, in addition to government institutions and factories, were relocated to Changsha. This caused a population boom in the city, and the number of residents jumped from 300,000 to more than 500,000. Though the city did prepare for this type of scenario for a long time, due to the limited transport capacity of Changsha, it still could not hold this amount of goods and people. On October 8, the Imperial Japanese Army entered northern Hunan. On the 11th, Yueyang fell. Soon, Chinese and Japanese armies faced off along the Xinqiang River just outside of Changsha. The situation in the city became increasingly tense. Because of a lack of confidence in holding the city, Chiang Kai-shek decided to burn the entire city. It was
    7.20
    5 votes
    16
    Flood in Miskolc, 1878

    Flood in Miskolc, 1878

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The Hungarian city of Miskolc lies on the drainage area of the river Sajó and the stream Szinva. Both the river and the stream played an important part in the development of the city, but during great rains they also meant danger. There were floods in 1691, 1788, 1813, 1845 and 1853, but the largest, which had the most victims and is still remembered as the "Great Flood", was the one which destroyed the city in 1878. Of all the floods in 19th century Hungary, this one killed the most people. On August 30, 1878 large storms coming from the Transdanubian region arrived in Northern Hungary – first in Eger, next in Óhuta, Diósgyőr and Miskolc, and then in Tállya, Golop and Mád. The rainfall swelled the streams Szinva and Pece, and destroyed the largest part of Downtown Miskolc. The water swept away bridges, mills and houses, carrying a large amount of debris. The water level rose by half a meter per minute, making it impossible for many people to escape. In some parts of the city the water was 4-5 meters deep. The flood destroyed 2000 buildings and killed almost 300 people (or 400 if people in neighbouring areas are also included in the count). In the small village of Óhuta, 73 houses
    8.25
    4 votes
    17
    Felling mine disaster

    Felling mine disaster

    • Type of disaster: Mining accident
    The Felling pit disaster was a major mining accident in Britain, claiming 92 lives on 25 May 1812. The colliery was situated in Felling, Tyne and Wear, part of Gateshead, in what used to be County Durham, and had two shafts about 600 feet deep. It was extended in 1810 by the opening up of a new coal seam, the Low Main seam, and it was here that the explosion which engulfed the pit occurred. The accident was caused by ignition of firedamp, methane, which triggered a coal dust explosion. The explosion travelled through the galleries, and erupted from one of the shafts. At that time, lighting in the pits was hazardous. Open flame lamps could easily ignite the gas, so steel mills were often used to provide weak illumination from sparks[? reference ?], but these too could set off a gas explosion. The alternative was to deliberately destroy gas accumulations in a dangerous operation conducted by a "monk", actually a miner shrouded in a wet blanket who poked a candle on a long pole into gas pockets. The disaster stimulated a then unknown engineer, George Stephenson, to design a safety lamp, known as the Geordie lamp, with air fed through narrow tubes, down which a flame could not move. It
    6.17
    6 votes
    18
    Burning of Washington

    Burning of Washington

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Burning of Washington in 1814 was an incident during the War of 1812 between the forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and those of the United States of America. On August 24, 1814, after defeating the Americans at the Battle of Bladensburg, a British force led by Major General Robert Ross occupied Washington, D.C. and set fire to many public buildings. The facilities of the U.S. government, including the White House and U.S. Capitol, were largely destroyed. The British commander's orders to burn only public buildings and strict discipline among the British troops are credited with preserving the city's private buildings. This was the only time since the Revolutionary War that a foreign power captured and occupied the United States capital. After the defeat and exile of Napoleon Bonaparte in April 1814, the British were able to collect newly available troops and ships to prosecute the war with the United States. The Earl of Bathurst, the Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, dispatched troops to Bermuda, from where the blockade of the American coast and occupation of coastal islands had been overseen throughout the war. It was initially intended to
    7.00
    5 votes
    19
    Boscastle flood of 2004

    Boscastle flood of 2004

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The Boscastle flood of 2004 occurred on Monday, 16 August 2004 in the two villages of Boscastle and Crackington Haven in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. The villages suffered extensive damage after flash floods caused by an exceptional amount of rain that fell over eight hours that afternoon. The flood in Boscastle was filmed and extensively reported but the floods in Crackington Haven and Rocky Valley were not mentioned beyond the local news. The floods were the worst in local memory. A study commissioned by the Environment Agency from hydraulics consulting firm HR Wallingford concluded that it was among the most extreme ever experienced in Britain. The peak flow was about 140 m³/s, between 5:00pm and 6:00pm BST. The annual chance of this (or a greater) flood in any one year is about 1 in 400. The probability each year of the heaviest three-hour rainfall is about 1 in 1300 (although rainfall probability is not the same as flood probability). At midday on the 16th August 2004, heavy thundery showers had developed across the South West due to a weak disturbance to the northeast of the United Kingdom. The last time Boscastle had suffered notable flooding was in 1996 as a result of
    9.33
    3 votes
    20
    2007 Australian Hunter region & Central Coast storms

    2007 Australian Hunter region & Central Coast storms

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The 2007 Hunter Region and Central Coast storms commenced on Friday, 8 June 2007, following the development of an intense coastal low pressure system during the previous night. Over the next 36 hours these areas were battered by the system's strong winds and torrential rain, which caused extensive flooding, damage, loss of life and the grounding of a 225 m (738 ft) long bulk carrier. The New South Wales Premier, Morris Iemma, declared a natural disaster for the affected areas. More than 105,000 homes had been left without power. Rainfall had exceeded 300 mm (12 in) in the Hunter region and 200 mm (8 in) in parts of the Central Coast and Sydney. Nearly 6,000 State Emergency Service volunteers, including crews from across New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Queensland and Victoria worked in the area, having responded to over 10,000 calls for assistance. A family of four and a nephew were killed when a section of road collapsed under their car as they drove along the Pacific Highway at Somersby on the Central Coast. Two people died when their four-wheel drive was swept off a bridge by floodwaters at Clarence Town and a man died near Lambton when he was swept into a
    8.00
    4 votes
    21
    Great Fire of London

    Great Fire of London

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Great Fire of London was a major conflagration that swept through the central parts of the English city of London, from Sunday, 2 September to Wednesday, 5 September 1666. The fire gutted the medieval City of London inside the old Roman City Wall. It threatened, but did not reach, the aristocratic district of Westminster, Charles II's Palace of Whitehall, and most of the suburban slums. It consumed 13,200 houses, 87 parish churches, St. Paul's Cathedral and most of the buildings of the City authorities. It is estimated to have destroyed the homes of 70,000 of the City's 80,000 inhabitants. The death toll is unknown but traditionally thought to have been small, as only six verified deaths were recorded. This reasoning has recently been challenged on the grounds that the deaths of poor and middle-class people were not recorded, while the heat of the fire may have cremated many victims leaving no recognisable remains. The Great Fire started at the bakery of Thomas Farriner (or Farynor) on Pudding Lane, shortly after midnight on Sunday, 2 September, and spread rapidly west across the City of London. The use of the major firefighting technique of the time, the creation of firebreaks
    8.00
    4 votes
    22
    2007 Croatian coast fires

    2007 Croatian coast fires

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The 2007 Croatian coast fires were a series of fires that struck the Croatian coast in the summer of 2007. After a heat wave, which covered the entire Southern and Eastern Europe, the drought and southern wind helped spread the fires all over the Croatian coast, destroying a large part of the fragile plant and animal life. There were 750 fires on the coast from June 1 to August 8. They burned in the Istria County, the Zadar County, the Šibenik-Knin County, the Split-Dalmatia County and the Dubrovnik-Neretva County. The total burned area covered 159,000 hectares. The police indicted 18 persons and arrested 12 persons for arson. Those arrested included an unnamed 56-year-old suspected of setting seven fires and some shepherds who burned grass for sheep. When fires broke out in the region of Dubrovnik, the local authorities accused the Bosnian town of Trebinje of deliberately setting fires. On July 19, a fire broke out near Pula. It caused the Pula-Premantura county road to be closed in the section from the Banjole crossroads to Premantura, reported the Croatian Automobile Club. On July 27, ten new fires broke out in the Istrian region. Two large fires - near the Pineta Trailer Park
    6.80
    5 votes
    23
    Iowa flood of 2008

    Iowa flood of 2008

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The Iowa flood of 2008 was a hydrological event involving most of the rivers in eastern Iowa beginning around June 8, 2008 and ending about July 1. Flooding continued on the Upper Mississippi River in the southeastern portion of the state for several more days. The phrase "Iowa's Katrina" was often heard. The flooding included (from north to south, east to west), the Upper Iowa River, the Turkey, and the Maquoketa Rivers; outside of the Driftless Area, they include the catchments of the Wapsipinicon River and that of the Iowa River, to include the latter's major tributary, the Cedar River (and its significant tributaries); and the Skunk River in its various forks. The Des Moines River had some minor flooding, but floodwalls and levees for the most part held fast. The Upper Mississippi River which receives the outflow from all these rivers remained at flood stage. The flooding of Cedar Rapids and Iowa City were the most significant events. Recovery in particular for Cedar Rapids is considered to be a protracted and costly affair. For Iowa City, the level of damage was less than expected, but that of Cedar Rapids was greater than anticipated. In Iowa City, the campus of the
    9.00
    3 votes
    24
    St. Louis Fire

    St. Louis Fire

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The St. Louis Fire of 1849 was a devastating fire that occurred on May 17, 1849 and destroyed a significant part of St. Louis, Missouri and many of the steamboats using the Mississippi River and Missouri River. This was the first fire in United States history in which it is known that a firefighter was killed in the line of duty. Captain Thomas B. Targee was killed while trying to blast a fire break. In the spring of 1849, the population of St. Louis was about 63,000 with a western boundary of the city extending to 11th Street. The city was about three quarters of a mile in width and had about three miles of riverfront filled with steamboats and other river craft. St. Louis, located near the junction of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, was the last major city where travelers could get supplies before they headed west. Here travelers bought supplies and switched steamboats before going up the Missouri River to Omaha, Nebraska or other trail heads for the Oregon and California trails west. At the time of this fire, the city was also experiencing a cholera epidemic which would end up killing about 10% of the population (over 4,500). The town was booming as people came in from
    9.00
    3 votes
    25
    Dee bridge disaster

    Dee bridge disaster

    • Type of disaster: Structural failure
    The Dee bridge disaster was a rail accident that occurred on 24 May 1847 in Chester with five fatalities. A new bridge across the River Dee was needed for the Chester and Holyhead Railway, a project planned in the 1840s for the expanding British railway system. It was built using cast iron girders, each of which was made of three very large castings dovetailed together. Each girder was strengthened by wrought iron bars along the length. It was finished in September 1846, and opened for local traffic after approval by the first Railway Inspector, General Charles Pasley. On 24 May 1847, a local train to Ruabon fell through the bridge. The accident resulted in five deaths (three passengers, the train guard, and the locomotive fireman) and nine serious injuries. The bridge had been designed by Robert Stephenson, and he was accused of negligence by a local inquest. Although strong in compression, cast iron was known to be brittle in tension or bending, yet on the day of the accident the bridge deck was covered with track ballast to prevent the oak beams supporting the track from catching fire. Stephenson took this precaution because of a recent fire on the Great Western Railway at
    7.75
    4 votes
    26
    Italicus Express Bombing 1974

    Italicus Express Bombing 1974

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The Italicus Express massacre (Italian: Strage del treno Italicus) was a terrorist bombing in Italy on a train of the Ferrovie dello Stato (Railways of the State). During the early hours of 4 August 1974, the bomb attack killed 12 people and wounded 48. Responsibility was claimed by the neo-fascist terrorist organization Ordine Nero. The Italicus Express was a night train of the Ferrovie dello Stato on which, during the early hours of 4 August 1974, a bomb exploded killing 12 people and injuring 48. The train was travelling from Rome to Munich on the Bologna–Florence railway line. The bomb had been placed in the 5th passenger car of the train and exploded at 1.23 AM. The explosion would have been even stronger if the train had exploded inside San Benedetto Val di Sambro tunnel. Former Prime Minister of Italy Aldo Moro was on the same train on 3 August, but disembarked before the explosion. The following day, the fascist terrorist group Ordine Nero issued a statement in these terms: "We took revenge for Giancarlo Esposti. We wanted to show the nation that we can place a bomb anywhere we want, whenever and however we please. Let us see in autumn; we will drown democracy under a
    7.75
    4 votes
    27
    2006 Gusau dam collapse

    2006 Gusau dam collapse

    • Type of disaster: Structural failure
    The Gusau Dam holds a reservoir on the Sokoto River just upstream from Gusau, capital of Zamfara State in Nigeria. It supplies water to the city and neighboring communities. In 2006, the dam collapsed, killing 40 people and destroying 500 homes. The dam was insufficient to meet local needs in times of drought. In January 2001 the Zamfara State Governor, Ahmed Sani Yerima met the federal minister of Water Resources, Mohammed Bello Kaliel and told him that Gusau Dam could dry up soon, asking the Federal Government to transfer water from the Bakolori Dam to Gusau. Kaliel said the Federal Government was committed to provide quality water to all Nigerians and would soon provide assistance to the states, with priority given to Gusau. In June 2002, two groups in Zamfara State petitioned the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), alleging that Ahmed Sani Yerima had mismanaged and misappropriated Federal funds. The state government had made claims for improvement, dredging and repairs of a collapsed portion of the Gusau barrage at the cost of N14.2 million, resuscitation of the Barrage at N92million and de-siting of the Gusau Dam Barrage at N1.8 million.
    6.60
    5 votes
    28
    Great Fire of 1911

    Great Fire of 1911

    • Areas affected: Bangor
    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Great Fire of 1911 took place in Bangor, Maine. A small fire that started in a downtown shed went out of control and destroyed hundreds of commercial and residential buildings. It started in the afternoon of April 30, 1911 on Broad Street. High winds had spread it to a shed on Exchange Street and the Universalist Church on Center Street by 4:10 PM, from where it spread into the residential neighborhood on Center Street Hill. In 1907, the National Board of Fire Underwriters had mapped the fire geography of Bangor, and predicted that a large fire could have spread from that area. The fire eventually became so large that the glow in the sky could be seen in Belfast. It was brought under control on Monday morning, May 1, 1911, but before it was out, it destroyed much of Downtown Bangor. The Post Office, the Custom House, and Norumbega Hall were lost, along with the three buildings of Bangor High School and the Bangor Public Library. Somehow, City Hall survived, despite being in the direct path of the fire. The library's collection of 70,000 volumes was destroyed, along with much of the Bangor Historical Society's collection. An attempt to slow the fire by dynamiting buildings in
    6.60
    5 votes
    29
    E1 Train Disaster

    E1 Train Disaster

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The 2005 Phú Lộc derailment was an accident to an express passenger train that derailed in central Vietnam on 12 March 2005 when it was running on the North-South Railway, killing 11 people and injuring hundreds, many of which were in a serious condition after the crash. The accident occurred in Phu Loc district, Thừa Thiên-Huế Province as the train was traveling from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh city. The accident was described as "the most tragic rail accident in Vietnam in the past 30 years", and "the country’s worst-ever rail accident". The train was heading from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City when eight of the train's 13 cars toppled from the tracks near the Hai Van mountain pass. The accident occurred at 11:50 AM near Da Ban Hamlet, at kilometre 752(+500) of the North-South Railway, approximately 3 km west of Lang Co station, Phu Loc district, Thừa Thiên-Huế Province, and 8 km from the northern section of the Hai Van Pass. Some 500 passengers and 29 crew members were aboard the train; of these, at least 11 were killed and 200 injured. Six people reportedly died at the scene, while five more died of their injuries after the fact. The Chinese People's Daily reported that 70 people had been
    7.50
    4 votes
    30
    2008 Jodhpur stampede

    2008 Jodhpur stampede

    A human stampede occurred on September 30, 2008, at the Chamunda Devi temple in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India, in which 249 people were killed and more than 400 injured. The 15th-century temple is dedicated to the goddess Chamunda Devi and is located within the premises of Mehrangarh Fort. About 25,000 Hindu pilgrims were visiting the temple to mark the first day of the nine day long Navratri, a major festival in Hinduism dedicated to Goddess worship and celebrated across the world. The devotees scrambled towards the door the moment it opened, resulting in the destruction of the barricades. Many people were injured when they lost their footing on the slope approaching the temple. According to The Times of India, local reports suggest that a bomb blast in nearby Mehrangarh created panic among the pilgrims resulting in the stampede. However, the BBC News reported that a collapsing wall may have also caused the stampede. Some eyewitnesses told CNN-IBN that a rumor about a bomb being planted in the temple caused panic among pilgrims. Others said there was a scramble in the men's queue; some devotees slipped and soon there was a massive resultant stampede where a day of celebration turned
    8.67
    3 votes
    31
    Courrières mine disaster

    Courrières mine disaster

    • Type of disaster: Mining accident
    The Courrières mine disaster, Europe's worst mining accident, caused the death of 1,099 miners (including many children) in Northern France on 10 March 1906. This disaster was surpassed only by the Benxihu Colliery accident in China on April 26, 1942, which killed 1,549 miners. A dust explosion, the cause of which is not known with certainty, devastated a coal mine operated by the Compagnie des mines de houille de Courrières (founded in 1852) between the villages of Méricourt (404 people killed), Sallaumines (304 killed), Billy-Montigny (114 people killed), and Noyelles-sous-Lens (102 people killed) about 2 km (1 mi) to the east of Lens, in the Pas-de-Calais département (about 220 km, or 140 miles, north of Paris). A large explosion was heard shortly after 06:30 on the morning of Saturday 10 March 1906. An elevator cage at Shaft 3 was thrown to the surface, damaging pit-head workings; windows and roofs were blown out on the surface at Shaft 4; an elevator cage raised at Shaft 2 contained only dead or unconscious miners. It is generally agreed that the majority of the deaths and destruction were caused by an explosion of coal dust which swept through the mine. However it has never
    8.67
    3 votes
    32
    Great Flood of 1844

    Great Flood of 1844

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The Great Flood of 1844 is the biggest flood ever recorded on the Missouri River and Upper Mississippi River, in North America, in terms of discharge. The impact was not as great as subsequent floods because of the small population in the region at the time. The flood devastation was particularly widespread since the region had little or no levees at the time, so the waters were able to spread far from the normal banks. Among the hardest hit were the Wyandot Indians who lost 100 people in the diseases that occurred after the flood in the vicinity of today's Kansas City, Kansas — the Wyandot were a people formed from the war and disease depopulated elements of the once mighty Huron Confederacy and the Petun Indian tribes who had migrated south and west. The flood also placed a major obstacle, a sandbar in front of the Wayne City Landing at Independence, Missouri which was to cause and encourage settlers to go further east to Westport Landing in Kansas City causing significant local economic and cultural impact. Independence had been the jumping off place for several key emigrant trails, prior to 1846 notably both the Santa Fe Trail and one alternative eastern starting branch of the
    8.67
    3 votes
    33
    The Cinema Rex Fire

    The Cinema Rex Fire

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Rex Cinema may refer to: For other cinemas called Rex, see Category:Cinemas and movie theaters by country.
    8.67
    3 votes
    34
    Kerang train crash

    Kerang train crash

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The Kerang train accident occurred on 5 June 2007 at about 1:40 pm AEST in the Australian state of Victoria, approximately 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) north of the town of Kerang in the state's northwest, and 257 kilometres (160 mi) north-northwest of the city of Melbourne. Southbound V/Line passenger train service 8042, which consisted of locomotive N460 and carriage set N7, was run into by a northbound semi-trailer truck, at a level crossing where the Swan Hill railway line crosses the Murray Valley Highway. The locomotive and first carriage escaped impact as the truck swerved left. However, the second carriage and third carriages were both struck, causing severe damage to the carriages and fatal injury 11 to passengers. Given that the truck had a mass of about 40 tonnes, and had been travelling at 100 km/h, its impact was devastating. The truck, owned by the Canny Carrying Company of Wangaratta and driven by Christiaan Scholl, was extensively damaged on impact with the carriages, although Scholl only sustained shoulder and head injuries. Victoria Police confirmed that 11 people were killed and 23 injured in the crash, making this to date the deadliest Australian rail disaster since
    6.40
    5 votes
    35
    Floods in Saint Petersburg

    Floods in Saint Petersburg

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    Floods in Saint Petersburg refer to a rise of water on the territory of St. Petersburg, a major city in Russia and its former capital. They are usually caused by the overflow of the delta of Neva River and surging water in the eastern part of Neva Bay but sometimes caused by melting snow. Floods are registered when the water rises above 160 cm with respect to a gauge at the Saint Petersburg Mining Institute. More than 300 floods have occurred since the city was founded in 1703. The construction of Saint Petersburg Dam, started in 1978 and completed in 2011, is expected to protect the city from devastating floods. The dam is the last completed part of the Saint Petersburg Ring Road. Its first use to hold back the incoming Baltic water into Neva bay took place 28 November 2011 and had resulted in decrease of water rise to 1.3 masl, that is below flood level equal to 1.6 masl, which prevented the 309th flood in the history of the city and saved some 1.3 billion roubles of possible damages. Floods in St. Petersburg are caused by several factors. Cyclones, originating in the Baltic Sea with a prevalence of west winds, induce a "slow" matched Kelvin wave to rise and move towards the
    7.25
    4 votes
    36
    Great Fire of Rome

    Great Fire of Rome

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Great Fire of Rome (Latin: Magnum Incendium Romae) was an urban fire that occurred beginning 19 July AD 64. According to Tacitus, the fire spread quickly and burned for six days. Only four of the fourteen districts of Rome escaped the fire; three districts were completely destroyed and the other seven suffered serious damage. The only other contemporaneous historian to mention the fire was Pliny the Elder, who wrote about it in passing. Other historians who lived through the period (including Dio Chrysostom, Plutarch and Epictetus) make no mention of it. The only other account on the size of fire is an interpolation in a forged Christian letter from Seneca to Paul: "A hundred and thirty-two houses and four blocks (insulae) have been burnt in six days; the seventh brought a pause". This account implies less than a tenth of the city was burnt. Rome contained about 1,700 private houses and 47,000 insulae or tenement block. It was said by Cassius Dio that Nero, the emperor at the time, sang the "Sack of Ilium" in stage costume as the city burned. However, Tacitus' account has Nero in Antium at the time of the fire. Tacitus said that Nero's playing his lyre and singing while the
    7.25
    4 votes
    37
    Missoula Floods

    Missoula Floods

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The Missoula Floods (also known as the Spokane Floods or the Bretz Floods) refer to the cataclysmic floods that swept periodically across eastern Washington and down the Columbia River Gorge at the end of the last ice age. The glacial flood events have been researched since the 1920s. These glacial lake outburst floods were the result of periodic sudden ruptures of the ice dam on the Clark Fork River that created Glacial Lake Missoula. After each ice dam rupture, the waters of the lake would rush down the Clark Fork and the Columbia River, flooding much of eastern Washington and the Willamette Valley in western Oregon. After the rupture, the ice would reform, creating Glacial Lake Missoula again. Geologists estimate that the cycle of flooding and reformation of the lake lasted an average of 55 years and that the floods occurred several times over the 2,000 year period between 15,000 and 13,000 years ago. U.S. Geological Survey hydrologist Jim O'Connor and Spanish Center of Environmental Studies scientist Gerard Benito have found evidence of at least twenty-five massive floods, the largest discharging ~10 cubic kilometers per hour (2.7 million m³/s, 13 times the Amazon River).
    7.25
    4 votes
    38
    2006 Varanasi bombings

    2006 Varanasi bombings

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The 2006 Varanasi bombings were a series of bombings that occurred across the Hindu holy city of Varanasi in India on Tuesday, 7 March 2006. At least 28 people are reported to have been killed and as many as 101 others were injured. The blasts occurred nearly simultaneously shortly after 18:00 IST. The first blast took place at 18:20 at the crowded Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple near the Banaras Hindu University. Hundreds of pilgrims were in temple as it was a Tuesday, believed to be particularly holy by the devotees of Hanuman, a deity at the temple. The bomb was placed in a container near a gate at the temple where women usually sit. One other blast followed at the Varanasi Cantonment Railway Station — It occurred in the waiting area next to the travel office. Initially another blast was reported inside the stationary Shivganga Express bound for Delhi, however this was later discounted. (The Shivganga express departure was delayed by 2 hours, eventually arriving in Delhi 4 hours late but intact). Six bombs were reported defused from other areas in the city, including a restaurant frequented by foreigners, in the vicinity of the railway station. It is conjectured that the date and
    8.33
    3 votes
    39
    Hartley Colliery Disaster

    Hartley Colliery Disaster

    • Type of disaster: Mining accident
    The Hartley Colliery Disaster (also known as the Hartley Pit Disaster) was a disastrous mining accident in Northumberland, England in 1862 in which 220 lives were lost. The disaster arose from a combination of the mine having a single shaft; and the fracture of a metal steam engine beam, blocking the shaft. In an age when methane or coal dust and firedamp explosions were common, the tragedy at Hartley Colliery, Northumberland, England was different because it was caused by fracture of a steam engine beam. The accident happened on 16 January 1862 when the huge beam used to pump water from the mine suddenly broke, and one end plunged into the shaft of the pit. The colliery was worked by a single shaft, divided into two halves vertically by a brattice consisting of a wooden, airtight partition so that ventilation air could be drawn down one side and blown out through the other. When the broken half of the beam fell, it demolished the brattice, and created a pile of debris towards the base of the shaft. It entombed 204 men and boys, who could not be rescued, and so suffocated and died.The loss of life was extreme, even by Victorian era coal mining standards, and remains one of the
    8.33
    3 votes
    40
    Holmfirth Flood

    Holmfirth Flood

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The Holmfirth Flood refers to a number of instances when severe flooding has occurred in the Holme Valley, West Yorkshire, England affecting Holmfirth and other settlements in the valley. The earliest recorded one being in 1738 and the latest in 1944. The most severe flood occurred early on the morning of 5 February 1852, when the embankment of the Bilberry reservoir collapsed causing the deaths of 81 people. It is recorded as the 23rd most serious, worldwide, in terms of loss of life from floods and landslides in human history. Rainstorms caused the River Holme to burst its banks and flood the valley. Though there was damage to farmland there was no loss of life. Following a severe storm on Wednesday 21 July 1777 the River Holme burst its banks and flooded the valley. Three people were drowned and a stone church built in 1476 was swept away. It was rebuilt the following year with funding from local clothiers. The River Holme again flooded the valley around Holmfirth, following rainstorms on 21 September 1821, with no loss of life. The 1852 flood occurred when the embankment of the Bilberry reservoir collapsed, releasing 86 million gallons of water down the River Holme. It caused
    8.33
    3 votes
    41
    Milperra massacre

    Milperra massacre

    • Type of disaster: Killing spree
    The Milperra Massacre or Milperra bikie shoot-out was a firearm battle between rival motorcycle gang members on 2 September (Father's Day) 1984, in Milperra, a south-western suburb of Sydney. The shootout had its roots in an intense rivalry that developed after a group of Comancheros broke away and formed the first Bandidos Motorcycle Club chapter in Australia. Seven people were killed and twenty eight injured when the two groups clashed at Milperra. The event was a catalyst for significant changes to gun laws in New South Wales. Police believe that the war began over turf or drugs, however, the clubs at that time had a strong no drugs policy and Colin Caesar Campbell, former Sergeant-at-Arms of the Comancheros Mother Chapter and Sergeant-at-Arms of the new chapter after they were "patched" as Bandidos, points to the acrimony of the split as the sole reason. According to Campbell, in late 1983, one of his brothers and another Comanchero had called on another member and caught Comanchero president Jock Ross in a compromising position with the member's wife. As Sergeant-at-Arms, he ordered Ross to face charges of breaking one of the 10 firm rules the club observed. If found guilty,
    8.33
    3 votes
    42
    Paris Metro train fire

    Paris Metro train fire

    The disastrous Paris Métro train fire occurred on the evening of August 10, 1903, on what was then Line 2 Nord (2 North) of the system and is now Line 2. There were 84 deaths, most at Couronnes station, so it is also known as the Couronnes disaster. The line, less than a year old, was mostly underground, but included an elevated section four stations long from Boulevard Barbès to Rue d'Allemagne inclusive (today Barbès - Rochechouart and Jaurès respectively; see List of stations of the Paris Métro). It was worked by a mixture of 4-car (single) and 8-car (double) trains, of the M1 stock, which turned on loop tracks at each end of the line so that the same car remained in front. On a single train only the front car had motors; a double train had one motor car at each end, but the power for both cars was routed through the front car, as multiple-unit train control had not yet come into use. On August 10, the first sign of trouble was at 6:53 p.m., when double train 43 completed the climb to Boulevard Barbès station with heavy smoke pouring from one of the motors on its front car, car M202. The train's passengers were evacuated onto the platform and its shoes were lifted from the third
    8.33
    3 votes
    43
    Burning of Parliament

    Burning of Parliament

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    Burning of Parliament is the popular name for the fire which destroyed the Palace of Westminster, the home of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, on 16 October 1834. The blaze, which started from overheated chimney flues, spread rapidly throughout the medieval complex and developed into the biggest conflagration to occur in London since the Great Fire of 1666, attracting massive crowds. The fire lasted for many hours and gutted most of the Palace, including the converted St Stephen's Chapel (the meeting place of the House of Commons), the Lords Chamber, the Painted Chamber and the official residences of the Speaker and the Clerk of the House of Commons. Westminster Hall and a few other parts of the old Houses of Parliament survived the blaze and were incorporated into the New Palace of Westminster, which was built in the Gothic style over the following decades. The fire was caused by the destruction of tally sticks. The mathematician Tobias Dantzig, in his book Number: The Language of Science, remarked on how a counting-device had brought about the destruction of both Houses of Parliament, and he quotes from a speech given by the English novelist and advocate of social reform,
    9.50
    2 votes
    44
    Floods in the United States: 2001-present

    Floods in the United States: 2001-present

    Floods in the United States: since 2001 is a list of significant floods which have struck the United States since 2001. Floods are generally caused by excessive rainfall, excessive snowmelt, storm surge from hurricanes, and dam failure. Below is a list of flood events which were of significant impact to the country, since 2001. The remains of the tropical cyclone sat and spun over eastern Texas for several days before moving eastward just inland of the Gulf coast. Heavy rains fell along the western Gulf coast that week, with storm totals of near 940 mm (37 in) near Houston and 1041mm (41 in) west of Beaumont. Damage from the storm was estimated near US$6 billion (2001 dollars), and 41 perished from the flood. A large category 3 hurricane at landfall along the southeast tip of Louisiana, strong northerly flow behind Katrina while weakening to category 1 strength caused breaks and failures in the levees that protected the lower Ninth Ward and along other canals in New Orleans, flooding 80 percent of the city for nearly a month. The mouth of the Mississippi River saw breaks in its levee system due to storm surge. In Mississippi, a massive storm surge destroyed most structures along
    9.50
    2 votes
    45
    North Sea flood of 1953

    North Sea flood of 1953

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The 1953 North Sea flood (Dutch, Watersnoodramp, literally "flood disaster") was a major flood caused by a heavy storm, that occurred on the night of Saturday 31 January 1953 and morning of 1 February 1953. The floods struck the Netherlands, Belgium, England and Scotland. A combination of a high spring tide and a severe European windstorm caused a storm tide. In combination with a tidal surge of the North Sea the water level locally exceeded 5.6 metres (18.4 ft) above mean sea level. The flood and waves overwhelmed sea defences and caused extensive flooding. The Netherlands, a country that is partly located below mean sea level and relies heavily on sea defences, was mainly affected, recording 1,836 deaths. Most of these casualties occurred in the southern province of Zeeland. In England, 307 people were killed in the counties of Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex. 19 were killed in Scotland. 28 were killed in West Flanders, Belgium. Further loss of life exceeding 230 occurred on watercraft along Northern European coasts as well as in deeper waters of the North Sea; the ferry MV Princess Victoria was lost at sea in the North Channel east of Belfast with 133 fatalities, and
    9.50
    2 votes
    46
    Floods in Bangladesh

    Floods in Bangladesh

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The South Asian country of Bangladesh is prone to the natural disaster of flooding due to being situated on the Ganges Delta and the many tributaries flowing into the Bay of Bengal. The coastal flooding twinned with the bursting of Bangladesh's river banks is common and severely affects the landscape and Bangladeshi society. 75% of Bangladesh is less than 10m above sea level and 80% is flood plain, therefore rendering Bangladesh a nation very much at risk of further widespread damage despite its development. Whilst more permanent defences, strengthened with reinforced concrete, are being built, many embankments are composed purely of soil and turf and made by local farmers. Flooding normally occurs during the monsoon season from June to September during the monsoon. The convectional rainfall of the monsoon is added to by relief rainfall caused by the Himalayas. Melt-water from the Himalayas is also a significant input and flood every year. Each year in Bangladesh about 26,000 km, (around 18%) of the country is flooded, killing over 5,000 people and destroying 7 million homes. During severe floods the affected area may exceed 75% of the country, as was seen in 1998. This volume is
    7.00
    4 votes
    47
    Floods in Malaysia

    Floods in Malaysia

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    Floods in Malaysia are regular natural disasters in Malaysia which happen nearly every year during the monsoon season. Gemas
    7.00
    4 votes
    48
    Silvertown explosion

    Silvertown explosion

    • Type of disaster: Industrial disaster
    The Silvertown explosion occurred in Silvertown in West Ham, Essex (now part of the London Borough of Newham, in Greater London) on Friday, 19 January 1917 at 6.52 pm. The blast occurred at a munitions factory that was manufacturing explosives for Britain's World War I military effort. Approximately 50 tons of trinitrotoluene (TNT) exploded, killing 73 people and injuring 400 more, as well as causing substantial damage in the local area. This was not the first, last, largest, or the most deadly explosion at a munitions facility in Britain during the war: an explosion at Faversham involving 200 tons of TNT killed 105 in 1916, and the National Shell Filling Factory, Chilwell exploded in 1918, killing 137. The factory was built in 1893 on the south side (River Thames side) of North Woolwich Road (now the A1020, nearly opposite Mill Road) by Brunner Mond, a forerunner of Imperial Chemical Industries, to produce soda crystals and caustic soda. Production of caustic soda ceased in 1912, which left part of the factory idle. Two years into the war, the Army was facing a crippling shell shortage. The War Office decided to use the factory's surplus capacity to purify TNT, a process more
    7.00
    4 votes
    49
    Tasman Bridge disaster

    Tasman Bridge disaster

    • Type of disaster: Structural failure
    The Tasman Bridge disaster occurred on the evening of 5 January 1975, in Hobart, the capital city of Australia's island state of Tasmania, when a bulk ore carrier travelling up the Derwent River collided with several pylons of the Tasman Bridge, causing a large section of the bridge deck to collapse onto the ship and into the river below. Twelve people were killed, including seven crew on board the ship, and the five occupants of four cars which fell 45 m (150 feet) after driving off the bridge. The disaster severed the main link between Hobart and its eastern suburbs, and is notable for the social impacts that resulted from the loss of such an important road artery. The collision occurred at 9:27 pm (Australian Eastern Summer Time UT+11) on Sunday 5 January 1975. The bulk carrier Lake Illawarra, carrying 10,000 tonnes of zinc ore concentrate, was heading up the Derwent River to offload its cargo to the Electrolytic Zinc Company at Risdon, upstream from Hobart and about 3 km from the bridge. The 1 025m long main viaduct of the bridge was composed of a central main navigation span, two flanking secondary navigation spans, and 19 approach spans. The ship was off course as it neared
    7.00
    4 votes
    50
    Great Fire of 1892

    Great Fire of 1892

    • Areas affected: St. John's
    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Great Fire in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador on July 8, 1892, is remembered as the worst disaster ever to befall that city. Previous "Great Fire"s had occurred in St. John's in 1819 and 1846. At approximately 4:45 in the afternoon on July 8, 1892, a dropped pipe in Timothy O'Brien's stable at Freshwater Road at the top of Carter's Hill began what would become the worst fire in St. John's history. Initially the fire did not cause any widespread panic, however a series of catastrophic coincidences caused the fire to spread and devour virtually all of the east end of the city, including much of its major commercial area before being extinguished. Rev. Moses Harvey witnessed the initial stages of the fire and remarked to his friend that it "was a bad day for a fire. A high wind from the north-west was blowing, hurling the sparks far and wide on the roofs of the clusters of wooden houses. For a month previous hardly any rain had fallen, and the shingled roofs were like tinder." The situation was exacerbated because of work completed earlier in the day on the water mains. Although water flow was re-established by 3 p.m., two hours before the fire began, water pressure was
    8.00
    3 votes
    51
    Mid-Atlantic United States flood of 2006

    Mid-Atlantic United States flood of 2006

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The Mid-Atlantic United States flood of 2006 was a significant flood that affected much of the Mid-Atlantic region of the eastern United States. The flooding was very widespread, affecting numerous rivers, lakes and communities from upstate New York to North Carolina. It is widely considered to be the worst flooding in the region since Hurricane David in 1979. It was also one of the worst floodings in the United States since Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. At least 16 deaths are related to the flooding. The flooding was attributed to several weather factors that all came together over the region. The primary factor was the stalling of the jet stream just to the west of the Appalachians. That, combined with the Bermuda high over the Atlantic Ocean, blocked any systems from moving inland or offshore. The influence of a tropical low (which nearly became a tropical storm but did not attain a full surface circulation) off the North Carolina coast allowed a constant stream of tropical moisture to enter the Mid-Atlantic region. The resulting heavy and prolonged rains overflowed the banks of many rivers, lakes, and streams, leading to the flooding. A senior National Weather Service
    8.00
    3 votes
    52
    The Oaks explosion

    The Oaks explosion

    • Type of disaster: Explosion
    The Oaks explosion occurred at the Oaks Colliery, near Stairfoot, Barnsley, South Yorkshire on 12 December 1866 killing more than 380 miners and rescuers. The disaster happened after a series of explosions caused by flammable gases ripped through the workings. It remains the worst colliery disaster in England, and the second worst mining accident in the United Kingdom. The Oaks Colliery, which was one of the largest coal mines working the Barnsley area in South Yorkshire Coalfield, mined a seam that was notorious for firedamp. Almost 20 years before, on 5 March 1847, The Oaks colliery suffered its first disaster when a blast killed 73 men and boys. As mine management was aware of firedamp, there were strict rules about the use of safety lamps. A ventilation system was also used to carry any gas that emerged from the seam out of the mine. However the coal in this seam was known to contain methane making it a very dangerous working environment. On Wednesday 12 December 1866, 340 men and boys were working the day shift. With less than an hour of the shift remaining, a huge explosion ripped through the workings. The force of the blast blew the cage up No. 1 shaft into the headgear,
    8.00
    3 votes
    53
    1904 Toronto fire

    1904 Toronto fire

    • Areas affected: Toronto
    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Great Fire of Toronto of 1904 was the second great fire that destroyed a large section of Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada on April 19, 1904. The fire was first spotted at 8:04 p.m. by a Toronto Police constable on his regular street patrol. The flames were rising from the elevator shaft of the Currie neck wear factory at 58 Wellington Street West, just west of Bay Street (now TD Bank Tower). The factory was situated in the centre of a large industrial and commercial area. The exact cause of the fire was never determined, but a faulty heating stove or an electrical problem is suspected. The fire began on the evening of the 19th and took nine hours to get under control. The glow of the fire could be seen for kilometres in all directions. Firefighters from cities as far away as Hamilton, Ontario and Buffalo (a long term friendship was established between the Queen City of New York and the Queen City of Canada, given their nicknames) came to Toronto's aid. The temperature that night was approximately -4 degrees Celsius with winds at 48 kilometres per hour with snow flurries. The fire destroyed 104 buildings, and claimed one victim; John Croft. Croft Street is a lane-way between
    9.00
    2 votes
    54
    Brunner Mine disaster

    Brunner Mine disaster

    • Type of disaster: Mining accident
    The Brunner Mine disaster happened at 9:30am on Thursday 26 March 1896, when an explosion deep in the Brunner Mine killed all 65 miners below ground. The Brunner Mine disaster is the worst mining disaster in New Zealand’s history. It seemed most likely that the explosion was caused by firedamp, a common hazard in coal mines when a pocket of methane gas is accidentally ignited and explodes. Firedamp is all the more hazardous because of the after effects of the explosion. Gases known as "afterdamp" – carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide produced by the explosion – often prove to be just as deadly and can kill miners unhurt by the explosion itself. “Joseph Scott, the Blackball Mine Manager.., believed that the majority (of miners) were killed by the explosion and “not more than half a dozen by the afterdamp”. Robert Russell, believing the explosion to be caused by firedamp, while acknowledging that the explosion force and coal dust flames contributed to the causes of death, believed that “at the end it was the afterdamp gases that killed them (all).” Dr. James McBrearty’s description of many victims frothing at the mouth, suggests asphyxiation by the predominant afterdamp gas, being
    9.00
    2 votes
    55
    Great Fire of Meireki

    Great Fire of Meireki

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Great Fire of Meireki (明暦の大火, Meireki no taika), also known as the Furisode Fire, destroyed 60-70% of the Japanese capital city of Edo (now Tokyo) on March 2, 1657, the third year of the Meireki Imperial era. It lasted for three days, and is estimated to have claimed over 100,000 lives. The fire began on the eighteenth day of the year, in Edo's Hongō district, and spread quickly through the city, due to hurricane force winds which were blowing from the northwest. Edo, like most Japanese cities and towns at the time, and like most of those in mainland East Asia, was built primarily from wood and paper. The buildings were especially dry due to a drought the previous year, and the roads and other open spaces between buildings were small and narrow, allowing the fire to spread and grow particularly quickly. (Many cities in Europe had similar problems, being built of flammable material and tightly packed; indeed, London was to burn only nine years later.) Though Edo had a designated fire brigade, the Hikeshi (火消し, "fire extinguishing"), it had been established only 21 years earlier, and was simply not large enough, experienced enough, or well-equipped enough to face such a
    9.00
    2 votes
    56
    Hofburg fire

    Hofburg fire

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The term "Hofburg fire" refers to any of several major fires that burned in the Hofburg (Royal Court section) of Vienna, Austria. The Hofburg area has been the documented seat of government since 1279. Each fire destroyed different parts of the Hofburg, in different centuries, and can be termed the "Hofburg fire" due to the historical impact during a particular century: There have been other fires in the Hofburg, also, during the past centuries.
    9.00
    2 votes
    57
    Phillips Disaster

    Phillips Disaster

    • Type of disaster: Environmental disaster
    The Phillips Disaster refers to a devastating series of explosions and fire on October 23, 1989 near the Houston Ship Channel in Pasadena, Texas, USA. The initial blast registered 3.5 on the Richter Scale, and the conflagration took 10 hours to bring under control. Some 23 employees were killed and 314 were injured. The facility produced approximately 1.5 billion pounds per year of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), a plastic material used to make milk bottles and other containers. The Houston Chemical Complex (HCC) facility employed 905 company employees and approximately 600 daily contract employees, who were engaged primarily in regular maintenance activities and new plant construction. The incident started at approximately 1:00 PM local time on October 23, 1989, at 1400 Jefferson Road, Pasadena, Texas 77506. A massive and devastating explosion and fire ripped through the Phillips 66 Company's Houston Chemical Complex (HCC), killing 23 persons—all working at the facility—and injuring 314 others (185 Phillips 66 employees and 129 contract employees). In addition to the loss of life and injuries, the explosion affected all facilities within the complex, causing $715.5 million worth
    9.00
    2 votes
    58
    The Great Fire of Whitstable, 1869

    The Great Fire of Whitstable, 1869

    The Great Fire of Whitstable in 1869 devastated the coastal town of Whitstable in Kent, England. On the evening of Wednesday, 16 November 1869, the fire swept through the closely built area along The Wall, west of the town's harbour. Given that the population of the town was a little under 2,000, the disaster that befell the little fishing harbour must have been big news across the region, as the fire drew a crowd of 10,000 spectators. It was the local coastguard who on 16 November at about 10.45pm spotted flames coming from the roof of a shop. He raised the alarm and a large crowd gathered. Little could be done to prevent the progress of the fire, which burst through the roof and spread to other parts of the building, fanned by a brisk north-easterly wind. Telegrams and mounted messengers were sent to nearby Canterbury and Faversham calling for such fire engines as were available. Although the Whitstable fire engine had arrived, time was lost in obtaining water and getting the hose into use. The engine was then fouled by sand and seaweed drawn up with seawater from the beach. Despite the combined efforts of the four fire engines the blaze continued unabated as far as the premises
    9.00
    2 votes
    59
    2005 Maharashtra floods

    2005 Maharashtra floods

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The 2005 Maharashtra floods refers to the flooding of many parts of the Indian state of Maharashtra including large areas of the metropolis Mumbai, a city located on the coast of the Arabian Sea, on the western coast of India, in which at least 5,000 people died. It occurred just one month after the June 2005 Gujarat floods. The term 26 July, now is, in context always used for the day when the city of Mumbai came to a standstill. Large numbers of people were stranded on the road, lost their homes, and many walked for long distances back home from work that evening. The floods were caused by the eighth heaviest ever recorded 24-hour rainfall figure of 994 mm (39.1 inches) which lashed the metropolis on 26 July 2005, and intermittently continued for the next day. 644 mm (25.4 inches) was received within the 12-hour period between 8am and 8pm. Torrential rainfall continued for the next week. The highest 24-hour period in India was 1,168 mm (46.0 inches) in Aminidivi in the Union Territory of Lakshadweep on 6 May 2004 although some reports suggest that it was a new Indian record. The previous record high rainfall in a 24-hour period for Mumbai was 575 mm (22.6 inches) in 1974. Other
    7.67
    3 votes
    60
    2008 Indian floods

    2008 Indian floods

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The 2008 Indian floods were a series of floods in various states of India during the 2008 monsoon season. The floods mostly affected the western regions of Maharashtra state and Andhra Pradesh as well as northern Bihar. In India, the monsoon season generally lasts from June to September. According to Ministry of Home Affairs (India)'s disaster management unit, countrywide death toll from floods in various state was 2,404 between June to September. Earlier, during the start of the monsoon season, West Bengal and Orissa were hit with heavy rains, creating a flood-like situation in the two states. The monsoon killed 100 people, mostly in the country's east and north-east. In Andhra Pradesh alone, 42 people died in a matter of two days because of sudden, heavy rains. In August, the Konkan region of Maharashtra experienced heavy monsoon rains, placing lives in jeopardy. Many inter-city trains between Mumbai and Pune were cancelled. Heavy waterlogging had been reported from Chiplun, Rajapur, Khed and Mahad in Maharashtra. On 10 August 2008, a major landslide caused extensive damage to a three-story building at the Sinhgad Technical Education Society's (STES) academic campus in Lonavla. A
    7.67
    3 votes
    61
    Capitol Hill massacre

    Capitol Hill massacre

    • Type of disaster: Killing spree
    The Capitol Hill massacre was a mass murder committed by 28-year-old Kyle Aaron Huff in the southeast part of Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood. On the morning of Saturday, March 25, 2006, Huff entered a rave afterparty and opened fire, killing six and wounding two. He then killed himself as he was being confronted by police on the front porch of 2112 E. Republican Street. Prior to the shooting, on the evening of Friday, March 24, 2006, a "Better Off Undead" event was held at the Capitol Hill Arts Center. CHAC states a maximum attendance of 350 throughout the evening and the promoters claim a maximum attendance of 500 people through the evening, with about 350 at the peak. By nearly all accounts, CHAC itself had excellent security at the event (with over 20 security personnel on staff). At the event, Kyle Huff was invited to attend an afterparty at a home about a mile away. Sometime between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. on Saturday morning Huff left the event to attend the afterparty. A last-minute invitee, Huff did not personally know anyone at the afterparty. He was quiet but spoke pleasantly with everyone as the afterparty progressed. Nobody recalls him leaving, and there was no
    7.67
    3 votes
    62
    Flixborough disaster

    Flixborough disaster

    • Type of disaster: Industrial disaster
    The Flixborough disaster was an explosion at a chemical plant close to the village of Flixborough, England, on 1 June 1974. It killed 28 people and seriously injured 36. The chemical plant, owned by Nypro UK (a joint venture between Dutch State Mines and the British National Coal Board) and in operation since 1967, produced caprolactam, a precursor chemical used in the manufacture of nylon. Residents of the village of Flixborough were not happy to have such a large industrial development so close to their homes and had expressed concern when the plant was first proposed. The process involved oxidation of cyclohexane with air in a series of six reactors to produce a mixture of cyclohexanol and cyclohexanone. Two months prior to the explosion, a crack was discovered in the number 5 reactor. It was decided to install a temporary 50 cm (20 inch) diameter pipe to bypass the leaking reactor to allow continued operation of the plant while repairs were made. At 16:53 on Saturday 1 June 1974, the temporary bypass pipe (containing cyclohexane at 150°C (302°F) and 1 MPa (10 bar)) ruptured, possibly as a result of a fire on a nearby 8 inch (20 cm) pipe which had been burning for nearly an
    7.67
    3 votes
    63
    Hotel Roosevelt fire

    Hotel Roosevelt fire

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Hotel Roosevelt fire, on December 29, 1963, was the worst  fire that Jacksonville, Florida, had seen since the Great Fire of 1901, and it contributed to the worst one-day death toll in the city's history: twenty-two persons died, mostly from carbon-monoxide poisoning. At the time, the Hotel Roosevelt was one of two luxury hotels in the city's downtown, with many restaurants and businesses on its ground floor, including a ballroom and a barber shop. At the end of each year, the Hotel Roosevelt hosted hundreds of travelers who came to attend the Gator Bowl. The fire started in the ballroom's ceiling. The old ceiling, which was deemed a fire hazard, was not removed when the new ceiling was installed, providing kindling for the fire, which started from faulty wires. The first calls to the Jacksonville Fire Department were made at 7:30am by Alton Crowden, Sr.. Smoke was traveling throughout the 13-story building, and hotel visitors climbed out of the smoky building with the help of other patrons and bedsheets tied together. Mayor W. Haydon Burns immediately called for assistance from the U.S. Navy, and eight helicopters were flown to downtown from Cecil Field and NAS Jacksonville.
    7.67
    3 votes
    64
    Kirkwood City Council shooting

    Kirkwood City Council shooting

    • Type of disaster: Killing spree
    The Kirkwood City Council shooting occurred on February 7, 2008, in Kirkwood, Missouri, United States; a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri in St. Louis County. A gunman went on a shooting rampage at a public meeting in the city hall, leaving six people dead and two others injured. Charles Lee "Cookie" Thornton shot one police officer with a revolver across the side street from city hall and took the officer's handgun before entering city hall. Thornton reached council chambers with these two weapons shortly after the meeting began. There, he shot a police officer, the public works director, two council members, the mayor, and a reporter. In total, the gunman killed five and wounded two others. He was then shot and killed by police. The perpetrator, Charles Lee "Cookie" Thornton, 52, was a lifelong resident of Meacham ParkSt. Louis County, Missouri. In 1992, a ballot proposition appeared under which Kirkwood, an abutting, comparatively prosperous city with only a small percentage of African-American residents, would annex the low-income Meacham Park area. After spirited debate and campaigning, residents of both Meacham Park and Kirkwood approved the annexation. Upon annexation, the
    7.67
    3 votes
    65
    Northern Illinois University shooting

    Northern Illinois University shooting

    • Type of disaster: Killing spree
    The Northern Illinois University shooting was a school shooting that took place on February 14, 2008, during which Steven Kazmierczak shot multiple people on the campus of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, United States, killing five and injuring twenty-one, before committing suicide. The incident happened at the campus's Cole Hall at approximately 3:05 p.m. local time. The school placed the campus on lockdown; students and teachers were advised to head to a secure location, take cover, and avoid the scene and all buildings in the vicinity of the area. Six people died in the incident, including the perpetrator, making it the fifth-deadliest university shooting in United States history, after the Virginia Tech massacre, the University of Texas Clock Tower shooting, the California State University, Fullerton massacre and the Oikos University massacre. After the incident, the university administration cancelled all classes for the rest of the week as well as the following week. At approximately 3:05 p.m. CST, Steven Kazmierczak entered a large auditorium-style lecture hall in Cole Hall (Auditorium 101) with approximately 120 students, where an oceanography class was in
    7.67
    3 votes
    66
    Solingen arson attack of 1993

    Solingen arson attack of 1993

    • Areas affected: Solingen
    The Solingen arson attack of 1993 was one of the most severe instances of anti-foreigner violence in modern Germany. On the night of May 28 to May 29, 1993, four young German men (ages 16-23) belonging to the far right skinhead scene, with neo-Nazi ties, set fire to the house of a large Turkish family in Solingen in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Three girls and two women died; fourteen other family members, including several children, were injured, some of them severely. The attack led to violent protests by Turks in several German cities and to large demonstrations of Germans expressing solidarity with the Turkish victims. In October 1995, the perpetrators were convicted of arson and murder and given prison sentences between 10 and 15 years. The convictions were upheld on appeal. In the early 1990s after German reunification, the topic of foreigners, and especially of asylum seekers, was hotly debated in Germany. The CDU party and the tabloid newspaper Bild Zeitung were main forces calling for limiting their numbers. Several instances of anti-foreigner violence preceded the Solingen attack. In September 1991, violent disturbances in Hoyerswerda forced the evacuation of an
    7.67
    3 votes
    67
    Ulyanovskaya Mine disaster

    Ulyanovskaya Mine disaster

    • Type of disaster: Mining accident
    The Ulyanovskaya Mine disaster was caused by a methane explosion that occurred on March 19, 2007 in the Ulyanovskaya longwall coal mine in the Kemerovo Oblast. At least 108 people were reported to have been killed by the blast, which occurred at a depth of about 270 meters (885 feet) at 10:19 local time (3:19 GMT). The mine disaster was Russia's deadliest in more than a decade. Kemerovo Oblast governor Aman Tuleyev said that when the blast occurred, "the mine was preparing to launch "Eighteen" an advanced mining safety system developed in the UK. The system signaled a sudden discharge of a large amount of methane and caving at 14:30 local time." According to the Russian Prosecutor General's office, "the explosion occurred when equipment was being tested". The explosive agent is thought to have been either methane or coal dust, both of which are highly susceptible to spontaneous combustion. The main theory for the cause of the explosion is that it resulted from "a breach of mining safety". However, the mine operator has denied any connection between the explosion and the new equipment. Among the dead was a British mining consultant, Ian Robertson, who worked for the Anglo-German
    7.67
    3 votes
    68
    2002 European floods

    2002 European floods

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    In August 2002 a 100-year flood caused by over a week of continuous heavy rains ravaged Europe, killing dozens, dispossessing thousands, and causing damage of billions of euros in the Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania and Croatia. Flooding resulted from the passage of two Genoa low pressure systems (named Hanne and Ilse by the Free University of Berlin) which brought warm moist air from the Mediterranean northwards. The effects of El Niño are believed to have possibly contributed although others disagree. The floods started with heavy rainfall in the Eastern Alps, which resulted in floods in Northern Italy, Bavaria and the Austrian states of Salzburg and Upper Austria. The floods gradually moved eastwards along the Danube, although the damage in the large cities on its shores was not as severe as in the areas affected by the floods later. When the rainfall moved northeast to the Bohemian Forest and to the source areas of the Elbe and Vltava rivers, the result were catastrophic water levels first in the Austrian areas of Mühlviertel and Waldviertel and later in the Czech Republic, Thuringia and Saxony. Rivers changed their courses in unexpected
    10.00
    1 votes
    69
    2004 Moscow metro bombing

    2004 Moscow metro bombing

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The February 2004 Moscow metro bombing occurred on 6 February 2004 when a male suicide bomber killed 41 people near Avtozavodskaya subway station on the Zamoskvoretskaya Line in Moscow. Up to 120 people were injured in the incident, some of the more common injuries being broken bones and smoke inhalation. The blast occurred at about 08:40 MSK on 6 February 2004 at the Avtozavodskaya station, on the metro system's green line. President of Russia Vladimir Putin blamed Chechen separatists for the Moscow metro attacks. Chechen rebel leaders denied involvement. A previously unknown Chechen terrorist group claimed responsibility for the bombing; the claim came from a group calling itself Gazoton Murdash, and signed by Lom-Ali ("Ali the Lion"). According to the statement, the group launched the attack to mark the fourth anniversary of the killing of scores of Chechen civilians by Russian soldiers in Grozny in the Novye Aldi massacre. Shamil Basayev said that for his organization, the cost was $7,000 U.S. dollars. On 2 February 2007, Tambiy Khudiyev and Maksim Panaryin from Karachay-Cherkess Republic and Murad (Murat) Shavayev from Moscow were found guilty of terrorism and murder in
    10.00
    1 votes
    70
    Great Fire of 1922

    Great Fire of 1922

    The Great Fire of 1922 was a wildfire burning through the Lesser Clay Belt in the Timiskaming District, Ontario, Canada, from October 4 to 5, 1922. It has been called one of the ten worst natural disasters in Canadian history. The preceding summer had been unusually hot and dry. Fire rangers, anticipating the upcoming "burn" season, had requested to stay in the area but were not granted permission. They left at the end of the fire season in mid September, leaving the area without fire protection services. In the fall when burning permits were no longer required, farmers and settlers started to set small brush fires to clear the land. Dry conditions had persisted past the usual "burn" season and on October 4, the wind turned into hurricane-force gales, fanning the flames out of control and combining the brush fires into one large inferno. Over two days, the fire consumed an area of 1,680 square kilometres (650 sq mi), affecting 18 townships in Ontario. It completely destroyed the communities of North Cobalt, Charlton, Thornloe, Heaslip, and numerous smaller settlements. Englehart and New Liskeard were partly burnt. In all 43 people died. In Quebec, the communities of
    10.00
    1 votes
    71
    Halifax Explosion

    Halifax Explosion

    • Type of disaster: Maritime disaster
    The Halifax Explosion occurred on Thursday, December 6, 1917, when the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, was devastated by the detonation of the SS Mont-Blanc, a French cargo ship that was fully loaded with wartime explosives. The Mont-Blanc detonated after colliding with the Norwegian SS Imo in a part of Halifax Harbour called "The Narrows". About 2,000 people were killed by debris, fires, and collapsed buildings, and it is estimated that over 9,000 were injured. Until the Trinity test explosions of atomic bombs, it was the largest man-made explosion in recorded history. At 8:40 in the morning, the SS Mont-Blanc, chartered by the French government to carry munitions to Europe, collided with the unloaded Norwegian ship Imo, chartered by the Commission for Relief in Belgium to carry relief supplies. Mont-Blanc caught fire ten minutes after the collision and exploded about twenty-five minutes later (at 9:04:35 AM). All buildings and structures covering nearly 2 square kilometres (500 acres) along the adjacent shore were obliterated, including those in the neighbouring communities of Richmond and Dartmouth. The explosion caused a tsunami in the harbour and a pressure wave of air
    10.00
    1 votes
    72
    Knox Mine disaster

    Knox Mine disaster

    • Type of disaster: Mining accident
    The Knox Mine disaster was a mining accident that took place in Port Griffith, a town in Jenkins Township, Pennsylvania, near Pittston, on January 22, 1959. The River Slope Mine, an anthracite coal mine owned by the Knox Coal Company, flooded when coal company management had the miners dig illegally out under the Susquehanna River. Tunneling sharply upwards toward river bed without having drilled boreholes to gauge the rock thickness overhead, the miners came to a section with a thickness of about 6 feet (1.8 m) -- 35 feet (10.6 m) was considered the minimum for safety. The insufficient "roof" cover caused the waters of the river to break into the mine. It took three days to plug the hole in the riverbed, which was done by dumping large railroad cars, smaller mine cars, culm, and other debris into the whirlpool formed by the water draining into the mine. Twelve mineworkers died; 69 others escaped. Amadeo Pancotti was awarded the Carnegie Medal for being the first worker to emerge from the Eagle Air Shaft, which was the only exit available for 33 of those trapped underground. The bodies of the 12 who died were never recovered, despite efforts to pump the water out of the mine. The
    10.00
    1 votes
    73
    Northeast U.S. flooding of October 2005

    Northeast U.S. flooding of October 2005

    In October 2005, remnants of Tropical Storm Tammy and Subtropical Depression Twenty-Two merged with incoming continental cold fronts to produce torrential rains over interior New England, as well as over parts of New Jersey and New York. Particularly hard hit was the state of New Hampshire, which saw roads and bridges wiped out, several reported deaths, and whole buildings destroyed. Rain lingered over some areas for several weeks. Rainfall from both rain events totaled well over 20 inches (510 mm) in some areas. With 14.94 inches (379 mm) of rain in October 2005, T. F. Green Airport recorded its wettest month ever. During October 13–15, rainfall was heaviest in central and eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The NWS reported rainfall amounts of 4 to 7 inches (100 to 175 mm) in central and eastern Massachusetts and 7 to 9 inches (175 to 225 mm) in Rhode Island. A state of emergency was declared for the state, and thousands were without power. At least 100 residents were evacuated after swift rises in local rivers, and Red Cross shelters were set up throughout the state. The Pawtuxet River, at Cranston and Warwick, recorded its second-worst flood, at a stage of 13.68 feet
    10.00
    1 votes
    74
    Pretoria Pit Disaster

    Pretoria Pit Disaster

    • Type of disaster: Mining accident
    The Pretoria Pit disaster was a mining accident that occurred on 21 December 1910, when there was an underground explosion at the Hulton Bank Colliery No. 3 Pit, known as the Pretoria Pit, in Over Hulton, Westhoughton, then in the historic county of Lancashire, in North West England. There were approximately 2500 workers employed by the Hulton Colliery Company in 1910. On the morning of 21 December, approximately 900 workers arrived for the day shift. They were working five coal seams of the Manchester Coalfield; the Trencherbone, Plodder, Yard, Three-Quarters and Arley mines. At 7:50am, there was an explosion in the Plodder Mine, which was thought to have been caused by an accumulation of gas from a roof collapse the previous day. That day 345 workers descended the No 3 pit shaft to work in the Plodder, Yard and Three Quarters mines. Of those, only four survived to be brought to the surface. One died immediately and one next day. The two survivors were Joseph Staveley and William Davenport. In addition one man died in the Arley Mine of No. 4 Pit and one rescuer died in No. 3 pit, giving a total of 344 fatalities. The men who were working the other mines in the pit worked from No.4
    10.00
    1 votes
    75
    Victoria Hall Disaster

    Victoria Hall Disaster

    The Victoria Hall disaster, in which 183 children died, occurred in Sunderland, Great Britain on 16 June 1883 at the Victoria Hall, which was a large concert hall on Toward Road facing onto Mowbray Park. On 16 June 1883 a children's variety show was presented by travelling entertainers Mr and Mrs Fay. At the end of the show an announcement was made that children with certain numbered tickets would be presented with a prize upon exit. At the same time entertainers began distributing gifts from the stage to the children in the stalls. Worried about missing out on the treats, many of the estimated 1,100 children in the gallery stampeded toward the staircase leading downstairs. At the bottom of the staircase, the door had been opened inward and bolted in such a way as to leave a gap only wide enough for one child to pass at a time. It is believed this was to ensure orderly checking of tickets. With few accompanying adults to maintain order, the children surged down the stairs toward the door. Those at the front became trapped, and were crushed to death by the weight of the crowd behind them. When the adults in the auditorium realised what was happening they rushed to the door, but
    10.00
    1 votes
    76
    Great Baltimore Fire

    Great Baltimore Fire

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Great Baltimore Fire raged in Baltimore, Maryland, United States, on Sunday, February 7, and Monday, February 8, 1904. 1,231 firefighters were required to bring the blaze under control. It destroyed a major part of central Baltimore, including over 1,500 buildings covering an area of some 140 acres (57 ha). One reason for the fire's duration was the lack of national standards in fire-fighting equipment. Although fire engines from nearby cities (such as Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. as well as units from New York City, Virginia, Wilmington, and Atlantic City) responded, many could not help because their hose couplings could not fit Baltimore's hydrants. Much of the destroyed area was rebuilt in relatively short order, and the city adopted a building code, stressing fireproof materials. Perhaps the greatest legacy of the fire was the impetus it gave to efforts to standardize firefighting equipment in the United States, especially hose couplings. Almost forgotten in this day of strict fire codes is that in centuries past, fires would regularly sweep through cities, frequently destroying large areas of them. Close living quarters; lax, unenforced, or non-existent building
    5.60
    5 votes
    77
    Bradford City stadium fire

    Bradford City stadium fire

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Bradford City stadium fire was the worst fire disaster in the history of English football. It occurred during a league match in front of record numbers of spectators, on Saturday, 11 May 1985, killing 56 and injuring at least 265. The Valley Parade stadium, long-established home to Bradford City Football Club, had been noted for its antiquated design and facilities, including the wooden roof of the main stand. Warnings had also been given about a major build-up of litter just below the seats. The match against Lincoln City had started in a celebration atmosphere, with the home-team receiving the Football League Third Division trophy. At 3.40 pm, a small fire was reported by a TV commentator, but in less than four minutes, in windy conditions, it had engulfed the whole stand, trapping some people in their seats. In the panic that ensued, fleeing crowds had to break down locked exits in order to escape. There were, however, many cases of heroism, with more than fifty people receiving police awards or commendations. The disaster led to major new safety standards in UK football grounds, including the banning of new wooden grandstands. Bradford City FC continues to support the
    4.83
    6 votes
    78
    All Saints' Flood

    All Saints' Flood

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The All Saints' Flood of 1170 (Allerheiligenvloed) was a catastrophic flood in the Netherlands that took place in 1170. Large parts of the Northern Netherlands, and Holland territories were overflowed. This is the flood that created the Zuiderzee. "Lake Flevo" was once a fresh water lake, but after this flood a sea channel opened a connection from the North Sea into the lake through 'Creiler Forest', and turned the lake into the salt-water sea known as the Zuiderzee. The Creiler Forest vanished forever under the waves. The sea area increased inside the Netherlands and large peat areas developed, which were easily washed away.
    8.50
    2 votes
    79
    Bristol Channel floods, 1607

    Bristol Channel floods, 1607

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The Bristol Channel floods, which occurred on 30 January 1607 (New style), resulted in the drowning of a large number of people and the destruction of a large amount of farmland and livestock. Recent research has suggested that the cause may have been a tsunami. On 30 January 1607, floods resulted in the drowning of an estimated 3,000 or more people, with houses and villages swept away, an estimated 200 square miles (518 km) of farmland inundated and livestock destroyed, wrecking the local economy along the coasts of the Bristol Channel and Severn Estuary, in what was then the Kingdom of England. The devastation was particularly severe on the Welsh side, extending from Laugharne in Carmarthenshire to above Chepstow in Monmouthshire. Cardiff was the most badly affected town, with the foundations of St Mary's Church destroyed. The coasts of Devon and the Somerset Levels as far inland as Glastonbury Tor, 14 miles (23 km) from the coast, were also affected. The sea wall at Burnham-on-Sea gave way, and the water flowed over the low lying levels and moors. Thirty villages in Somerset were affected, including Brean which was "swallowed up" and where seven out of the nine houses were
    8.50
    2 votes
    80
    Childers Palace Backpackers Hostel fire

    Childers Palace Backpackers Hostel fire

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Childers Palace Backpackers Hostel fire on 23 June 2000 killed 15 backpackers: nine women and six men. The hostel in the town of Childers, Queensland, Australia, is popular amongst backpackers for its fruit picking work. Robert Paul Long was arrested for lighting the fire and charged with murder (two counts) and arson (one count). He was later sentenced to life in prison. The fire was started at about 1 am, apparently in the downstairs recreation room, but most of the backpackers who died were on the second floor of the hostel. The timber hostel did not have working smoke detectors or fire alarms. Local firefighters raised a ladder to allow some people to escape. The 69 traumatised backpackers who survived the fire were housed locally — the Isis Cultural Centre became the recreational, food and communication centre for them. The Princess Royal visited Childers on 2 July, just a week after the blaze, to meet the surviving backpackers and others involved in the disaster. Bill Trevor, the Isis Shire Mayor, travelled to England and the Netherlands in October 2001 to consult the bereaved families about the memorial proposals. He negotiated to rebuild the Palace in its original
    8.50
    2 votes
    81
    Kaprun disaster

    Kaprun disaster

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The Kaprun disaster was a fire that occurred in an ascending railway car in the tunnel of the Gletscherbahn 2 railway in Kaprun, Austria, on 11 November 2000. The disaster claimed the lives of 155 people, leaving 12 survivors (10 Germans, 2 Austrians) from the burning car. The victims were skiers on their way to the Kitzsteinhorn Glacier. The train, the Gletscherbahn 2, was a funicular railway running from Kaprun to the Kitzsteinhorn, opened in 1974. This railway had the unusual track gauge of 946 mm (37.2 in), and a length of 3,900 m (12,800 ft), of which 3,300 m (10,800 ft) was through a tunnel. There were two carriages on a single track, with a section allowing the trains to pass each other halfway. One train would carry passengers up the mountain while the other train simultaneously descended the mountain. The carriages each had a maximum capacity of 180 passengers. The tunnel terminated at the main reception centre, called the Alpine Centre. The unit had its fire extinguishers out of the passengers' reach in the sealed attendant compartments. No smoke detectors existed on board. The passengers had no method of contacting the attendant. Professor Joseph Nejez, a funicular train
    8.50
    2 votes
    82
    North Sea flood of 2007

    North Sea flood of 2007

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The North Sea flood of 2007 also known as Cyclone Tilo, and as Andrea in Norway was a storm tide of the North Sea affecting the coastlines of the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, Norway and Belgium, starting on the night of 8–9 November 2007. Cyclone Tilo was preceded by the extratropical remains of ex-Hurricane Noel on 7 November, which paved the way for the stronger upstream storm Tilo. The jet stream was diverted to the north by a strong ridge of high pressure to the west of Ireland in the Atlantic Ocean forcing the jet stream over the north of Greenland and back towards Europe. The unusually long fetch was considered important in the potential destructiveness of the storm, stretching down from the Norwegian Sea into the North Sea before reaching the east coast of England and the Dutch and German coasts. In combination with a high tide, the tidal level was expected to exceed 3 metres (9.8 ft) above normal sea levels. The flood and waves were expected to overwhelm sea defences and cause extensive flooding; in particular, the coasts of Norfolk and Kent. However, in the event, the storm surge was 20 centimetres (7.9 in) less than forecast, and damage was
    8.50
    2 votes
    83
    1987 Alianza Lima air disaster

    1987 Alianza Lima air disaster

    The 1987 Alianza Lima air disaster took place on December 8, 1987, when a Peruvian Navy Fokker F27-400M chartered by Peruvian football club Alianza Lima plunged into the Pacific Ocean six miles short of its destination, off the Ventanilla District of the city of Callao. On board the flight were a total of 44 players, managers, staff, cheerleaders, and crewmembers, of whom only the pilot survived the accident. The team was returning from a Peruvian league match in Pucallpa. Uncomfortable with the malfunctioning indicator on his control panel, the pilot requested a flyby of the control tower at Lima's Jorge Chávez International Airport so that spotters on the ground could confirm that the plane's landing gear was down and locked. Upon receiving visual confirmation of safe configuration for landing, the plane went around for another attempt at a landing. The Fokker flew too low and plunged into the Pacific. Following the crash, the Peruvian Navy shut itself off from the press, and did not release the results of its investigation nor did it allow private investigations to take place. Allegations were made that the accident had been caused by the aircraft's shoddy mechanical condition,
    7.33
    3 votes
    84
    1994 Karamay fire

    1994 Karamay fire

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The 1994 Karamay fire (simplified Chinese: 克拉玛依大火; traditional Chinese: 克拉瑪依大火; pinyin: Kèlāmǎyī Dàhuǒ) is considered one of the worst civilian fires in the history of the People's Republic of China. On December 8, 1994, a fire broke out in a theatre hosting 1,000 children and teachers in Karamay, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. During the fire, the students and teachers were ordered to remain seated to allow Communist Party officials to walk out first. The fire killed 325, including 288 schoolchildren. On December 8, 1994, 500 schoolchildren were taken to a special variety performance at a theatre in Karamay at Friendship Theatre (友谊馆). Most were the best and brightest pupils in their classes, aged between 7 and 14. From the accounts of survivors, it appears that spot lights near the stage either short-circuited or fell. The curtain caught fire, then exploded, and fire engulfed the auditorium within a minute or two. The first few seconds was the most crucial, and controversial of the disaster. Survivors insist that a female official immediately stood up and shouted: "Everyone sit down. Don’t move. Let the leaders walk out first ( simplified Chinese: 同学们坐下、不要动、让领导先走。; traditional
    7.33
    3 votes
    85
    Bull bridge accident

    Bull bridge accident

    The Bull bridge accident was a failure of a cast-iron bridge at Bullbridge, near Ambergate in Derbyshire on 26 September 1860. As a goods train was passing over the bridge at Bullbridge, the structure failed suddenly, causing the derailment of the majority of the wagons. There were fortunately no casualties, but it was a warning of the fundamental weakness of many of such bridges on the British rail network. The accident happened on the Midland Railway between Derby and Chesterfield, on the night of 26 September 1860. With visibility only about 10 yards due to fog, the train was proceeding northwards at only 14 mph. It was a long train, with 27 wagons loaded with salt, two loaded goods vans, and brake van, hauled by a tender locomotive. The heavy load was causing some slippage of the engine's driving wheels on the rail. Half a mile beyond Ambergate station, the driver suddenly noticed that the engine's rear wheels were no longer on the rails. He shut off steam, stopped the engine and went to investigate. His tender was attached to only two wagons, and they were all off the rails too. There were two more wagons about 10 yards behind, close to Bull bridge, a small viaduct over a
    7.33
    3 votes
    86
    Cornwall Court Fire

    Cornwall Court Fire

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Cornwall Court Fire was a building fire incident in Hong Kong. It began in a nightclub and karaoke bar on the morning of Sunday 10 August 2008, taking the lives of four people, including two firefighters, and injuring a further 55 people. The fire broke out at 09:20, in the nightclub on the mezzanine floor, and quickly engulfed the entire building, according to a preliminary investigation by firefighters. It was upgraded to a No. 4 alarm at 10:23 and a No. 5 at 12:16. More than 200 firefighters and 40 appliances from across Kowloon were dispatched to deal with the blaze. Many trapped residents were rescued. Cornwall Court is a 15-storey building on Nathan Road in Mong Kok, built in 1962. Its lower floors are occupied by a nightclub and shops while the upper floors are residential. The fire caused the complete closure of Nathan Road and the evacuation of residents from nearby buildings. Two firefighters from Mong Kok Fire Station, Senior Fireman Siu Wing-fong, 46 years old with 24 years' experience, and Fireman Chan Siu-lung, 25 years old with one year of service, died from smoke inhalation on the top floor of the building while trying to reach trapped residents. Survivors
    7.33
    3 votes
    87
    North Sea flood of 1962

    North Sea flood of 1962

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The North Sea flood of 1962 was a natural disaster affecting mainly the coastal regions of Germany and in particular the city of Hamburg in the night from 16 February to 17 February 1962. In total, the homes of about 60,000 people were destroyed, and the death toll amounted to 315 in Hamburg. The flood was caused by the Vincinette low-pressure system, approaching the German Bight from the southern Polar Sea. A European windstorm with peak wind speeds of 200 km/h pushed water into the German Bight, leading to a water surge the dykes could not withstand. Breaches along the coast and the rivers Elbe and Weser led to widespread flooding of huge areas. In Hamburg, on the river Elbe, but a full 100 km away from the coast, the residential area of Wilhelmsburg was most affected. On Thursday 15 February, German authorities published the first storm warning for the North Sea with wind speeds up to 9 Beaufort. A severe storm warning followed the next day, with a predicted gauge of 3 Metres above normal, which was a level the dykes could withstand. The severe storm and the flood it caused in the last hours of 16 February affected the dykes more than predicted and led to some 50 breaches before
    7.33
    3 votes
    88
    Ryongchon disaster

    Ryongchon disaster

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The Ryongchŏn disaster was a train disaster that occurred in the town of Ryongchŏn, North Korea, near the border with the People's Republic of China on April 22, 2004, at 39 58' 58.60"N 124 27' 32.18"E. The disaster occurred when flammable cargo exploded at Ryongchon Station at around 13:00 local time (04:00 GMT). The news was released by South Korean media outlets, which reported that up to 3,000 people had been killed or injured in the blast and subsequent fires. The North Korean government declared a state of emergency in the region, but little information about the accident has been made public by the North Korean government. Shortly after the accident the North Korean government cut telephone lines to the rest of the world (an action correspondents attributed either to a desire to inhibit foreign reporting or to prevent their own population from learning news about the accident). The Red Cross was allowed into the area, in an unusual concession from the North Korean authorities, becoming the only outside agency to see the disaster area. According to the agency, 160 people were killed and 1,300 were injured in the disaster. A wide area was reported to have been affected, with
    7.33
    3 votes
    89
    The I-40 Bridge Disaster

    The I-40 Bridge Disaster

    • Type of disaster: Road disaster
    The I-40 bridge disaster was a bridge collapse that occurred southeast of Webbers Falls, Oklahoma at 7:45 a.m. on May 26, 2002. Joe Dedmon, captain of the tugboat Robert Y. Love, experienced a blackout and lost control of the ship. This, in turn, caused the barge he was controlling to collide with a bridge support. The result was a 580-foot (176.78 m) section of the Interstate 40 bridge plunging into Robert S. Kerr Reservoir on the Arkansas River. Fourteen people died and eleven others were injured when several automobiles and tractor trailers fell from the bridge. Rescue efforts were complicated when William James Clark, impersonating a U.S. Army Captain, was able to take command of the disaster scene for two days. Clark's efforts included directing FBI agents and appropriating vehicles and equipment for the rescue effort, before fleeing the scene. Clark, already a two time felon, was later apprehended in Canada. An estimated 20,000 vehicles per day were rerouted for about two months while crews rebuilt the bridge. Traffic resumed Monday, July 29, 2002, only two months after the disaster. The reopening set a new national record for such a project, which would normally be expected
    7.33
    3 votes
    90
    Third Pandemic

    Third Pandemic

    • Type of disaster: Pandemic
    Third Pandemic is the designation of a major Bubonic plague pandemic that began in the Yunnan province in China in 1855. This episode of bubonic plague spread to all inhabited continents, and ultimately killed more than 12 million people in India and China alone. According to the World Health Organization, the pandemic was considered active until 1959, when worldwide casualties dropped to 200 per year. Bubonic plague is an infectious disease that is widely thought to have caused several epidemics or pandemics throughout history, including two previous pandemics commonly designated as the Plague of Justinian and the Black Death. Casualty patterns indicate that waves of this late-19th-century/early-20th-century pandemic may have been from two different sources. The first was primarily bubonic and was carried around the world through ocean-going trade, through transporting infected persons, rats, and cargoes harboring fleas. The second, more virulent strain, was primarily pneumonic in character with a strong person-to-person contagion. This strain was largely confined to Asia, in particular Manchuria and Mongolia. The bubonic plague was endemic in populations of infected ground
    7.33
    3 votes
    91
    Wahine disaster

    Wahine disaster

    • Type of disaster: Maritime disaster
    The Wahine disaster occurred on 10 April 1968 when the TEV Wahine, a New Zealand inter-island ferry of the Union Company, foundered on Barrett Reef at the entrance to Wellington Harbour and capsized near Steeple Rock. Of the 610 passengers and 123 crew on board, 53 people died. The wrecking of the Wahine is one of the better known maritime disasters in New Zealand's history, although there have been worse with far greater loss of life. New Zealand radio and television captured the drama as it happened, within a short distance of shore of the eastern suburbs of Wellington, and flew film overseas for world TV news. TEV Wahine was a twin screw, turbo-electric, roll-on/roll-off passenger and vehicle ferry designed and built specifically for the Union Steamship Company of New Zealand, and was one of many such ferries which together provided a widely-used transportation system connecting New Zealand's North and South Islands. Dating back to 1875, on the two-way service for which the Wahine was operated, ferries plied the waters of the Cook Strait and the Kaikoura coast on a regular basis ferrying passengers and cargo back and forth between the two islands, making port at Wellington in
    7.33
    3 votes
    92
    Tunguska event

    Tunguska event

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Tunguska event was an enormously powerful explosion that occurred near (and later struck) the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in what is now Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, at about 7:14 a.m. KRAT (0:14 UT) on June 30 [O.S. June 17], 1908. The explosion, having the epicenter (60.886°N, 101.894°E), is believed to have been caused by the air burst of a large meteoroid or comet fragment at an altitude of 5–10 kilometres (3–6 mi) above the Earth's surface. Different studies have yielded widely varying estimates of the object's size, on the order of 100 metres (330 ft). It is the largest impact event on or near Earth in recorded history. The number of scholarly publications on the problem of the Tunguska explosion since 1908 may be estimated at about 1,000 (mainly in Russian). Many scientists have participated in Tunguska studies, the best-known of them being Leonid Kulik, Yevgeny Krinov, Kirill Florensky, Nikolai Vladimirovich Vasiliev and Wilhelm Fast. Although the meteoroid or comet appears to have burst in the air rather than hitting the surface, this event is still referred to as an impact. Estimates of the energy of the blast range from 5 to as high as 30 megatons of TNT (21–130 PJ),
    6.25
    4 votes
    93
    1954 Kumbh Mela stampede

    1954 Kumbh Mela stampede

    1954 Kumbh Mela stampede was a stampede that occurred in 1954 at Kumbha Mela on 3 February 1954 in Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh state in India. It was main bathing day of Mauni Amavasya (New Moon), when the incident took place, and during the festival 4-5 million pilgrims had taken part that year, which was also the first Kumbh Mela after the Independence. The figures for the tragedy varied according to different sources. While The Guardian reported more than 800 people dead and over 100 injured, the TIME reported "no fewer than 350 people were trampled to death and drowned, 200 were counted missing, and over 2,000 were injured". According to the book Law and Order in India over 500 were dead. The Kumbh Mela has traditionally been used by politicians to connect with mass gather of Indian populace prior to the India's Independence, and as this was the first Kumbh Mela after the Independence, many leading politicians had visited the city during the event, which goes for over 40 days. What compounded the failure of crowd control measures, over 5 million pilgrims visit Allahabad during the festival, was not just the presence of large number of politicians, but also the fact that the
    7.00
    3 votes
    94
    Bologna massacre

    Bologna massacre

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The Bologna massacre (Italian: Strage di Bologna) was a terrorist bombing of the Central Station at Bologna, Italy, on the morning of 2 August 1980, which killed 85 people and wounded more than 200. The attack has been materially attributed to the neo-fascist terrorist organization Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari. Suspicions of the Italian secret service's involvement emerged shortly after, due to the explosives used for the bomb and the political climate in which the massacre occurred (the strategy of tension), but have never been proven. At 10:25 a.m., a time-bomb contained in an unattended suitcase detonated inside an air-conditioned waiting room, which, the month being August (and with air conditioning being uncommon in Italy at the time), was crammed full of people. The explosion destroyed most of the main building and hit the Ancona–Chiasso train that was waiting at the first platform. The blast was heard for miles. The roof of the waiting room collapsed onto the passengers, which greatly increased the total number killed in the terrorist attack. On that summer Saturday the station was full of tourists and the city was unprepared for such a massive incident. The city responded
    7.00
    3 votes
    95
    Cherry Mine Disaster

    Cherry Mine Disaster

    • Type of disaster: Mining accident
    The Cherry Mine Disaster is the name for the events surrounding a fire in the Cherry, Illinois, USA coal mine in 1909 in which 259 men and boys died. The Cherry Mine had been opened in 1905 by the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad to supply coal for their trains. The mine consisted of three horizontal veins, each deeper than the last. The veins were connected vertically by two shafts set some 100 yards apart. Both the main shaft and the secondary shaft contained wooden stairs and ladders. The main shaft was capped by an 85-foot steel tower which controlled a mechanical hoisting cage. A large fan, located in a shunt off the secondary shaft, pushed fresh air into the mine. The miners included a large number of immigrants, heavily Italian, many of whom could not speak English. Boys as young as 11 years old also worked the mine. Rather than a fixed per-hour wage, pay was based on the coal production. On Saturday, November 13, 1909, like most days, nearly 500 men and boys, and three dozen mules, were working in the mine. Unlike most days, an electrical outage earlier that week had forced the workers to light kerosene lanterns and torches, some portable, some set into the mine
    7.00
    3 votes
    96
    Great Atlanta fire of 1917

    Great Atlanta fire of 1917

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Great Atlanta Fire of 1917 began just after noon on Monday, May 21 and was finally extinguished by 10 PM. Destroyed were 300 acres (much of the Fourth Ward), including nearly 2,000 homes, businesses and churches, and 10,000 people were displaced. There was only one fatality, a woman who suffered a heart attack after her home burnt to the ground. Losses totalled $5.5 million. It was a clear, warm and sunny day with a brisk breeze from the south. This was not the only fire of the day, but the fourth call in the span of an hour: a small fire at the Candler Warehouse across the tracks from West End at 11:39 AM; at 11:43 a fire seven blocks north that destroyed three houses; and at 12:15, south of the Georgia Railroad from the big fire, ten homes were destroyed before being extinguished. At 12:46 a call came from a small warehouse just north of Decatur Street between Fort and Hilliard, and the crew sent to inspect it found a stack of burning mattresses, but had no firefighting equipment with them. If the fire department had not been spread across so many different parts of the city already, the fire would have been put out there; but by the time reinforcements arrived, it was
    7.00
    3 votes
    97
    Great Fire of Turku

    Great Fire of Turku

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Great Fire of Turku (Finnish: Turun palo and Swedish: Åbo brand) was a conflagration that is still the largest urban fire in the history of Finland and the Nordic countries. The fires started burning on 4 September 1827 in burgher Carl Gustav Hellman’s house on the Aninkaistenmäki hill slightly before 9 p.m. The fire quickly swept through the northern quarter, spread to the southern quarter and jumped the Aura River, setting the Cathedral Quarter on fire before midnight. By the next day, the fire had destroyed 75% of the city. Only 25% of the city was spared, mainly the western and southern portions. The fire destroyed the historical downtown area of Turku, including Turku Cathedral and the main building of the Imperial Academy of Turku, Akatemiatalo, which were badly damaged. The disaster was made possible by a dry summer preceding the event, a fire-spreading storm rising on the night of the fire, and a lack of extinguishers because a large number of the city's people happened to be visiting a market in Tampere that day. The damage was considerable and was felt for a long period of time in the aftermath of the event. 11,000 people were left homeless, and 27 casualties and
    7.00
    3 votes
    98
    June 2007 United Kingdom floods

    June 2007 United Kingdom floods

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The 2007 United Kingdom floods were a series of destructive floods that occurred in various areas across the country during the summer of 2007. The most severe floods occurred across Northern Ireland on 12 June; East Yorkshire and The Midlands on 15 June; Yorkshire, The Midlands, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire on 25 June; and Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and South Wales on 28 July. June was one of the wettest months on record in Britain (see List of weather records). Average rainfall across England was 140 millimetres (5.5 in), more than double the June average. Some areas received a month's worth of precipitation in just 24 hours. It was Britain's wettest May–July since records began (in 1776). July had unusually unsettled weather and above-average rainfall through the month, peaking on 20 July as an active frontal system dumped more than 120 millimetres (4.7 in) of rain in southern England. Civil and military authorities described the June and July rescue efforts as the biggest in peacetime Britain. The Environment Agency described the July floods as critical and expected them to exceed the 1947 benchmark. June 2007
    7.00
    3 votes
    99
    Springhill mining disaster

    Springhill mining disaster

    • Type of disaster: Mining accident
    The term Springhill mining disaster can refer to any of three separate Canadian mining disasters which occurred in 1891, 1956, and 1958 in different mines within the Springhill coalfield, near the town of Springhill in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia. The mines in the Springhill coalfield were established in the 19th century and by the early 1880s were being worked by the Cumberland Coal & Railway Company Ltd. and the Springhill & Parrsboro Coal & Railway Company Ltd. These entities merged in 1884 to form the Cumberland Railway & Coal Company Ltd., whose investors later sold it to the industrial conglomerate Dominion Coal Company Ltd. (DOMCO) in 1910. Following the third disaster in 1958, the operator Dominion Steel & Coal Corporation Ltd. (DOSCO), then a subsidiary of the A.V. Roe Canada Company Ltd., shut its mining operations in Springhill, and they were never reopened. Today the mine properties, among the deepest works in the world and filled with water, are owned by the government of Nova Scotia and provide Springhill's industrial park with a source of geothermal heat. Springhill's first mining disaster, the 1891 Fire, occurred at approximately 12:30 pm on Saturday, February
    7.00
    3 votes
    100
    2008 Morpeth Flood

    2008 Morpeth Flood

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The 2008 Morpeth Flood occurred on Saturday, 6 September 2008. It was caused by heavy sustained rainfall in the preceding 24 hours. The River Wansbeck burst its banks and inundated the town’s flood defences around 1500 BST, causing damage to 995 properties, 906 of which were residential. Previous flooding events occurred in 1863, 1876, 1877, 1878, 1881, 1886, 1898, 1900, 1903, 1924, 1963 and 1968 (Cotting Burn). The last major flood to affect Morpeth had taken place on 7 March 1963. Unlike the 2008 flood, the primary cause was rapid thawing of snow and ice in the town and Wansbeck valley. The winter of 1962/3 was particularly harsh and snow had built up to over 3 ft in the upper valley areas. All this snow thawed in a 48 hour period, overwhelming the River Wansbeck drainage basin system. 482 homes and 21 businesses were damaged by the ensuing surge. In the aftermath a relief fund was set up, raising £16,000 that was paid out to 350 claims. An estimated £50,000 of losses was suffered by businesses and the local authority. Following the 1963 flood, a flood defence scheme was established. Flood walls were erected on the north bank to protect the main business district. Housing
    6.00
    4 votes
    101
    Amagasaki rail crash

    Amagasaki rail crash

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The Amagasaki rail crash occurred on 25 April 2005 at 09:19 local time (00:19 UTC), just after the local rush hour. The Rapid Service (a seven-car commuter train) came off the tracks on the West Japan Railway Company (JR West) Fukuchiyama Line (JR Takarazuka Line) in Amagasaki, Hyōgo Prefecture, near Osaka, just before Amagasaki Station on its way for Dōshisha-mae via the JR Tōzai Line and the Gakkentoshi Line, and the front two carriages rammed into an apartment building. The first carriage slid into the first floor parking garage and as a result took days to remove. Of the roughly 700 passengers (initial estimate was 580 passengers) on board at the time of the crash, 106 passengers, in addition to the driver, were killed and 562 others injured. Most passengers and bystanders have said that the train appeared to have been travelling too fast. The incident was Japan's most serious since the 1963 Yokohama rail crash in which two passenger trains collided with a derailed freight train, killing 162 people. Investigators have focused on speeding by the twenty-three-year-old driver, Ryūjirō Takami (who was among the dead), as being the most likely cause of the accident. It is claimed
    6.00
    4 votes
    102
    Bursting of the Cucca banks

    Bursting of the Cucca banks

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The so called breach at Cucca (rotta della Cucca in Italian) traditionally refers to a flood in the Veneto region of Italy that should have happened on October 17, 589 according to the chronicles of Paul the Deacon. The Adige river overflowed after a "deluge of water that is believed not to have happened after the time of Noah"; the flood caused great loss of lives, and destroyed part of the city walls of Verona as well as paths, roads and large part of the country in lower Veneto. The tradition asserts that a breach opened in the banks of the Adige at Cucca, nowadays Veronella, about 35 km SE of Verona. Contemporary historians think that the breach never really happened, and the tradition simply refers to the disasters due to the lack of maintainment of the streams that followed the fall of the Roman Empire. The Lombards did not repair the banks, and the waters of the Adige had been let free to flow through the lower Veneto for centuries, in order to set a swamp on the borders with the Exarchate of Ravenna. This point of view should be balanced against the worldwide disastrous climate changes of 535-536. Even though the dates do not exactly align, it is a fact that in that century
    6.00
    4 votes
    103
    Great fire of Newcastle and Gateshead

    Great fire of Newcastle and Gateshead

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Great fire of Newcastle and Gateshead was a tragic and spectacular series of events starting on Friday 6 October 1854, in which a substantial amount of property in the two North East of England towns was destroyed in a series of fires and an explosion which killed 53 and injured hundreds. The towns of Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead sit opposite each other, on relatively steep slopes leading down to the River Tyne. On the north side is Newcastle, the quayside of which was — at least by local accounts — one of the largest in the kingdom, with much shipping and the concentration of town's business and commerce. Gateshead had similarly dense development opposite the quayside with manufactories, mills and warehouses built down to the water's edge, behind which and running up the hill were numberless densely occupied tenemented dwellings. The towns were linked by two bridges, built no more than 100 feet (30 m) apart. The older was a nine-arched stone bridge, built in 1771, the third to have been constructed on the site. Slightly upstream was Robert Stephenson's new High Level Bridge, completed five years previously in 1849, an ingenious double-decker design allowing railway
    6.00
    4 votes
    104
    1910 Great Flood of Paris

    1910 Great Flood of Paris

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The 1910 Great Flood of Paris was a catastrophe in which the Seine River, carrying winter rains from its tributaries, flooded Paris, France, and several nearby communities. In late January 1910, following months of high rainfall, the Seine River flooded the French capital when water pushed upwards from overflowing sewers and subway tunnels, and seeped into basements through fully saturated soil. The waters did not overflow the river's banks within the city, but flooded Paris through tunnels, sewers, and drains. In neighbouring towns both east and west of the capital, the river rose above its banks and flooded the surrounding terrain directly. Winter floods were a normal occurrence in Paris, but on January 21, the river began to rise more rapidly than normal. Over the course of the following week, thousands of Parisians evacuated their homes as water infiltrated buildings and streets throughout the city shutting down much of Paris' basic infrastructure. Police, firefighters, and soldiers moved through waterlogged streets in boats to rescue stranded residents from second story windows and to distribute aid. Refugees gathered in makeshift shelters in churches, schools, and government
    8.00
    2 votes
    105
    2008 China Railways train T195 accident

    2008 China Railways train T195 accident

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The Zibo train collision (Chinese: “4·28”胶济铁路特别重大交通事故) was a major train collision that occurred on the morning of April 28, 2008, near the city of Zibo, in Shandong province, People's Republic of China. The accident occurred on the Jiaoji Railway, which links the important cities of Qingdao and Jinan in Shandong province. With a death toll of 72 people and 416 injuries, the collision was the deadliest rail accident in the People's Republic of China since a 1997 accident in Hunan. The Jiaoji railway is a trunk line that is about a century old, built originally by Germans in the area during the late Qing Dynasty. The accident gained international attention as Beijing was preparing to host the 2008 Olympics, and occurred during the Olympic torch relay. It was notable also as the deadliest accident of China's railway system since an accident in Hunan in April 1997. It was the second accident on the Jiaoji Railway line during 2008, the first involving a train that killed 18 railway workers in January. Train T195 was an express passenger train from Beijing to Sifang railway station in Qingdao. It derailed at 04:38 China Standard Time (CST) on the inside (left) track around a bend due to
    8.00
    2 votes
    106
    Fraterville Mine disaster

    Fraterville Mine disaster

    • Type of disaster: Mining accident
    The Fraterville Mine disaster was a coal mine explosion that occurred on May 19, 1902 near the community of Fraterville, in the U.S. state of Tennessee. 216 miners died as a result of the explosion, either from its initial blast or from the after-effects, making it the worst mining disaster in the state's history. The cause of the explosion, although never fully determined, was likely due to the build-up of methane gas which had leaked from an adjacent unventilated mine. Shortly after the disaster, the bodies of 89 of the 216 miners killed in the explosion were buried in what became known as the Fraterville Miners' Circle at Leach Cemetery in the nearby town of Coal Creek (modern Lake City). In 2005, this circle was placed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. The Fraterville Mine was one of several mines located in the coal-rich Cumberland Mountains of western Anderson County, Tennessee. The mine and its namesake community were situated near the heart of the Coal Creek Valley, a narrow north-south oriented valley slicing between Walden Ridge to the east and Vowell Mountain to the west. Tennessee State Route 116 connects Fraterville with Briceville to the south and Lake
    8.00
    2 votes
    107
    Gothenburg nightclub fire

    Gothenburg nightclub fire

    The Gothenburg discothèque fire was a fire with disastrous consequences that occurred on the night of October 29, 1998. The fire started on premises rented by an organization catering to the Macedonian community in Gothenburg, located on Hisingen island in Gothenburg, Sweden, where a discothèque had been arranged that night. There were 375 youths, aged 12–25 years, on the premises, which were rated by the fire department as capable of holding 150 persons. Of those in the building, 63 people died and around 200 people were injured. The fire started on the premises of the Macedonian organization located on the third floor, where a discothèque for high school students had been arranged to celebrate Halloween. It was started in the stairway to which the emergency exit faces. Because of this, the emergency exit was not usable, making a single stairway the only route available for escape. Many youths jumped out the windows, but since the windows were 2.2 metres (7.2 ft) from the floor as well as 5 metres (16 ft) from the ground level this was difficult. The fire safety was generally poor on the site. The first emergency call occurred at 23:42, but due to the noise on the site, it took a
    8.00
    2 votes
    108
    Heysel Stadium disaster

    Heysel Stadium disaster

    The Heysel Stadium disaster occurred on 29 May 1985 when escaping fans were pressed against a wall in the Heysel Stadium in Brussels, Belgium, before the start of the 1985 European Cup Final between Juventus of Italy and Liverpool of England. Thirty-nine Juventus fans died and 600 were injured. Approximately one hour before the Juventus-Liverpool final was due to kick off, a large group of Liverpool fans breached a fence separating them from a "neutral area" which contained Juventus fans. The Juventus fans ran back on the terraces and away from the threat into a concrete retaining wall. Fans already seated near the wall were crushed; eventually the wall collapsed. Many people climbed over to safety, but many others died or were badly injured. The game was played despite the disaster in order to prevent further violence. The tragedy resulted in all English football clubs being placed under an indefinite ban by UEFA from all European competitions (lifted in 1990–91), with Liverpool being excluded for an additional year and fourteen Liverpool fans found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and each sentenced to three years' imprisonment. The disaster was later described as "the darkest
    8.00
    2 votes
    109
    Luzhniki disaster

    Luzhniki disaster

    • Type of disaster: Human stampede
    The Luzhniki disaster was a deadly human crush that took place at the Grand Sports Arena of the Central Lenin Stadium (Russian: Большая спортивная арена Центрального стадиона им. В. И. Ленина) (now known as Luzhniki Stadium) in Moscow, Soviet Union (USSR; now Russia) during the UEFA Cup second round match between FC Spartak Moscow (USSR) and HFC Haarlem (Netherlands) on 20 October 1982. 66 FC Spartak Moscow fans, mostly adolescents, died in the stampede, which made it Russia's worst sporting disaster. The number of fatalities in this crush was not officially revealed until seven years later, in 1989. Until then, this figure varied in press reports from 3 to 340 fatalities. The circumstances of this disaster are similar to those of the second Ibrox disaster. On 20 October 1982, the weather in Moscow was snowy and extraordinarily cold, −10 °C (14 °F), for the middle of October. There were 82,000 match tickets, but due to the freezing weather conditions only 16,500 tickets were sold. According to some reports the total number of tickets sold was 16,643. The Grand Arena of Central Lenin Stadium (also called Olympic Stadium) did not have a roof over the seating at the time (it was
    8.00
    2 votes
    110
    Nidareid train disaster

    Nidareid train disaster

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The Nidareid train disaster was a train collision on 18 September 1921 on the Trondhjem-Størenbanen railway line, between the stations of Marienborg and Skansen in Trondheim, Norway. The accident occurred the day after the inauguration of the new line to Trondheim, Dovrebanen, and one of the trains involved was the inaugural train returning from the celebrations in Trondheim. Six people (all prominent Norwegians) were killed in the crash, the first serious passenger train accident in Norway. The inaugural train had on September 17 transported King Haakon VII and a retinue of followers including prominent politicians from the Norwegian government. The official opening had taken place at Hjerkinn station which was the highest station on the line. Between there and Trondheim the inaugural train stopped at every station to give the king an opportunity to greet visitors and well-wishers. The train pulled into Trondheim that evening amidst great celebrations, and on Sunday, September 18 the celebrations continued. Although the king would spend a few days in Trondheim, most of the participants at the festivities had business and duties to attend to in Kristiania (now Oslo). An extra night
    8.00
    2 votes
    111
    Sinking of the Titanic

    Sinking of the Titanic

    • Type of disaster: Maritime disaster
    • Victims: William Thomas Stead
    the sinking of the RMS Titanic details the events of the night of Sunday 14 April 1912, and into the early hours of the following day, which saw the loss of the ocean liner Titanic, one of the worst peacetime maritime disasters in history. At the time of the disaster, Titanic was approximately two-thirds of the way through her Atlantic crossing bound for New York, having left Queenstown, Ireland, on 11 April. On the night of the sinking, at 23:40, Titanic struck an iceberg. Just after midnight, preparations for evacuation began. Two and a half hours later, Titanic finally submerged. It was not until 04:00 that the first rescue occurred, with the arrival of the Carpathia.
    8.00
    2 votes
    112
    Stockport Air Disaster

    Stockport Air Disaster

    • Areas affected: Stockport
    • Type of disaster: Air disaster
    The Stockport Air Disaster was the crash of a Canadair C-4 Argonaut aircraft owned by British Midland Airways, registration G-ALHG, near the centre of Stockport, Greater Manchester, England on Sunday 4 June 1967. 72 of the 84 aboard were killed in the accident. Of the 12 survivors, all were seriously injured. It currently stands as the fourth worst disaster in British aviation history. The aircraft, which had been chartered by Arrowsmith Holidays Ltd, left Palma de Mallorca at 5:00 am, carrying holidaymakers back from the Balearic Islands to Manchester Airport. The approach controller vectored it towards the ILS as soon as it reached the Congleton NDB, but the pilots were apparently unable to put the aircraft on the extended runway centreline and called an overshoot. As the aircraft was making a second approach to the airport, the Nos. 3 and 4 engines suddenly cut out over the town of Stockport and the No. 4 propeller began to windmill. The aircraft became uncontrollable and crashed at 10:09 am local time in an open area between buildings close to the town centre. Despite the crash occurring in an overwhelmingly urban area, there were no fatalities on the ground. Members of the
    8.00
    2 votes
    113
    Ålesund Fire

    Ålesund Fire

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Ålesund Fire happened in the Norwegian city of Ålesund on 23 January 1904. It destroyed almost the whole city centre, built mostly of wood like the majority of Norwegian towns in that era. The fire started around 2 AM on the island of Aspøya, in the Aalesund Preserving Co.’s factory, which was located where Lower Strand Street 39 (Nedre Strandgate 39) is located today. It is actually stated that the fire started because a cow kicked a torch. In spite of valiant efforts at suppression, the wind-driven fire destroyed much of the town. The fire burned to a point just west of what today is called Brusdalshagen, going at least as far as Borgundvegen 39. The last and easternmost house which burned stood where Borgundvegen 37 stands today. In total, the fire destroyed nearly 850 houses, leaving approximately 230 houses remaining within the town borders. There was only one fatality from the fire. At 2:15 AM on Saturday, 23 January 1904, the initial alarm was received from a manual pull station. Shortly afterwards the fire watchtower observed an open fire in the lower part of the Strandgate. Almost simultaneously another manual pull station signal alarm was received from the Kråsbys
    9.00
    1 votes
    114
    Beaconsfield mine collapse

    Beaconsfield mine collapse

    • Type of disaster: Mining accident
    The Beaconsfield Mine collapse occurred on 25 April 2006 in Beaconsfield, Tasmania, Australia. Of the seventeen people who were in the mine at the time, fourteen escaped immediately following the collapse, one was killed and the remaining two were found alive using a remote-controlled device. These two miners were rescued on 9 May 2006, two weeks after being trapped nearly a kilometre below the surface. At 9:26 p.m. (Australian Eastern Standard Time) on 25 April 2006 a small earthquake triggered an underground rock fall at the Beaconsfield gold mine in northern Tasmania. Geoscience Australia said that the earthquake had a magnitude of 2.2, at a shallow depth at coordinates 41°11′24″S 146°50′24″E / 41.190°S 146.840°E / -41.190; 146.840. Earlier speculation had suggested that mine blasting had caused the collapse. Three of the miners working underground at the time were trapped, and early reports suggested that 14 miners who were underground at the time had managed to scramble to safety. The mining company, Beaconsfield Mine Joint Venture, released a press statement saying they held "grave concerns for the three miners' wellbeing". Larry Knight (44), Brant Webb (37) and Todd
    9.00
    1 votes
    115
    Collapse of Can Tho Bridge

    Collapse of Can Tho Bridge

    The collapse of Cần Thơ Bridge was a severe construction accident in southern Vietnam. The accident occurred at 8 am local time(GMT+7) on the morning of September 26, 2007, when a 90 metre section of an approach ramp, which was over 30 metres above the ground, collapsed. There were 250 engineers and workers working on and under the span at the time it collapsed. As of September 27, the number of casualties remains unclear; one source says that there were 52 people dead and 140 injured. while other sources show that the death toll have reached 59. According to Dr. Trần Chủng, head of the national construction QA/QC authority under the Ministry of Construction of Vietnam, this is the most catastrophic disaster in the history of Vietnam’s construction industry; Ho Nghia Dung, Minister of Transport, agreed. Dung has apologized for the collapse of the bridge. Meeting with reporters on Saturday, September 29, 2007, he said, "This is the most serious problem and workplace accident in the transport sector. I apologize to all people, victims, and the victims' families." He further suggests the main responsibility for the collapse lies with the contractor and may consider resigning when the
    9.00
    1 votes
    116
    Farmington Mine Disaster

    Farmington Mine Disaster

    • Type of disaster: Explosion
    The Farmington Mine disaster was an explosion that happened at approximately 5:30 a.m. on November 20, 1968, at the Consol No. 9 coal mine north of Farmington and Mannington, West Virginia, USA. The explosion was large enough to be felt in Fairmont, almost 12 miles away. At the time, 99 miners were inside. Over the course of the next few hours, 21 miners were able to escape the mine, but 78 were still trapped. All who were unable to escape perished; the bodies of 19 of the dead were never recovered. The cause of the explosion was never determined, but the accident served as the catalyst for several new laws that were passed to protect miners. The Consol No. 9 mine was developed in the Pittsburgh coal seam, with its main entrances at James Fork, the confluence of Little Dunkard Mill run and Dunkard Mill Run, 2 miles (3 kilometers) north of Farmington, West Virginia.(39°32′19.09″N 80°15′14.44″W / 39.5386361°N 80.2540111°W / 39.5386361; -80.2540111) The Pittsburgh seam, is over 300 feet (100 meters) below the valley bottoms in this region, and is fairly uniform, generally about 10 feet (3 meters) thick. This mine was originally opened in 1909 as the Jamison No. 9 Mine, operated by
    9.00
    1 votes
    117
    Khodynka Tragedy

    Khodynka Tragedy

    • Type of disaster: Human stampede
    The Khodynka Tragedy was a human stampede that occurred on 30 May [O.S. 18 May] 1896, on Khodynka Field in Moscow, Russia during the festivities following the coronation of the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II, which resulted in the deaths of 1,389 people. Nicholas II was crowned Tsar of Russia on 26 May [O.S. 14 May] 1896. Four days later, a banquet was going to be held for the people at Khodynka Field. In the area of one town square, theaters, 150 buffets for distribution of gifts, and 20 pubs were built for the celebrations. Nearby the celebration square was a field that had a ravine and many gullies. On the evening of 29 May, people who had heard rumours of coronation gifts from the tsar (the gifts which everybody was to receive were a bread roll, a piece of sausage, pretzels, gingerbread, and a cup) began to gather in anticipation. At about 5 o'clock in the morning of the celebration day, several thousand people (according to Jay Leyda, estimates reached 500,000) were already gathered on the field. Suddenly a rumour spread among the people that there was not enough beer or pretzels for everybody. A police force of 1,800 men failed to maintain civil order, and in a catastrophic
    9.00
    1 votes
    118
    Pat Sin Leng Wildfire 1996

    Pat Sin Leng Wildfire 1996

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The 1996 Pat Sin Leng wildfire was a wildfire in Pat Sin Leng, Tai Po, New Territories, Hong Kong on 10 February, 1996 (Saturday). It was the worst wildfire in local history. The disaster killed three students and two teachers of Hong Kong Chinese Women's Club Fung Yiu King Memorial Secondary School and injured another 13 students. The Hong Kong Government built a "Spring Breeze Pavilion" on Pat Sin Leng to commemorate the two teachers who died saving the students in the tragedy. After the disaster, the area was no longer suitable for vegetation growth, therefore suffers from soil erosion. On 10 February, 1996, 49 students of HKCWC Fung Yiu King Memorial Secondary School were led by five teachers in the "Golden Leg" Hiking activities which were held jointly by Geographic Society of the school and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme (now Hong Kong Award for Young People). The plan was to hike from the Agriculture and Fisheries Department Plover Cove Country Park Visitor Centre to Hok Tau, Fanling via Section 9 and 10 of Wilson Trail on Pat Sin Leng. It was an extremely dry day with a relative humidity of 31%, the Hong Kong Observatory had issued the Red Fire Danger Warning, warning
    9.00
    1 votes
    119
    Peshtigo Fire

    Peshtigo Fire

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The October 8, 1871 Peshtigo Fire in Peshtigo, Wisconsin, was a firestorm which caused the most deaths by fire in United States history, killing as many as 1,500. Occurring on the same day as the more infamous Great Chicago Fire, the Peshtigo Fire is mostly forgotten. On the same day as the Peshtigo and Chicago fires, the cities of Holland and Manistee, Michigan, across Lake Michigan, also burned, and the same fate befell Port Huron at the southern end of Lake Huron. On the day of the fire, a cold front moved in from the west, bringing strong winds that fanned smaller fires and escalated them to massive proportions. By the time it was over, 1,875 square miles (4,860 km² or 1.2 million acres) of forest had been consumed, an area approximately twice the size of Rhode Island. Some sources list 1.5 million acres (6,100 km²) burned. Twelve communities were destroyed. An accurate death toll has never been determined since local population records were destroyed in the fire. Between 1,200 and 2,500 people are thought to have lost their lives. The 1873 Report to the Wisconsin Legislature listed 1,182 names of deceased or missing residents. Peshtigo had an estimated 1,700 residents before
    9.00
    1 votes
    120
    Queen Street massacre

    Queen Street massacre

    • Type of disaster: Killing spree
    The Queen Street massacre was a spree-killing suicide that occurred on 8 December 1987 at the Australia Post offices at 191 Queen Street in Melbourne, Australia. The attack resulted in nine fatalities, including the perpetrator, and five injuries. At around 4:20 pm Frank Vitkovic entered the building at 191 Queen Street, Melbourne, carrying a sawn-off M1 carbine in a brown paper bag. Vitkovic proceeded to the fifth floor office of the Telecom Employees Credit Co-operative where a former friend, Con Margelis, worked. Margelis was called to the counter and briefly spoke with Vitkovic. Vitkovic then pulled his weapon from the bag. Margelis ducked behind a counter; Vitkovic began firing, killing a young female office worker, Judith Morris. A robbery alarm was activated by a staff member at 4.22 pm. Margelis escaped the office unharmed, and hid in the female toilets. Vitkovic then took an elevator to the 12th floor, to the Australia Post philately security section. There, Vitkovic shot and injured a man and a woman, pointed his gun at a woman sitting at her desk, only to pan his aim to the left and shoot dead Julie McBean and Nancy Avignone. A man in the corner office on this level,
    9.00
    1 votes
    121
    The Great Train Wreck of 1856

    The Great Train Wreck of 1856

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The Great Train Wreck of 1856 occurred between Camp Hill and Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, on July 17, 1856. Two trains, traveling on the same track in converging directions, collided, killing between 59 and 67, and injuring over 100. The incident was referred to as The Camp Hill Disaster in Montgomery County, and The Picnic Train Tragedy in the city of Philadelphia. It was the deadliest railroad catastrophe in the world up to that time and became one of the signature events of its era. Growing impetus for the construction of a railroad connecting Philadelphia with the Lehigh Valley resulted in the incorporation on April 8, 1852, of the Philadelphia, Easton and Water Gap Railroad Company. A spur of the railroad, whose name was changed on April 18, 1853, to the North Pennsylvania Railroad Company, was formally opened Monday, July 2, 1855, with an excursion from Cohoquinoque station, at Front and Willow Streets in Philadelphia, to Wissahickon (present-day Ambler), an outlying area to the northeast. Farmers could now ship their produce more economically to markets increasingly further from home. The railroad, which transported both freight and people, was already becoming an
    5.00
    5 votes
    122
    1928 Thames flood

    1928 Thames flood

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The 1928 Thames flood was a disastrous flood of the River Thames that affected much of riverside London on 7 January 1928, as well as places further downriver. Fourteen people were drowned in London and thousands were made homeless when flood waters poured over the top of the Thames Embankment and part of the Chelsea Embankment collapsed. It was the last major flood to affect central London, and, particularly following the disastrous North Sea flood of 1953, helped lead to the implementation of new flood-control measures that culminated in the construction of the Thames Barrier in the 1970s. During Christmas 1927, heavy snow fell in the Cotswolds in central England, where the Thames has its source. A sudden thaw occurred over New Year's Eve, 1928 followed by unusually heavy rain, doubling the volume of water coming down the river. The sudden rise in water level coincided with a high spring tide and a storm surge caused by a major extratropical cyclone in the North Sea. The storm surge raised the water levels in the Thames Estuary, measured at Southend, to 1.5 metres (4 ft) above normal. The funnelling of the water further up the river caused its level to rise even higher. The
    6.67
    3 votes
    123
    Lofthouse Colliery disaster

    Lofthouse Colliery disaster

    • Type of disaster: Mining accident
    The Lofthouse Colliery disaster was a mining accident which took place in Lofthouse, West Yorkshire, England in 1973. A new coalface was excavated too close to an abandoned, flooded 19th century mineshaft. The sudden inrush of water trapped seven mine workers 750 feet (228.6 metres) below ground. A six-day rescue operation was carried out but succeeded in recovering only one body. The location of the flooded shaft was known to National Coal Board (NCB) surveyors but they had not believed it to be as deep as the modem workings. Existing British Geological Survey records indicated that the flooded shaft did descend to the same depth but these records had not been checked by the NCB. The incident led to the Mines (Precautions Against Inrushes) Regulations 1978 ("PAIR"), requiring "examination of records held by the Natural Environment Research Council which might be relevant to proposed workings [and] diligent enquiry into other sources of information which may be available, eg from geological memoirs, archives, libraries and persons with knowledge of the area and its history." A seven-sided stone obelisk listing the names of the seven miners was erected in Wrenthorpe above the point
    6.67
    3 votes
    124
    McDonald's massacre

    McDonald's massacre

    • Type of disaster: Killing spree
    • Victims: Lynn Wright Reyes
    The San Ysidro McDonald's massacre was an incident of mass murder that occurred on July 18, 1984, in a McDonald's restaurant in the San Ysidro section of San Diego, California. The shootings resulted in 21 people killed (including five children) and 19 others injured. James Oliver Huberty was born in Canton, Ohio on October 11, 1942. When he was three he contracted polio, and even though he made a progressive recovery, the disease caused him to suffer permanent walking difficulties. In the early 1950s, his father bought a farm in the Pennsylvania Amish Country. His mother refused to live in the Amish country, and soon abandoned her family to do sidewalk preaching for a Southern Baptist organization. Her abandonment would leave a profound effect on the young James, who became sullen and withdrawn. In 1962, Huberty enrolled at a Jesuit community college and earned a degree in sociology. He would later receive a license for embalming at the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1965, he married Etna, a woman he met while attending mortuary school. They had two daughters, Zelia and Cassandra. The Huberty family settled in Massillon, Ohio near Canton,
    6.67
    3 votes
    125
    Senghenydd Colliery Disaster

    Senghenydd Colliery Disaster

    • Type of disaster: Mining accident
    The Senghenydd Colliery Disaster, also known as the Senghenydd Explosion, occurred in Senghenydd , near Caerphilly, Glamorgan, Wales on 14 October 1913, killing 439 miners. It is the worst mining accident in the United Kingdom, and one of the most serious globally in terms of loss of life. The demand for Welsh steam coal before World War I was enormous, driven by the Royal Navy and its huge fleet of steam battleships, dreadnoughts and cruisers, and by foreign Navies allied to Britain and the British Empire. Coal output from British mines peaked in 1914, and there were a correspondingly large number of accidents around this time. The worst was at the Universal Colliery in Senghenydd and occurred as a result of a coal dust explosion that travelled through most of the underground workings. The explosion was probably started by firedamp (methane) being ignited, possibly by electric sparking from equipment such as electric bell signalling gear. The initial explosion disturbed coal dust present on the floor, raising a cloud that then also ignited. The shock wave ahead of the explosion raised yet more coal dust, so that the explosion was effectively self-fuelling. Those miners not killed
    6.67
    3 votes
    126
    Wingfoot Air Express Crash

    Wingfoot Air Express Crash

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Wingfoot Air Express was a dirigible that crashed into the Illinois Trust and Savings Building in Chicago on Monday July 21, 1919. The Type FD dirigible, owned by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company was transporting people from Grant Park to the White City amusement park. One crew member, two passengers, and ten bank employees were killed in what was, up to that point, the worst dirigible disaster in United States history. The craft caught fire at about 4:55pm while cruising at an altitude of 1,200 ft (370 m) over the Chicago Loop. When it became clear the dirigible was lost, the pilot, Jack Boettner, and chief mechanic, Harry Wacker, used parachutes to jump to safety. A second mechanic, Henry Weaver, died when his parachute caught fire. Another passenger, Earl H. Davenport, a publicity agent for the White City Amusement Park, jumped from the dirigible, but his got tangled in the rigging and hung fifty feet below the burning craft, dying when the airship crashed. A fifth person, Chicago Daily News photographer Milton Norton, who parachuted from the dirigible broke both legs and later died at a hospital. At the Illinois Trust & Savings Bank building at the northeast corner of
    6.67
    3 votes
    127
    Port Arthur massacre

    Port Arthur massacre

    • Type of disaster: Killing spree
    The Port Arthur massacre of 28 April 1996 was a killing spree in which 35 people were killed and 23 wounded, mainly at the historic Port Arthur prison colony, a popular tourist site in south-eastern Tasmania, Australia. Martin Bryant, a 28-year-old from New Town, a suburb of Hobart, eventually pleaded guilty to the crimes and was given 35 life sentences without possibility of parole. He is now imprisoned in the Wilfred Lopes Centre near Risdon Prison. Port Arthur massacre remains one of the deadliest shootings worldwide committed by a single person. Gun control laws in Australia, which had been relatively lenient before the massacre, were reviewed after the incident. After the shootings, it emerged that the shooter, Martin Bryant, had significant intellectual disabilities. Martin Bryant received 1.5 million dollars from a friend, Helen Harvey, who left her estate to him. He used part of this money to go on many trips around the world from 1993 onwards. Bryant also withdrew many thousands of dollars during this period. He used at least some of this money in late 1993 to purchase an AR-10 semi-automatic rifle through a newspaper advertisement in Tasmania. In March 1996, he had his
    5.75
    4 votes
    128
    Stardust Disaster

    Stardust Disaster

    The Stardust fire was a fatal fire which took place at the Stardust nightclub in Artane, Dublin, Ireland in the early hours of 14 February 1981. Some 841 people had attended a disco there, of whom 48 died and 214 were injured as a result of the fire. The club was located where Butterly Business Park now lies, opposite Artane Castle Shopping Centre. The fire was said to have started on a balcony inside the building, although since the tragedy some evidence has suggested that the fire derived from an electrical fault in the roof space, next to a storage room containing dangerously flammable materials. Staff attempted to extinguish it and failed; they then tried to contain it by closing the door leading to the balcony and ordering the users of a private room to evacuate. Guests in other parts of the nightclub were not informed, nor was an alarm sounded. The fire was first spotted in a seating area in the west section of the building, although the fire was only very small when first seen, a ferocious burst of heat and lots of thick black smoke quickly started coming from the ceiling, causing the material in the ceiling to melt and drip on top of patrons and other highly flammable
    5.75
    4 votes
    129
    Armagh rail disaster

    Armagh rail disaster

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The Armagh rail disaster happened on 12 June 1889 near Armagh, Ireland, when a crowded Sunday school excursion train had to negotiate a steep incline; the steam locomotive was unable to complete the climb and the train stalled. The train crew decided to divide the train and take forward the front portion, leaving the rear portion on the running line. The rear portion was inadequately braked and ran back down the gradient, colliding with a following train. Eighty people were killed and 260 injured, about a third of them children. It was the worst rail disaster in the UK in the nineteenth century, and remains Ireland`s worst railway disaster ever. To this day, it is the fourth worst railway accident ever in the United Kingdom. At the time it was the worst rail disaster in Europe and led directly to various safety measures becoming legal requirements for railways in the United Kingdom. This was important both for the measures introduced and for the move away from voluntarism and towards more direct state intervention in such matters. Armagh Sunday school had organized a day trip to the seaside resort of Warrenpoint, a distance of about 24 miles. A special Great Northern Railway of
    7.50
    2 votes
    130
    June 2008 Midwest floods

    June 2008 Midwest floods

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The June 2008 Midwestern United States floods were flooding events which affected portions of the Midwest United States. After months of heavy precipitation, a number of rivers overflowed their banks for several weeks at a time and broke through levees at numerous locations. Flooding continued into July. States affected by the flooding included Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin. The American Red Cross assisted the victims of flooding and tornadoes across seven states and the National Guard was mobilized to assist in disaster relief and evacuation. Flooding continued as long as two weeks with central Iowa and Cedar Rapids being hardest hit. The upper Mississippi Valley experienced flooding in Missouri and Illinois as the region's estuaries drained the floodwater into the river. The flood left thirteen dead and damage region-wide was estimated to be in the tens of billions of dollars. On June 11, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich deemed Clark, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Jasper and Lawrence counties as disaster areas. Levee breaks on June 10 flooded portions of Lawrence County near Lawrenceville, inundating a campsite and forcing the evacuations
    7.50
    2 votes
    131
    Los Angeles Flood of 1938

    Los Angeles Flood of 1938

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The Los Angeles flood of 1938 was a major flooding event that was responsible for inundating much of Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside counties, California, during early 1938. The flood was caused by a pair of oceanic storms that swept inland across the Los Angeles Basin in February and March 1938, causing abnormal rainfall across much of coastal Southern California. 113 to 115 people perished in the flood, which was one of the most catastrophic disasters in area history. The flood caused the destruction of roads, bridges, and buildings, stranded hundreds of people, and resulted in the flooding of three area rivers and their tributaries; these were the Santa Ana, Los Angeles, and San Gabriel. Despite the extent of the disaster, however, its effects were moderated by existing placements of flood control features in the San Gabriel Mountains; it is said that the damage would have been far worse if there were no flood control measures in place at all. The flooding event of 1938 was, however, considered a 50-year flood, meaning that it has a 2 percent chance of occurring any given year. The flood resulted in $40 million of damages, and was said by the Red Cross to be the "fifth
    7.50
    2 votes
    132
    Red River Flood, 1997

    Red River Flood, 1997

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The Red River Flood of 1997 was a major flood that occurred in April and May 1997, along the Red River of the North in North Dakota, Minnesota, and Southern Manitoba. It was the most severe flood of the river since 1826. The flood reached throughout the Red River Valley, affecting the cities of Fargo and Winnipeg, but none so greatly as in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks, where floodwaters reached over 3 miles (4.8 km) inland, inundating virtually everything in the twin communities. Total damages for the Red River region were US$3.5 billion The flood was the result of abundant snowfall and extreme temperatures. Flooding in Manitoba resulted in over $500 million in damages, although the Red River Floodway, an artificial waterway affectionately known as "Duff's Ditch" saved Winnipeg from flooding. This flood stimulated improvements to the flood protection system. In Grand Forks, although hundreds of people prepared for the flood with sandbag dikes, based on a 49-foot estimate of flooding set by the National Weather Service, the river crested at 54 feet in Grand Forks. Grand Forks mayor Pat Owens had to order the evacuation of over 50,000 people as a large portion of the city was
    7.50
    2 votes
    133
    Saguenay Flood

    Saguenay Flood

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The Saguenay Flood (French: Déluge du Saguenay) was a series of flash floods that hit the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec, Canada, on July 19 and 20, 1996. It was the biggest overland flood in 20th century Canadian history. Problems started after two weeks of constant rain, which severely engorged soils, rivers and reservoirs. The Saguenay region is a geological graben, which increased the effect of the sudden massive rains of July 19, 1996. In the span of a few hours, eleven inches fell on the region, the equivalent to the amount of rain usually received in a month. Over eight feet of water ran through parts of Chicoutimi and La Baie, completely levelling an entire neighbourhood. Over 16,000 people were evacuated. The official death tolls were seven deaths, but other sources (notably Canadian Geographic) cite ten. Estimates reach CAD $1.5 billion in damages, a cost made greater by the disaster's occurrence at the height of the tourist season. Post-flood enquiries discovered that the network of dikes and dams protecting the city was poorly maintained. In the end, 488 homes were destroyed, 1,230 damaged and 16,000 people evacuated from the entire area, with ten deaths in
    7.50
    2 votes
    134
    Seveso disaster

    Seveso disaster

    • Type of disaster: Industrial disaster
    The Seveso disaster was an industrial accident that occurred around 12:37 pm July 10, 1976, in a small chemical manufacturing plant approximately 15 km (9.3 mi) north of Milan in the Lombardy region in Italy. It resulted in the highest known exposure to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) in residential populations which gave rise to numerous scientific studies and standardized industrial safety regulations. The EU industrial safety regulations are known as the Seveso II Directive. The Seveso disaster was so named because Seveso, with a population of 17,000 in 1976, was the community most affected. Other affected neighbouring communities were Meda (19,000), Desio (33,000), Cesano Maderno (34,000) and to a lesser extent Barlassina (6,000) and Bovisio-Masciago (11,000). The industrial plant, located in Meda, was owned by the company ICMESA (Industrie Chimiche Meda Società Azionaria), a subsidiary of Givaudan which in turn was a subsidiary of Hoffmann-La Roche (Roche Group). The factory building had been built many years earlier and the local population did not perceive it as a potential source of danger. Moreover, although several exposures of populations to dioxins had
    7.50
    2 votes
    135
    Summit tunnel fire

    Summit tunnel fire

    • Type of disaster: Industrial disaster
    The Summit Tunnel fire occurred on 20 December 1984 on a dangerous goods train passing through the Summit Tunnel on the Greater Manchester/West Yorkshire border, on the rail line between Littleborough and Todmorden, England. The tunnel, which is 1.6 miles (2.6 km) in length, was built in the late 1830s. The construction shafts, at intervals of (approximately) 200 metres (220 yd), were left open to help vent smoke and steam from the locomotives that passed through it. The fire occurred at 5.50 a.m. on 20 December 1984 when a goods train carrying more than 1,000,000 litres (220,000 imp gal; 260,000 US gal) (835 tonnes / 822 long tons; 920 short tons) of four-star petrol in thirteen tankers entered the tunnel on the Yorkshire (north) side. One-third of the way through the tunnel, a defective axle bearing (journal bearing) derailed the fourth tanker, which promptly knocked those behind it off the track. Only the locomotive and the first three tankers remained on the rails. One of the derailed tankers fell on its side and began to leak petrol into the tunnel. Vapour from the leaking petrol was probably ignited by a hot axle box. The three train crewmembers could see fire spreading
    7.50
    2 votes
    136
    Bukit Ho Swee Fire

    Bukit Ho Swee Fire

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Bukit Ho Swee Fire (Chinese: 河水山大火) is a fire that broke out in the squatter settlement of Bukit Ho Swee, Singapore, on May 25, 1961 at 3.20 p.m. Four people died, eighty-five were injured, and 16,000 were made homeless and more than 2,200 attap houses were destroyed. Many smaller household fires have of course since burned at Bukit Ho Swee, but the Bukit Ho Swee fire is noted at a definite term because it set a historical precedent, comparable to other fires such as the Great Fire of London, although the Bukit Ho Swee Fire is smaller. The cause of the fire is thought to be the immense flammability of the squatter settlement, in addition to the cramped space. Whether the fire was due to arson or accident remains a mystery today. Nevertheless, the aftermath of the fire promoted a shift of people into the HDB-built public housing. In the days following the fire, there was a massive charity drive to aid the victims of the fire, methods of which included selling admission to several theatre performances and an ice cream social. The government acquired the land and began reconstruction immediately after the fire to house the homeless. The Housing Development Board (HDB), chaired by
    5.50
    4 votes
    137
    Great Flood of 1968

    Great Flood of 1968

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The Great Flood of 1968 was a flood caused by a pronounced trough of low pressure which brought exceptionally heavy rain and thunderstorms to South East England and France in mid-September 1968, with the worst on Sunday 15 September 1968, and followed earlier floods in South West England during July. Low over the northwest of Spain tracked across the Bay of Biscay, hot and humid air advected to the eastern side of the low. 7 people killed in UK. The River Chew suffered a major flood in 1968 with serious damage to towns and villages along its route, including sweeping away the bridge at Pensford. On 10 July 1968, torrential rainfall, with 175 millimetres (6.9 in) falling in 18 hours on Chew Stoke, double the area's average rainfall for the whole of July, led to widespread flooding in the Chew Valley, and water reached the first floor of many buildings. The damage in Chew Stoke was not as severe as in some of the surrounding villages, such as Pensford where it swept away the bridge over the A37 and damaged the railway viaduct so badly that it never reopened. It also flooded 88 properties in Chew Magna with many being inundated with 8 feet (2.4 m) of water. however, fears that the
    6.33
    3 votes
    138
    Great Mississippi Flood of 1927

    Great Mississippi Flood of 1927

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 was the most destructive river flood in the history of the United States. The flood began when heavy rains pounded the central basin of the Mississippi in the summer of 1926. By September, the Mississippi's tributaries in Kansas and Iowa were swollen to capacity. On [http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=637396 Christmas Day of 1926, the Cumberland River at Nashville topped levels at 56.2 feet (17 m), a level that remains a record to this day, even exceeding the devastating 2010 floods. Flooding overtook the levees causing the Mounds Landing to break with more than double the water volume of Niagara Falls. The Mississippi River broke out of its levee system in 145 places and flooded 27,000 square miles (70,000 km). This water flooded an area 80 km (50 mi) wide and more than 160 km (99 mi) long. The area was inundated up to a depth of 30 feet (10 m). The flood caused over $400 million in damages and killed 246 people in seven states. The flood affected Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. Arkansas was hardest hit, with 14% of its territory covered
    6.33
    3 votes
    139
    Great Salem Fire of 1914

    Great Salem Fire of 1914

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Great Salem Fire of June 25, 1914, destroyed 1,376 buildings in Salem, Massachusetts. Franklin H. Wentworth agitated for more fire protection. In an article in the Salem Evening News (March 29, 1910, page 7), he called "Salem in Danger of Destruction by Fire". He felt that the main fire danger was to the downtown business district. The article included a map of all downtown buildings and their type of construction (brick, wood, etc.). Mr. Wentworth, a Salem Councilman, introduced an order that would have required all new or replacement roof coverings to be non-combustible. He argued that this was as important as buying new engines or hiring new firemen. After a big fire, many of the working class would have to live in tents, he warned. Wentworth was accused of serving only the interest of the insurance industry, and the amendment did not pass. Wentworth later became secretary of the National Board of Fire Underwriters. Another failed attempt to increase safety in Salem was undertaken by Charles J. Collins. He had visited Philadelphia where high-pressure wagons pumped water through 3.25 inches (8.3 cm) pipes for a range of 360 feet (110 m). The argument went that high-pressure
    6.33
    3 votes
    140
    Munich air disaster

    Munich air disaster

    The Munich air disaster occurred on 6 February 1958, when British European Airways Flight 609 crashed on its third attempt to take off from a slush-covered runway at Munich-Riem Airport in Munich, West Germany. On board the plane was the Manchester United football team, nicknamed the "Busby Babes", along with a number of supporters and journalists. Twenty of the 44 people on board the aircraft died in the crash. The injured, some of whom had been knocked unconscious, were taken to the Rechts der Isar Hospital in Munich where three more died, resulting in a total of 23 fatalities with 21 survivors. The team was returning from a European Cup match in Belgrade, Yugoslavia (now Serbia), against Red Star Belgrade, but had to make a stop in Munich for refuelling, as a non-stop trip from Belgrade to Manchester was out of the "Elizabethan" class Airspeed Ambassador aircraft's range. After refuelling, the pilots, Captains James Thain and Kenneth Rayment, attempted to take off twice, but had to abandon both attempts due to boost surging in the port engine. Fearing that they would get too far behind schedule, Captain Thain rejected an overnight stay in Munich in favour of a third take-off
    6.33
    3 votes
    141
    New England Flood of May 2006

    New England Flood of May 2006

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The New England Flood of May 2006 was a flood event that occurred in New England, especially in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, during the month of May, 2006. It started on May 11, 2006 as a result of an unusually strong low pressure system that stalled over the central United States, drawing copious amounts of moisture from the Atlantic Ocean. Most of this moisture was drawn directly over New England, producing continuous heavy rain that led to record flooding near several rivers. It was described as the worst flooding since the New England Hurricane of 1938. There were no reports of injuries or fatalities. Some called it the Mother's Day Flood, since it occurred on that holiday. Hundreds of residents were evacuated from their homes as the waters rose. Several communities saw extensive flooding, particularly along the Merrimack River. Much of New England was under a flood warning or flash flood warning at some point in time. The governors of Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire each declared a state of emergency for all or part of their respective states as a result of the flooding. Compared to farther north and east, the flooding was relatively minor in Connecticut. It was
    6.33
    3 votes
    142
    Ohio River flood of 1937

    Ohio River flood of 1937

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The Ohio River flood of 1937 took place in late January and February 1937. With damage stretching from Pittsburgh to Cairo, Illinois, one million people were left homeless, with 385 dead and property losses reaching $500 million. Federal and state resources were strained to aid recovery, as the disaster occurred during the Great Depression and a few years after the Dust Bowl. A handful of powerhouse radio stations, including WLW and WHAS, quickly switched to non-stop news coverage, transmitting commercial-free for weeks. These broadcasts consisted mostly of messages being relayed to rescue crews, as many civil agencies had no other means of communication. In January 1937, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, District Engineer, MAJ Bernard Smith dispatched an entire fleet down the Cumberland River for rescue and relief work in response to the severe flooding. The bridges were too low to allow the vessels to pass under, so the vessels were forced to steam across farmland and bridge approaches, dodging telephone and power lines. The federal government under President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent thousands of area WPA workers to the affected cities to aid in rescue and recovery. It also
    6.33
    3 votes
    143
    Spanish flu

    Spanish flu

    • Type of disaster: Pandemic
    • Victims: Hamby Shore
    The 1918 flu pandemic (the "Spanish flu") was an influenza pandemic. It was an unusually deadly and severe pandemic that spread across the world. Historical and epidemiological data are inadequate to identify the geographic origin. Most victims were healthy young adults, in contrast to most influenza outbreaks, which predominantly affect juvenile, elderly, or weakened patients. The flu pandemic was implicated in the outbreak of encephalitis lethargica in the 1920s. The pandemic lasted from January 1918 to December 1920, spreading even to the Arctic and remote Pacific islands. Between 20 and 50 million died, making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in human history. Using the higher estimate of 50 million people, 3% of the world's population (which was 1.86 billion at the time) died of the disease. Some 500 million, or 27%, were infected. Tissue samples from frozen victims were used to reproduce the virus for study. This research concluded, among other things, that the virus kills through a cytokine storm (overreaction of the body's immune system), which perhaps explains its unusually severe nature and the concentrated age profile of its victims. The strong immune system
    6.33
    3 votes
    144
    Tenerife disaster

    Tenerife disaster

    • Areas affected: Los Rodeos Airport
    The Tenerife airport disaster occurred on Sunday, March 27, 1977, when two Boeing 747 passenger aircraft collided on the runway of Los Rodeos Airport (now known as Tenerife North Airport) on the Spanish island of Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands. With a total of 583 fatalities, the crash is the deadliest accident in aviation history. After a bomb exploded at Gran Canaria Airport, many aircraft were diverted to Tenerife. Among them were KLM Flight 4805 and Pan Am Flight 1736 – the aircraft involved in the accident. The threat of a second bomb forced the authorities to close the airport while a search was conducted, resulting in many airplanes being diverted to the smaller Tenerife airport where air traffic controllers were forced to park many of the airplanes on the taxiway, thereby blocking it. Further complicating the situation, while authorities waited to reopen Gran Canaria, a dense fog developed at Tenerife, greatly reducing visibility. When Gran Canaria reopened, the parked aircraft blocking the taxiway at Tenerife required both of the 747s to taxi on the only runway in order to get in position for takeoff. Due to the fog, neither aircraft could see the other, nor could the
    6.33
    3 votes
    145
    Weyauwega, Wisconsin derailment

    Weyauwega, Wisconsin derailment

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The Weyauwega derailment was a railroad accident that occurred in Weyauwega, Wisconsin, USA, in the early morning hours of March 4, 1996. The derailed train was carrying a large quantity of hazardous material, which immediately caught fire. The fire, which involved the train cars and an adjacent feed mill, burned for more than two weeks after the actual derailment, resulting in the emergency evacuation of 2,300 people for 16 days, including the entire city of Weyauwega, with about 1,700 evacuees. At approximately 5:49 am, an 81-car Wisconsin Central train traveling from Stevens Point, Wisconsin, to Neenah, Wisconsin, approached the city of Weyauwega at 48.3 miles (77.7 km) per hour, traveling on a downward grade. The first 16 cars of the train passed a switch without incident, after which 37 cars behind them derailed at the location of the switch, at 5:49:32 AM. A subsequent NTSB investigation found the cause of the derailment to be a broken rail within the switch that was the result of an undetected bolt hole fracture. The derailed cars included seven tank cars of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), seven tank cars of propane and two tank cars of sodium hydroxide. The derailment
    6.33
    3 votes
    146
    1923 Berkeley Fire

    1923 Berkeley Fire

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The 1923 Berkeley Fire was a conflagration which consumed some 640 structures, including 584 homes in the densely-built neighborhoods north of the campus of the University of California in Berkeley, California on September 17, 1923. Although the exact cause was never determined, the fire began in the undeveloped chaparral and grasslands of Wildcat Canyon, just east of the ridgeline of the Berkeley Hills, and was propelled over the ridge and southwestward just south of Codornices Creek by a strong, gusty, and intensely dry northeasterly wind. The fire quickly blew up as it swept through the La Loma Park and Northside neighborhoods of Berkeley, overwhelming the capabilities of the Berkeley Fire Department to stop it. A number of UC students fought the advance of the fire as it approached the north edge of the University of California campus at Hearst Avenue. The other edge of the fire was fought by firefighters as it advanced on downtown Berkeley along the east side of Shattuck Avenue north of University Avenue. Firefighters were rushed in from neighboring Oakland while San Francisco sent firefighters by ferry across the bay. The fire was halted when the gusty northeast wind was
    8.00
    1 votes
    147
    2008 Namdaemun fire

    2008 Namdaemun fire

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The 2008 Namdaemun fire, a fire set by Korean arsonist Chae Jong-gi (Hangul: 채종기), severely damaged the Namdaemun, one of the most historically significant gates in Seoul, South Korea, and the first of Korea's National Treasures, on February 10, 2008. At approximately 8:50 pm on Sunday, February 10, 2008, a fire broke out and severely damaged the wooden structure at the top of the gate. By late Sunday night, firefighters said they believed that they had contained the fire. Firefighters were instructed by officials not to be aggressive in fighting the fire out of fear that the structure would be damaged by the effort itself. After midnight, the fire got out of control and destroyed the structure, despite the efforts of more than 360 firefighters. No injuries were reported. The fire was set by Chae Jong-gi, who came to Namdaemun around 8:35 pm on Sunday carrying an aluminum ladder, three 1.5 liter bottles of paint thinner, and two cigarette lighters. With the ladder, he climbed the western wall of the gate, used the ladder to enter the tower, and walked up to the second floor. Chae sprinkled the floor with the paint thinner, thus starting the conflagration. Originally, the fire was
    8.00
    1 votes
    148
    RAF Fauld Explosion

    RAF Fauld Explosion

    The RAF Fauld explosion was a military accident which occurred at 11:11am on Monday, 27 November 1944 at the RAF Fauld underground munitions storage depot. The RAF Fauld explosion was one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history and the largest to occur on UK soil. Between 3,500 and 4,000 tonnes of ordnance exploded — mostly comprising high explosive (HE)-filled bombs, but including a variety of other types of weapons and including 500 million rounds of rifle ammunition. The resulting crater was 120 metres (400 ft) deep and 1,200 metres (0.75 miles) across and is still clearly visible just south of the village of Fauld, to the west of Hanbury Hill in Staffordshire, England. A nearby reservoir containing 450,000 cubic metres of water was obliterated in the incident, along with a number of buildings including a complete farm. Flooding caused by destruction of the reservoir added to the damage directly caused by the explosion. The exact death toll is uncertain; it appears that about 70 people died in the explosion. The cause of the disaster was not made clear at the time. However, there had been staff shortages, a management position that had remained empty for a year, and 189
    8.00
    1 votes
    149
    Wooton bridge collapse

    Wooton bridge collapse

    The Wootton bridge collapse occurred on 11 June 1861, when the rail bridge over the road between Leek Wootton and Hill Wootton in Warwickshire collapsed under the weight of a passing goods train on the line between Leamington Spa and Kenilworth owned by the London and North Western Railway Company. The train had passed over the bridge safely in the morning with a full load of coal, and was returning to Kenilworth with the empty wagons at 7 am. The 30 ton locomotive fell through the deck of the bridge onto the road below, and the tender crashed into the cab, killing both driver and fireman instantly. Many of the empty wagons behind were dragged into the gap to form a pile almost up to the height of nearby telegraph poles. Henry Whatley Tyler of the Railway Inspectorate examined the accident on behalf of the Board of Trade. He reported that the five cast iron girders which supported the base of the wooden bridge had all fractured near their centres, and so caused the accident. One in particular had been mended some years before, and he thought that the failure had started here. Angle iron had been fitted along the girder to support a crack in the flange, and had been bolted onto the
    8.00
    1 votes
    150
    Queen of the Sea train disaster

    Queen of the Sea train disaster

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The 2004 Sri Lanka tsunami-rail disaster was a rail disaster with the highest count of deaths in history. It occurred when a crowded passenger train was destroyed on a coastal railway in Sri Lanka by the tsunami which followed the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake, and resulted in the greatest loss of life in railroad history. More than 1,700 people died, much higher than the previous rail disaster with most fatalities, the Bihar train disaster in India in 1981. The train, known locally as the Queen of the Sea Line, was a regular service train operating between the cities of Colombo and Galle. The route it took runs along the southwestern coast of Sri Lanka, and at Telwatta, the line is about 200 metres (660 ft) inland. On Sunday, 26 December 2004, during both the Buddhist full moon holiday and Christmas holiday weekend, it left Colombo shortly after 6:55 A.M. with between 1,000 and 1,500 paid passengers and an unknown number of unpaid passengers. At 9:30 A.M., in the village of Peraliya, near Telwatta, the beach was hit by the first of the huge waves thrown up by the earthquake, which had recently struck off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The train came to a halt as water surged
    5.25
    4 votes
    151
    11 March 2004 Madrid train bombings

    11 March 2004 Madrid train bombings

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The Madrid train bombings (also known in Spain as 11-M) were nearly simultaneous, coordinated bombings against the Cercanías (commuter train) system of city of Madrid, Spain on the morning of 11 March 2004 – three days before Spain's general elections. The explosions killed 191 people and wounded 1,800. The official investigation by the Spanish Judiciary determined the attacks were directed by an al-Qaeda-inspired terrorist cell, although no direct al-Qaeda participation has been established. Though they had no role in the planning or implementation, the Spanish miners who sold the explosives to the terrorists were also arrested. Controversy regarding the handling and representation of the bombings by the government arose with Spain's two main political parties (Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) and Partido Popular (PP)), accusing each other of concealing or distorting evidence for electoral reasons. The bombings occurred three days before general elections in which incumbent José María Aznar's PP was defeated, despite its small but narrowing lead in opinion polls. Immediately after the bombing leaders of the PP claimed evidence indicating the Basque separatist organization
    7.00
    2 votes
    152
    2005 Gujarat Flood

    2005 Gujarat Flood

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The 2005 Gujarat Flood was a bout of major flooding affecting many parts of Gujarat and was caused by heavy monsoon rains in June 2005. Many of the southern districts of Gujarat were on flood alert. Rivers in the Valsad district were well above the flood level. About 15,000 people were evacuated from the coastal regions. On June 30, the state was put on high alert and the army was asked to stand-by for rescue and relief operations. On July 1, the trains on the Ahmedabad-Mumbai line of Western Railway (India) were cancelled as the tracks near Vadodara were submerged. Helicopters of Indian Air Force were pressed into service to rescue some of the passengers stuck in the trains. With the exception of Ahmedabad airport most of the airports in the state were not operational. The Government of India announced relief package of Rs. 500 crores. Due to these floods, crops worth crores of Rupees have been destroyed. As of July 2 the death toll was about 123 people state wide and more than 250,000 evacuated. As of July 8, the rail traffic on the Ahmedabad-Mumbai railway lines was restored. The trains were running normally but with a restricted speed to ensure safety. As of July 11, the loss
    7.00
    2 votes
    153
    Daegu subway fire

    Daegu subway fire

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Daegu subway fire was a mass murder-suicide on February 18, 2003 which killed at least 198 people and injured at least 147. An arsonist set fire to a train stopped at the Jungangno Station of the Daegu Metropolitan Subway in Daegu, South Korea. The fire then spread to a second train which had entered the station from the opposite direction a few minutes later. The arsonist was Kim Dae-han, a 56 year-old unemployed former taxi driver who had suffered a stroke in November 2001 that left him partly paralyzed. Kim was dissatisfied with his medical treatment and had expressed sentiments of violence and depression; he later told police he wanted to kill himself, but to do so in a crowded place rather than alone. By most accounts, on the morning of February 18, he boarded train 1079 on Line 1 in the direction of Daegok Station, carrying a duffel bag which contained two green milk cartons filled with a flammable liquid, possibly paint thinner or gasoline. As the train left Daegu Station around 9:53 a.m., Kim began fumbling with the cartons and a cigarette lighter, alarming other passengers who tried to stop him. In the struggle, one of the cartons spilled and its liquid contents caught
    7.00
    2 votes
    154
    Great Boston Fire of 1872

    Great Boston Fire of 1872

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Great Boston Fire of 1872 was Boston's largest urban fire, and still ranks as one of the most costly fire-related property losses in American history. The conflagration began at 7:20 p.m. on November 9, 1872, in the basement of a commercial warehouse at 83—87 Summer Street in Boston, Massachusetts. The fire was finally contained 12 hours later, after it had consumed about 65 acres (26 ha) of Boston's downtown, 776 buildings and much of the financial district, and caused $73.5 million in damage. At least 30 people are known to have died in the fire. Many factors contributed to Boston's Great Fire: Notable events of the fire: The fire rendered thousands of Bostonians jobless and homeless. Hundreds of businesses were destroyed, and dozens of insurance companies were bankrupted. However, the burnt district was quickly rebuilt in just under two years, mostly from the private capital of Boston's commercial property owners. City planning during the post-fire reconstruction caused several streets in downtown Boston to be widened, particularly Congress Street, Federal Street, Purchase Street, and Hawley Street, and reserved the space for Post Office Square. Most of the rubble and ruins
    7.00
    2 votes
    155
    October 1999 Mexico Flooding

    October 1999 Mexico Flooding

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    Tropical Depression Eleven of the 1999 Atlantic hurricane season was a slow-moving system which caused some of the worst flooding in Mexico in over 50 years. It killed 636 people according to counts by the Mexican government, caused over 1 billion U.S. dollars in damage, and left over 300,000 people homeless. Torrential rains produced by the storm flooded roadways and broke many dams, which caused over 100 deaths in one town. The event also sparked political controversy throughout the entire country, due to the citizens claiming that the government was far too slow in launching search efforts for the missing, and rescue efforts for the trapped and dying. This caused president Ernesto Zedillo to try to reduce complaints, and even caused him to yell "shut up" at a bystander. The storm started as a tropical depression in the Gulf of Mexico that slowed and eventually hit the eastern coast of Mexico. The depression was formed almost directly off of the coast. It moved steadily to the south after that, but then took a turn to the north and came very close to the coast. Tropical Depression Eleven eventually dissipated, but not after causing torrential downpours, flooding, dam breaks,
    7.00
    2 votes
    156
    Platte Bridge Railroad Tragedy

    Platte Bridge Railroad Tragedy

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The Platte Bridge Railroad Tragedy was a bushwhacker attack on the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad during the American Civil War on September 3, 1861, in which the train derailed on a bridge over the Platte River east of St. Joseph, Missouri, killing between 17 and 20 and injuring 100. The bridge crosses the river in Buchanan County, between Marion Township on the east, and Washington Township on the west. Confederate partisans planned to burn the lower timbers of the 160-foot bridge across the river, leaving the top looking intact. At 11:15 p.m. on a moonless night, the westbound passenger train from Hannibal, Missouri, to St. Joseph started to cross the bridge. The supports cracked and gave way. The locomotive flipped, falling 30 feet into the shallow river and bringing with it the freight cars, baggage car, mail car and two passenger cars with 100 men, women and children. Bodies and the injured were taken to the Patee House near the St. Joseph depot. Union soldiers were ordered to track down and execute bushwhackers for their part in the incident. Confederate Major General Sterling Price, who had been invading northern Missouri at the time, wrote Union commanding general Henry
    7.00
    2 votes
    157
    Tangiwai disaster

    Tangiwai disaster

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The Tangiwai disaster on 24 December 1953 was the worst rail accident in New Zealand history. An 11-carriage overnight express from Wellington to Auckland fell into the Whangaehu River at Tangiwai, 10 km (6 miles) west of Waiouru. The bridge carrying the North Island Main Trunk Railway over the river had been badly damaged just minutes earlier by a lahar from Mount Ruapehu. The K class steam locomotive, all 5 second-class carriages, and the leading first-class carriage derailed, resulting in the deaths of 151 of the 285 people aboard the train. Of the 176 second-class passengers aboard, only 28 survived. The damage inflicted by the lahar washed away one complete span and left only the rails, supported by the remaining concrete piers. When the train ran onto the bridge the rails were incapable of supporting its weight and buckled in the middle. The engine had nearly made it to the other side when the bridge gave way. The locomotive and first carriage were launched into the air by striking a remaining concrete pier and reached the opposite bank of the river. The impact of the accident caused the locomotive's tender to flip over the locomotive and rip the cab away from the engine,
    7.00
    2 votes
    158
    Tay Bridge disaster

    Tay Bridge disaster

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The Tay Bridge disaster occurred during a violent storm on 28 December 1879 when the first Tay Rail Bridge collapsed while a train was passing over it from Wormit to Dundee, killing all aboard. The bridge – designed by Sir Thomas Bouch – used lattice girders supported by iron piers, with cast iron columns and wrought iron cross-bracing. The piers were narrower and their cross-bracing was less extensive and robust than on previous similar designs by Bouch. Bouch had sought expert advice on "wind loading" when designing a proposed rail bridge over the Firth of Forth; as a result of that advice he had made no explicit allowance for wind loading in the design of the Tay Bridge. There were other flaws in detailed design, in maintenance, and in quality control of castings, all of which were, at least in part, Bouch's responsibility. Bouch died within the year, with his reputation as an engineer ruined. Future British bridge designs had to allow for wind loadings of up to 56 pounds per square foot (2.7 kPa). Bouch's design for the Forth Rail Bridge was not used. Construction began in 1871 of a bridge to be supported by brick piers resting on bedrock shown by trial borings to lie at no
    7.00
    2 votes
    159
    The Udston Pit Disaster

    The Udston Pit Disaster

    • Type of disaster: Explosion
    The Udston mining disaster occurred in Hamilton, Scotland on Saturday, 28 May 1887 when 73 miners died in a firedamp explosion at Udston Colliery. Caused, it is thought, by unauthorised shot firing the explosion is said to be Scotland's second worst coal mining disaster. Keir Hardie, then Secretary of the Scottish Miners' Federation, denounced the deaths as murder a few days later. The Udston Colliery, owned by the Udston Coal Company, was situated at the top of Hillhouse, Hamilton behind where Townhill Road now runs. Opened in 1875, it was a small pit employing approximately 200 men and boys working in three coal seams at depths of up to 1,000 feet (300 m) underground. The workings of the colliery extended for 150 acres (0.61 km) and were bordered on three sides by the Blantyre, Earnock, and Greenfield Collieries. The last remaining colliery buildings and the pit waste were removed in 2002 and today the site of the colliery is now a housing estate and part of Hamilton’s western expansion programme. At 9am, having been hard at work for almost three hours, many of the day shift downed tools for their breakfast. During this break, at approximately 9:07am, an explosion ripped through
    7.00
    2 votes
    160
    1954 Yangtze River Floods

    1954 Yangtze River Floods

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    From June to September 1954, the Yangtze River Floods were a series of catastrophic floodings that occurred mostly in Hubei Province. Due to unusually high volume of precipitation as well as an extraordinarily long rainy season in the middle stretch of the Yangtze River late in the spring of 1954, the river started to rise above its usual level in around late June. Despite efforts to open three important flood gates to alleviate the rising water by diverting it, the flood level continued to rise until it hit the historic high of 44.67 m in Jingzhou, Hubei and 29.73 m in Wuhan. The number of dead from this flood was estimated at around 33,000, including those who died of plague in the aftermath of the disaster. Partly as a result of this flood, the pressure to build new dams, the Gezhouba Dam and the Three Gorges Dam, in the upper reach of Yangtze river, gained considerable momentum. In 1969, a large stone monument was erected in the riverside park in Hankou (City of Wuhan, Hubei) honoring the heroic deeds in fighting the 1954 flood. Among the carvings on the monument is a calligraphic inscription by Mao Zedong, dedicated to the people of Wuhan: Below, is his poem "Swimming" (1956),
    6.00
    3 votes
    161
    2008 Tanana Valley flood

    2008 Tanana Valley flood

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The 2008 Tanana Valley flood or the 2008 Fairbanks flood was a flood in late July and early August 2008 that affected several rivers in the central portion of the American state of Alaska. The city of Fairbanks, Alaska saw high water levels, while the towns of Nenana, Salcha, and Old Minto received heavy damage. The Salcha River and Tanana River reached their second-highest levels since record-keeping began (the highest was during the 1967 Tanana Valley Flood), while the Chena River, which bisects Fairbanks, was kept below flood stage by the use of the Chena River Lakes Flood Control Project. Several hundred homes were inundated by the flood in Fairbanks, Salcha, unincorporated Fairbanks North Star Borough, Nenana, and smaller villages, but due to early warnings from the National Weather Service, volunteer fire departments, and the borough's emergency contact system, no one was injured. The area affected by the flood was declared a state disaster area, making residents whose homes were flooded eligible for state aid. The long-term effects of the flood, including its effect on the salmon spawning season, are as yet unknown. The summer of 2008 was an unusually wet one for central
    6.00
    3 votes
    162
    Cavan Orphanage Fire

    Cavan Orphanage Fire

    The Cavan Orphanage Fire occurred on the night of 23 February 1943 at St Joseph's Orphanage in Cavan, Ireland. 35 children and 1 adult employee died as a result. Much of the attention after the fire surrounded the role of the Poor Clares, the order of nuns who ran the orphanage. The Poor Clares founded a convent in Cavan in 1861 in a large premises on Main Street. As a closed contemplative order the nuns themselves were never seen by the public. The Industrial Schools Act 1868 provided for the establishment of the Industrial school system in Ireland to provide accommodation and education for orphaned and abandoned children. Most were run by religious orders. It is likely the fire started due to an electrical fault in the laundry housed in the basement of the orphanage. Nothing was noticed until about 2am when one of the girls from the dormitory alerted one of the head nuns. The sight of smoke coming out of the building also alerted people living on Main Street. They went to the front entrance and tried to gain entry. Eventually they were let in by one of the girls but not knowing the layout of the convent, they were unable to find the girls. By this time all of the girls had been
    6.00
    3 votes
    163
    Eyemouth Disaster

    Eyemouth Disaster

    The Eyemouth disaster was a severe European windstorm that struck the southern coast of Scotland, United Kingdom, specifically Berwickshire, on 14 October 1881. 189 fishermen died, most of whom were from the village of Eyemouth. Many citizens of Eyemouth call the day Black Friday. Some boats that had not capsized were wrecked on the Hurkar Rocks. Two days later, the Ariel Gazelle turned up in Eyemouth; it had braved the storm instead of fleeing. A donation-led relief fund was established to provide financial security to families who had lost members to the storm. The response was significant, bringing in over £50,000 (over £4 million in 2005 currency).
    6.00
    3 votes
    164
    6.00
    3 votes
    165
    República Cromagnon nightclub fire

    República Cromagnon nightclub fire

    The República Cromañón nightclub fire occurred in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 30 December 2004, and killed 194 people. The tragedy was symbolic of government failure in Argentina, since the club had received a permit despite lacking basic fire safety measures like fire extinguishers. The venue was hosting rock group Callejeros and around 3,000 people were in attendance. The blaze was started when a pyrotechnic flare (a popular device in New Year's Eve celebrations) was set off and ignited foam in the ceiling. The materials used in the building for decoration were flammable: mostly wood, styrofoam, acoustic panels and a plastic net (a so-called media sombra). This plastic net was hung from the ceiling and caught fire first, melting into a rain of fire. In some parts of the building, teddy bear stuffing was used as a cheap alternative to wool fiber. The owner and the band's lead singer had told the patrons not to use flares inside the building. Four of the six doors, some of which were fire exits, were chained shut so that "people would not enter without paying", according to Mayor Aníbal Ibarra. Most of the victims died from inhaling poisonous gases, and carbon monoxide, unlike most
    6.00
    3 votes
    166
    Smith Mine disaster

    Smith Mine disaster

    • Type of disaster: Mining accident
    The Smith Mine disaster was the worst coal mining disaster in the State of Montana, and the 43rd worst in the United States, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). On February 27, 1943, at approximately 9:37 a.m., an explosion ripped through Smith Mine No. 3, a coal mine located between the towns of Bearcreek and Washoe. Since it was a Saturday, there was a short crew in the mine. Of the 77 men working that day, only three got out of the mine alive, and one of the rescue workers died soon afterwards. The report from the United States Bureau of Mines states that 30 of the men were killed instantly by the explosion, and the remainder died either through injuries sustained in the explosion, or through suffocation from the carbon monoxide and methane gas in the mine. The explosion was deep underground, and was not even heard from the mouth of the mine, despite having enough power to knock a 20-ton locomotive off its tracks 0.25 mile (0.4 km) from the blast origin. All of the bodies were removed from the mine. There is a highway plaque near the mouth of the mine, which was never reopened, and there are memorials in the cemeteries in Bearcreek
    6.00
    3 votes
    167
    Val di Stava Dam Collapse

    Val di Stava Dam Collapse

    The Val di Stava Dam collapse occurred on 19 July 1985, when two tailings dams above the village of Stava, near Tesero, Northern Italy, failed. It resulted in one of Italy's worst disasters, killing 268 people, destroying 63 buildings and demolishing eight bridges. The upper dam broke first, leading to the collapse of the lower dam. Around 200,000 cubic metres of mud, sand and water were released into the Rio di Stava valley and toward the village of Stava at a speed of 90 km/h. Having crashed through the village, the torrent continued until it reached the Avisio River a further 4.2 km away, destroying everything in its path. An investigation into the disaster found that the dams were poorly maintained and the margin of safe operation was very small. A pipe in the upper dam used to drain water had begun to sag under the weight of sediment, making the dam's drainage less effective. Meanwhile, water continued to be pumped into the reservoir behind the dam, which, coupled with the less efficient drainage, meant the pressure on the bank of the upper dam began to increase. Following the path of least resistance, water began penetrating the bank, causing the soil within to liquefy and
    6.00
    3 votes
    168
    Ashtabula River Railroad Disaster

    Ashtabula River Railroad Disaster

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The Ashtabula River Railroad Disaster (also called the Ashtabula Horror or the Ashtabula Bridge Disaster) was a train disaster caused by bridge failure in far northeastern Ohio on December 29, 1876, at 7:28 p.m. It was the worst rail accident in the USA until the Great Train Wreck of 1918. The Ashtabula bridge designer, Amasa Stone, was the President of the Lake Shore Michigan Southern Railroad – Cleveland and Erie Division from 1856 to 1867. During his Presidency, he decided to take a well-established wooden bridge pattern (the Howe Truss) and use it as the pattern for an all iron bridge. He designed this bridge without the approval of any competent engineers with iron bridge experience and against the protest of the engineer who was hired to draft the drawings. Pushing the limits of design standards of the day, this all-iron bridge was the longest ever built in America at the time. It was 154 ft long from abutment to abutment, making it an even riskier endeavor since the iron braces were so heavy. Charles Collins, the Engineer in Charge, was the man responsible for overseeing bridge inspections for the entire line. Unbelievably, Stone did not include Collins in any aspect of the
    5.67
    3 votes
    169
    Hindenburg disaster

    Hindenburg disaster

    The Hindenburg disaster took place on Thursday, May 6, 1937, as the German passenger airship LZ 129 Hindenburg caught fire and was destroyed during its attempt to dock with its mooring mast at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station, which is located adjacent to the borough of Lakehurst, New Jersey. Of the 97 people on board (36 passengers, 61 crew), there were 35 fatalities; there was also one death among the ground crew. The disaster was the subject of spectacular newsreel coverage, photographs, and Herbert Morrison's recorded radio eyewitness report from the landing field, which was broadcast the next day. The actual cause of the fire remains unknown, although a variety of hypotheses have been put forward for both the cause of ignition and the initial fuel for the ensuing fire. The incident shattered public confidence in the giant, passenger-carrying rigid airship and marked the end of the airship era. After opening its 1937 season by completing a single round trip passage to Rio de Janeiro in late March, the Hindenburg departed from Frankfurt on the evening of May 3 on the first of ten round trips between Europe and the United States that were scheduled for its second year of
    5.67
    3 votes
    170
    1996 Garley building fire

    1996 Garley building fire

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The 1996 Garley building fire was a fire incident that took place on 20 November 1996 in the 16-story Garley commercial building (Chinese: 嘉利大廈) located at 233-239 Nathan Road, in Jordan, Hong Kong. It was a catastrophe that caused the loss of 41 lives and 81 injuries. It is considered the worst building fire in Hong Kong during peacetime. The fire damaged the bottom two floors and the top three floors of the building, while the middle floors remained relatively intact. The building was built in 1975 before the government introduced laws requiring all commercial buildings to install sprinkler systems. The land lot was bought by Kai Yee Investment Company Ltd in 1970 at a cost of HK$1.56 million (US$200 thousand). China Resources subsidiary, Chinese Arts & Crafts, acquired half the building –from the basement to the ninth floor –for HK$35.5 million in 1989. Welding was revealed to be the source of the fire. At the time of the fire, the Garley Building was undergoing internal renovation, during which new elevators were to be installed. One had been completely refurbished, with another almost completed; the other two elevator shafts in the building had had their elevators removed, and
    6.50
    2 votes
    171
    All Saints' flood

    All Saints' flood

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The All Saints' Flood (Allerheiligenvloed) of 1570 was a disaster which happened on November 1, on the Dutch coast. Affected cities include Egmond, Bergen op Zoom and Saeftinghe. The Domeinraad council in Bergen op Zoom on 1 November 1570 recorded: "Commenting that those big storms of wind yesterday" were to the dike works of the south and north quarters "a warning given about very excessive high flood." A long period of storm pushed the water to unprecedented heights, still higher than those at the flood disaster of 1953. It broke innumerable dikes on the Dutch coasts, as a result of which there were enormous floods and immense damage. The total number of dead, including in foreign countries, must have been above 20,000, but exact data is not available. Tens of thousands of people became homeless. Livestock was lost in huge numbers. Winter stocks of food and fodder were destroyed. The Allerheiligenvloed marks the origin of the Verdronken Land van Saeftinghe (verdronken = "drowned"). In Zeeland the small islands Wulpen and Koezand and Cadzand and Stuivezand were permanently lost. Part of the text on this page originated from the Internet site of the KNMI (page in Dutch).
    6.50
    2 votes
    172
    Graniteville, South Carolina train disaster

    Graniteville, South Carolina train disaster

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The Graniteville, South Carolina train crash was an American rail disaster that occurred on January 6, 2005, in Graniteville, South Carolina. At roughly 2:40 am Eastern Standard Time, two Norfolk Southern trains collided near an Avondale Mills plant in Graniteville. Norfolk Southern train No. P22 was parked on a siding near the Avondale Mills plant. Train No. 192, which was transporting chlorine gas, sodium hydroxide and cresol, was diverted by an improperly lined railroad switch onto the siding, where it collided with P22. The collision derailed both locomotives and 16 of 192's 42 freight cars, as well as the locomotive and one of P22's two freight cars. One of 192's tank cars loaded with 90 tons of chlorine ruptured, releasing about 60 tons of the gas. About 1/3 of the load was recovered by industrial responders. Nine people died (eight at the time of the accident, one later due to chlorine inhalation), and at least 250 people were treated for chlorine exposure. 5,400 residents within a mile of the crash site were forced to evacuate for nearly two weeks while HAZMAT teams and cleanup crews decontaminated the area. Eight people lost their lives in the Graniteville train disaster
    6.50
    2 votes
    173
    Hotel New World disaster

    Hotel New World disaster

    • Type of disaster: Structural failure
    The Hotel New World disaster (Chinese: 新世界酒店坍塌事件 ; Malay: Tragedi Hotel New World runtuh) occurred on 15 March 1986, and was Singapore's deadliest civil disaster since the Spyros disaster of 12 October 1978. The six-story building situated at the junction of Serangoon Road and Owen Road rapidly collapsed, trapping 50 people beneath the rubble. 17 were rescued, while 33 were killed. Although frequently referred to as the Hotel New World disaster, the building in question was actually known as the Lian Yak building (联谊大厦), a six-storey building with a basement garage and built in 1971. The Hotel New World, previously known as the New Serangoon Hotel until 1984, was the main tenant occupying the top three floors, and a branch of the Industrial and Commercial Bank (now merged with United Overseas Bank) took up the ground level. A nightclub, Universal Neptune Nite-Club and Restaurant, was also situated on the second level of the building at the time of the collapse. The building had previously experienced a poisonous gas leak (which was caused by carbon monoxide) in some of the hotel rooms, first hitting the headlines on 30 August 1975, the day after the poisonous gas leak was
    6.50
    2 votes
    174
    Malbone Street Wreck

    Malbone Street Wreck

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The Malbone Street Wreck, also known as the Brighton Beach Line Accident of the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company (BRT), was a rapid transit railroad accident that occurred November 1, 1918, beneath the intersection of Flatbush Avenue, Ocean Avenue, and Malbone Street (now known as Empire Boulevard), in the community of Flatbush, Brooklyn. At least 93 individuals died, making it one of the deadliest train crashes in the history of the United States. The wreck occurred the evening of November 1, 1918 at 6:42 PM, during the last days of World War I. An elevated train, consisting of five cars constructed primarily of wood, entered the tunnel portal beneath Malbone Street going toward the Prospect Park station, negotiating a curve designated to be taken at six miles per hour (9.6 km/h) at a speed estimated at between 30 and 40 mph (48–65 km/h). The trailing truck of the first car derailed, and the two following cars completely left the tracks, tearing off their left-hand sides and most of their roofs. The first and fourth cars sustained relatively minor damage, while the second and third cars were severely damaged, the third so badly that it was dismantled on the spot. The fifth suffered
    6.50
    2 votes
    175
    March 2008 Midwest floods

    March 2008 Midwest floods

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The March 2008 Midwest floods were a massive flooding event in the Southern Midwest and portions of the Southern Plains. Cape Girardeau, Missouri officially reported 11.48 inches (29.2 cm) between March 18 and 19. At least 17 people died as a result of the flooding. Levee breaks were observed in several areas, most notably in Southeastern Missouri, where levee breaks occurred through mid-April. The National Weather Service posted flood watches stretching from Dallas, Texas, to Scranton, Pennsylvania, starting March 16. Two strong low-pressure centers developed along a stationary front that stretched along this line. One was located in the southern region of Illinois, and the other was located near San Antonio, Texas. The northern low, combined with strong upper level winds, dragged large amounts moisture north from the Gulf of Mexico. The southern low produced severe weather and heavy rain on its north side. At one point, the national weather radar composite showed a large shield of heavy rain stretching from Texas to northern Indiana. River flooding continued through May in some areas, causing additional problems where flash flooding from the heavy rains struck. Numerous
    6.50
    2 votes
    176
    Newark Bay, New Jersey rail crash

    Newark Bay, New Jersey rail crash

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The Newark Bay rail accident occurred on September 15, 1958 in Newark Bay, New Jersey. A Central Railroad of New Jersey (CRRNJ) morning commuter train, #3314, ran through a restrictive and a stop signal, derailed, and slid off the open Newark Bay lift bridge. Both diesel locomotives and the first two coaches plunged into Newark Bay and sank immediately, killing 48 people. A third coach, snagged by its rear truck (bogie), hung precariously off the lift bridge for two hours before it also toppled into the water. As the locomotive crew was killed, the cause of the accident was not determined, but a medical emergency in the cab was theorized. There were three signals spaced at three-quarters of a mile, a quarter of a mile, and 500 feet (150 m) from the draw bridge, and an automatic derailing device fifty feet beyond the third signal. The bridge span had to be down and locked electrically before the signals and derail devices could be cleared for movement on the track. Conversely, all the devices had to be in their most restrictive positions before the bridge could be unlocked and raised. The train ran through two signals and was derailed automatically; the automatic derailer was
    6.50
    2 votes
    177
    Niamiha disaster

    Niamiha disaster

    • Type of disaster: Human stampede
    The Nyamiha disaster was a deadly human crush that took place at Nyamiha metro station in Minsk, Belarus. On May 30, 1999, a sudden thunderstorm caused a number of young people to race for shelter during an open-air concert nearby. The stampede was funneled toward the underpass of the metro station and many people were killed in the crush when they started slipping on the wet pavement, falling, and trampling each other. The official death toll was 53. Belarus had a three-day mourning period after the tragedy.
    6.50
    2 votes
    178
    Willamette Valley Flood of 1996

    Willamette Valley Flood of 1996

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The Willamette Valley Flood of 1996 was part of a larger series of floods in the Pacific Northwest of the United States which took place between late January and mid-February, 1996. It was Oregon's largest flood event in terms of fatalities and monetary damage during the 1990s. The floods spread well beyond Oregon's Willamette Valley, extending west to the Oregon Coast and east toward the Cascade Mountains. Significant flood damage also affected the American states of Washington, Idaho (particularly the north of the state) and California. The floods were directly responsible for eight deaths in Oregon, as well as over US$500 million in property damage throughout the Pacific Northwest. Three thousand residents were displaced from their homes. An unusual confluence of weather events made the floods particularly severe. The winter season preceding the floods had produced abnormally high rainfall and relatively low snowfall. The heavy rains saturated the ground and raised river levels throughout January 1996. In late January, a heavy snowstorm padded snowpacks throughout the region. This was followed by a deep freeze that lasted for six to ten days. The new layer of snow was quickly
    6.50
    2 votes
    179
    Cairns Tilt Train derailment

    Cairns Tilt Train derailment

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The Cairns Tilt Train derailment occurred at 11:55 pm on 15 November 2004 when the City of Townsville diesel tilt train derailed north of Berajondo, approximately 342 km (213 mi) northwest of Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland, Australia. The prima facie cause of the incident was excessive speed; the train was travelling at 112 km/h (70 mph) when it derailed at the beginning of a curve with a speed limit of 60 km/h (37 mph). Despite the seriousness of the incident, there were no fatalities. Following from the successful introduction of the two electric tilting trains between Brisbane and Rockhampton in 1998, the twin City of Cairns and City of Townsville diesel-powered tilt trains were introduced to service on 15 June 2003 between Brisbane and Cairns. As only a third of the North Coast railway line from Brisbane to Cairns is electrified, the two diesel trains were required for services to farther major coastal destinations such as Townsville and Cairns. Originally to be called "The Tropical Explorer" with a colourful, tropical livery reflecting "the sun, blue sky, beach and palms", the name was soon quietly dropped and instead called the "Cairns Tilt Train" similar to its
    7.00
    1 votes
    180
    Copenhagen Fire of 1728

    Copenhagen Fire of 1728

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Copenhagen Fire of 1728 was the largest fire in the history of Copenhagen, Denmark. It began on the evening of October 20, 1728, and continued to burn until the morning of October 23. It destroyed approximately 28% of the city (measured by counting the number of destroyed lots from the cadastre), left 20% of the population homeless, and the reconstruction lasted until 1737. No less than 47% of the section of the city, which dates back to the Middle Ages, was completely lost, and along with the Copenhagen Fire of 1795, it is the main reason that few traces of medieval Copenhagen can be found in the modern city. Although the number of dead and wounded was relatively low compared to the extent of the fire, the cultural losses were huge. In addition to several private book collections, 35,000 texts including a large number of unique works were lost with the University of Copenhagen library, and at the observatory on top of Rundetårn, instruments and records made by Tycho Brahe and Ole Rømer were destroyed. The exact time that the fire started is unknown. Various sources mention times between 6:00 and 8:00 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. is the best estimate. However, the exact location of the
    7.00
    1 votes
    181
    Granville railway disaster

    Granville railway disaster

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The Granville rail disaster occurred on 18 January 1977 at Granville, a suburb in western Sydney, when a crowded commuter train derailed, running into the supports of a road bridge that collapsed onto two of the train's passenger carriages. 83 people died, more than 210 were injured, and 1,300 were affected. It is the worst rail disaster in Australian history based on loss of life. The crowded 6:09 a.m. Sydney-bound commuter train from Mount Victoria, in the Blue Mountains, was approaching Granville railway station when it left the rails at approximately 8:10 a.m. and hit a row of supports of the overhead Bold Street bridge, constructed from steel and concrete. The derailed engine and first two carriages passed the bridge. The first carriage broke free from the other carriages. Carriage one was torn open when it collided with a severed mast beside the track, killing eight passengers. The remaining carriages ground to a halt, with the second carriage clear of the bridge. The rear half of the third carriage, and forward half of the fourth carriage came to rest under the weakened bridge. Within seconds, with all its supports demolished, the bridge and several motor cars on top of it
    7.00
    1 votes
    182
    Great New Orleans Fire of 1788

    Great New Orleans Fire of 1788

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Great New Orleans Fire (1788) was a fire that destroyed 856 of the 1,100 structures in New Orleans, Louisiana on March 21, 1788, spanning the south central French Quarter from Burgundy to Chartres Street, almost to the riverfront buildings. An additional 212 buildings were destroyed in the Great New Orleans Fire (1794) on December 8, 1794. The Good Friday fire started about 1:30 p.m. at the home of Army Treasurer Don Vincente Jose Nunez, 619 Chartres Street at Toulouse Street, less than a block from Jackson Square (Plaza de Armas), and within five hours consumed almost the entire city fed by a strong wind from the southeast. The fire destroyed the original Cabildo and virtually all major buildings in the French Quarter including the city's main church, the municipal building, the army barracks, armory, and jail. Only two fire engines were operational and they were destroyed by the fire. Louisiana Governor Esteban Rodríguez Miró set up tents for the homeless. The fire area stretched between Dauphine Street and the Mississippi River and between Conti Street in the south and St. Philip Street in the north. It spared the Mississippi River front buildings. Among the buildings
    7.00
    1 votes
    183
    Groundhog Day gale of 1976

    Groundhog Day gale of 1976

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The Groundhog Day gale was a severe winter storm which hit the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada on February 2 (Groundhog Day), 1976. An upper cyclone was stationary on January 28 across the Desert Southwest of the United States. A system in the northern branch of the Westerlies known as a Saskatchewan Screamer, similar to an Alberta clipper but originating as a frontal wave in the next Canadian province to the east, moved east-southeast across Canada beginning on January 30, luring the system in the United States eastward. The cyclones merged by February 2, becoming a significant storm over New England before lifting northward through Quebec into the Davis Strait. At this time, maximum sustained winds of 164 kilometers per hour (102 mph) in coastal areas (equal to a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale), with wind gusts of up to 188 kilometers per hour (116 mph). By February 6, this cyclone was absorbed by another system in the northern Canadian archipelago. Caribou, Maine recorded their lowest pressure on record, with a reading of 957 hPa (28.26 inches). Winds gusted to 60 knots (69 mph) in Rockland and 100 knots (115 mph) at Southwest
    7.00
    1 votes
    184
    Kuwaiti oil fires

    Kuwaiti oil fires

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Kuwaiti oil fires were caused by Iraqi military forces setting fire to more than 600 oil wells as part of a scorched earth policy while retreating from Kuwait in 1991 after invading the country but being driven out by Coalition military forces (see Gulf War). The fires started in January and February 1991 and the last one was extinguished by November 1991. The resulting fires burned out of control because of the dangers of sending in firefighting crews. Land mines had been placed in areas around the oil wells, and military demining was necessary before the fires could be put out. Around 6 million barrels (950,000 m) of oil were lost each day. Eventually, privately contracted crews extinguished the fires, at a total cost of US$1.5 billion to Kuwait. By that time, however, the fires had burned for approximately ten months, causing widespread pollution. The petroleum burn caused pollution to the soil and air, and the oil fires have been linked with what was later called Gulf War Syndrome; however, studies have indicated that the firemen who capped the wells did not report any of the symptoms suffered by the soldiers. Whether this syndrome has been caused by the oil fires, by
    7.00
    1 votes
    185
    Midwest flooding of 2007

    Midwest flooding of 2007

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The 2007 Midwest flooding was a major flooding event that occurred in the Midwestern United States in the third week of August 2007. While Hurricane Dean was affecting the Yucatán Peninsula and the Gulf of Mexico, and Tropical Storm Erin was affecting Oklahoma and Texas, a persistent storm system hung over the Midwest for several days, causing repeated flash flooding in the US states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Cool Canadian air clashed with large quantities of warm moist air from the Gulf, producing torrential rains along a stationary front. Eighteen deaths across the central United States were attributed to the resulting flooding. Twenty-one counties in Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin, and six counties in Illinois were declared Federal Disaster Areas. On Saturday, August 18, a warm front pushed northward into Iowa and Illinois, where it became stationary. Warm, moist air pushing over the frontal boundary fueled showers and thunderstorms that moved in a west-to-east fashion, training over the same areas for hours at a time. Some parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa saw moderate to heavy rain for nearly a full day before the activity finally cleared
    7.00
    1 votes
    186
    Wellington, Washington avalanche

    Wellington, Washington avalanche

    • Type of disaster: Avalanche
    The Wellington avalanche was the worst avalanche, measured in terms of lives lost, in the history of the United States. For nine days at the end of February 1910, the little town of Wellington, Washington was assailed by a terrible blizzard. Wellington was a Great Northern Railway stop high in the Cascades, on the west side of the old Cascade Tunnel, under Stevens Pass. As much as a foot of snow fell every hour, and, on the worst day, 11 feet (340 cm) of snow fell. Two trains, a passenger train and a mail train, both bound from Spokane to Seattle, were trapped in the depot. Snow plows were present at Wellington and others were sent to help, but they could not penetrate the snow accumulations and repeated avalanches along the stretch of tracks between Scenic and Leavenworth. Late on February 28, the snow stopped and was replaced by rain and a warm wind. Just after 1 a.m. on March 1, as a result of a lightning strike, a slab of snow broke loose from the side of Windy Mountain during a violent thunderstorm. A ten-foot high mass of snow, half a mile long and a quarter of a mile wide, fell toward the town. A forest fire had recently ravaged the slopes above the town, leaving very little
    7.00
    1 votes
    187
    Windscale fire

    Windscale fire

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Windscale fire of 10 October 1957 was the worst nuclear accident in Great Britain's history, ranked in severity at level 5 on the 7-point International Nuclear Event Scale. The two piles had been hurriedly built as part of the British atomic bomb project. Windscale Pile No. 1 was operational in October 1950 followed by Pile No. 2 in June 1951. The accident occurred when the core of the Unit 1 nuclear reactor at Windscale, Cumberland (now Sellafield, Cumbria) caught fire, releasing substantial amounts of radioactive contamination into the surrounding area. Of particular concern at the time was the radioactive isotope iodine-131, which may lead to cancer of the thyroid, and it has been estimated that the incident caused 240 additional cancer cases. No one was evacuated from the surrounding area, but there was concern that milk might be dangerously contaminated. Milk from about 500 km of nearby countryside was diluted and destroyed for about a month. A 2010 study of workers directly involved in the cleanup found no significant long term health effects from their involvement. After the Second World War, the British government, not wanting to be left behind as a world power in an
    7.00
    1 votes
    188
    1547 Fire of Moscow

    1547 Fire of Moscow

    The great fire of Moscow in 1547 destroyed sections of Moscow which had been built almost entirely of wood. The fire began on June 24, several months after Ivan IV was officially crowned as first Tsar of Russia. The fire swept into the Kremlin and blew up the powder stores in several of the Kremlin's towers. The fire displaced about 80,000 people and killed about 2,700 to 3,700 (not including children), and led to widespread poverty among the survivors. Metropolitan Makarii was apparently injured in the fire when the Cathedral of the Dormition in the Kremlin was threatened by the flames and the metropolitan was taken out through a breach in the Kremlin walls and let down by rope into the Moscow River. He may have never fully recovered from his injuries, although he lived another 16 years. The Muscovites put the blame on the tsar's maternal relatives from the Glinski family. A rebellion began and Yuri Glinski was stoned to death inside the Cathedral of the Dormition in front of a horrified Metropolitan Makarii. Yuri's brother, Mikhail Glinski attempted to flee to Lithuania but failed, and his mother, Anna - the tsar's grandmother - was accused of using sorcery to start the fire. The
    5.33
    3 votes
    189
    2006-2007 Malaysian floods

    2006-2007 Malaysian floods

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The 2006–2007 Malaysian floods were a series of floods that hit Malaysia during December 18, 2006 to January 13, 2007. The floods were caused by above average rainfall, which was attributed to Typhoon Utor which had hit the Philippines and Vietnam a few days earlier. By the third week of January 2007, Johor was hit by a larger flood. Singapore and certain parts of Indonesia were flooded due to the same typhoon. Throughout the week of December 18, 2006, a series of floods hit Johor, Malacca, Pahang and Negeri Sembilan. During this period, these southern Malaysian states, along with Singapore, experienced abnormal rainfall which resulted in massive floods. The rainfall recorded in the city of Johor Bahru on December 19 amounted to 289mm when the annual rainfall of the city alone is 2400mm. In Singapore, the 24-hour rainfall recorded on December 20 was 366 mm, the third highest recorded rainfall in 75 years. The flooding began when torrential downpours since Sunday caused rivers and dams to overflow. Weather officials described the flooding as the worst in the area in a century. At least six people died. Later that week, beginning December 22, North Sumatra and Aceh experienced
    5.33
    3 votes
    190
    Effect of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans

    Effect of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The effects of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans have been long-lasting. As the center of Katrina passed South-east of New Orleans on August 29, 2005, winds downtown were in the Category 3 range with frequent intense gusts and tidal surge. Hurricane force winds were experienced throughout the city, although the most severe portion of Katrina missed the city, hitting nearby St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes. Hurricane Katrina made its final landfall in eastern St. Tammany Parish. The western eye wall passed directly over St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana as a Category 3 hurricane at about 9:45 am CST, August 29, 2005. The communities of Slidell, Louisiana, Avery Estates, Lakeshore Estates, Oak Harbor, Eden Isles and Northshore Beach were inundated by the storm surge that extended over six miles inland. The storm surge affected all 57 miles (92 km) of St. Tammany Parish’s coastline, including Lacombe, Mandeville and Madisonville. The storm surge in the area of the Rigolets Pass was estimated to be 16 feet, not including wave action, declining to 7 feet (2.1 m) at Madisonville. The surge had a second peak in eastern St. Tammany as the westerly winds from the southern eye wall pushed the
    5.33
    3 votes
    191
    Great Dayton Flood

    Great Dayton Flood

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The Great Dayton Flood of 1913 flooded Dayton, Ohio, and the surrounding area with water from the Great Miami River, causing the greatest natural disaster in Ohio history. In response, Ohio passed the Vonderheide Act to allow the Ohio state government to form the Miami Conservancy District, one of the first major flood control districts in Ohio and the United States. This also inflicted a domino series of events, resulting in a further disruption. The flood was created by a series of three winter storms that hit the region in March 1913. Within three days, 8-11 inches of rain fell throughout the Great Miami River watershed on already saturated soil , resulting in more than 90% runoff that caused the river and its tributaries to overflow. The existing series of levees failed, and downtown Dayton experienced flooding up to 20 feet (6.1 m) deep. This flood is still the flood of record for the Great Miami River watershed, and the amount of water that passed through the river channel during this storm equals the flow over Niagara Falls each month. The Miami River watershed covers nearly 4,000 square miles (10,000 km) and 115 miles (185 km) of channel that feeds into the Ohio River.
    5.33
    3 votes
    192
    Hammond Circus Train Wreck

    Hammond Circus Train Wreck

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The Hammond circus train wreck occurred on June 22, 1918, and was one of the worst train wrecks in US history. Eighty-six people died and another 127 were injured when a locomotive engineer fell asleep and ran his train into the rear of another near Hammond, Indiana. In the early morning hours of June 22, 1918, Alonzo Sargent was operating a Michigan Central Railroad troop train pulling 20 empty Pullman cars. He was aware that his train was closely following a slower circus train. Sargent, an experienced man at the throttle, had slept little if at all in the preceding twenty-four hours. The effects of a lack of sleep, several heavy meals, some kidney pills, and the gentle rolling of his locomotive are thought to have caused him to fall asleep at the controls. At approximately 4:00 am, he missed at least two automatic signals and warnings posted by a brakeman of the 26-car circus train, which had made an emergency stop to check a hot box on one of the flatcars. The second train plowed into the caboose and four rear wooden sleeping cars of the circus train at a rail crossing known as Ivanhoe Interlocking (5½ miles east of Hammond, Indiana) at an estimated speed of 35 miles per
    5.33
    3 votes
    193
    Hyde railway disaster

    Hyde railway disaster

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The Hyde railway disaster occurred on 4 June 1943 near the small settlement of Hyde, New Zealand on a bend of the Otago Central Railway. At the time, it was New Zealand's worst railway accident; of the 113 passengers on board, 21 were killed and a further 47 were injured. But just over ten years later, the Tangiwai disaster took 151 lives on 24 December 1953. The Hyde disaster remains as the second worst railway accident in New Zealand's history. The Hyde disaster involved the daily passenger express train from Cromwell to Dunedin. In 1936, a year-round daily passenger express train was introduced, replacing a thrice weekly express that had been augmented by slow mixed trains. This service left Cromwell at 9am and reached Dunedin at 5:20pm; in 1937, the schedule was accelerated by half an hour and it was this timetable that was in force on 4 June 1943. The train was hauled by a steam locomotive, A 782, and consisted of seven passenger carriages, a guard's van and two wagons of time-sensitive freight. The day was a Friday and it was to be followed by the Queen's Birthday long weekend, and this boosted patronage to 113, with many passengers travelling to the Winter Show in Dunedin or
    5.33
    3 votes
    194
    Superga air disaster

    Superga air disaster

    The Superga air disaster took place on Wednesday, 4 May 1949, when a plane carrying almost the entire Torino A.C. football team, popularly known as Il Grande Torino, crashed into the hill of Superga near Turin killing all 31 aboard including 18 players, club officials, journalists accompanying the team, and the plane's crew. The team was returning from a farewell match for Xico Ferreira against Benfica in Lisbon. The Avio Linee Italiane (Italian Airlines) Fiat G212CP carrying the team flew into a thunderstorm on the approach to Turin and encountered conditions of low cloud and poor visibility. They were forced to descend to be able to fly visually. While descending for Turin, the aircraft crashed against the base of the rear wall of the Basilica complex at the top of the hill of Superga. Italian authorities cited low cloud, poor radio aids and an error in navigation as factors contributing to the accident. The emotional impact the crash made on Italian sports fans was profound, as it claimed the lives of the players of a legendary team which had won the last Serie A title before the league play was interrupted in 1944 by World War II and had then returned after the conflict to win
    5.33
    3 votes
    195
    2000 Mozambique flood

    2000 Mozambique flood

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The 2000 Mozambique flood was a natural disaster that occurred in February and March 2000. The catastrophic flooding was caused by heavy rainfall that lasted for five weeks and made many homeless. Approximately 800 people were killed. 1,400 km² of arable land was affected and 20,000 head of cattle were lost. It was the worst flood in the Mozambique in 50 years. The floods began on 8 February with a lot of rain across South Africa, Botswana and Swaziland. Mozambique received the most rainfall, the capital Maputo was flooded. Torrential rain continued to the 11th of February, in Mozambique's Limpopo Valley, the banks of the Limpopo River burst, causing severe flood damage and a dysentery outbreak in the local population. On 22 February, tropical Cyclone Leon–Eline hit the Mozambican coast near Beira. On February 27, flash floods overwhelmed low farmlands around Chokwe and Xai-Xai Over 50,000 people were rescued from rooftops, trees and other isolated and flooded areas. This effort was at first carried out by only a few Mozambican naval vessels. The governments of South Africa, Malawi, and Mozambique provided a few helicopters to the rescue team. One of the devastating images of the
    6.00
    2 votes
    196
    Bhopal disaster

    Bhopal disaster

    • Type of disaster: Industrial disaster
    The Bhopal disaster, also referred to as the Bhopal gas tragedy, was a gas leak incident in India, considered one of the world's worst industrial disasters. It occurred on the night of 2–3 December 1984 at the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. A leak of methyl isocyanate gas and other chemicals from the plant resulted in the exposure of hundreds of thousands of people. The toxic substance made its way in and around the shantytowns located near the plant. Estimates vary on the death toll. The official immediate death toll was 2,259 and the government of Madhya Pradesh has confirmed a total of 3,787 deaths related to the gas release. Others estimate 8,000 died within two weeks and another 8,000 or more have since died from gas-related diseases. A government affidavit in 2006 stated the leak caused 558,125 injuries including 38,478 temporary partial and approximately 3,900 severely and permanently disabling injuries. UCIL was the Indian subsidiary of Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), with Indian Government controlled banks and the Indian public holding a 49.1 percent stake. In 1994, the Supreme Court of India allowed UCC to sell its 50.9
    6.00
    2 votes
    197
    Chicago Flood

    Chicago Flood

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The Chicago flood occurred on April 13, 1992, when the damaged wall of a utility tunnel beneath the Chicago River opened into a breach which flooded basements and underground facilities throughout the Chicago Loop with an estimated 250 million US gallons (950,000 m) of water. Rehabilitation work on the Kinzie Street Bridge crossing the Chicago River required new pilings. Unbeknownst to work crews aboard a barge operated by the Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company, beneath the river was an abandoned Chicago Tunnel Company tunnel that had been used in the early 20th century to transport coal and goods. One of the pilings on the east bank was driven into the bottom of the river alongside the north wall of the old tunnel. Although the piling did not actually punch through the tunnel wall, it caused pressure that cracked the wall, and mud began to ooze in. After some weeks, all the soft mud had passed, opening a leak. The situation was very serious because the flood doors had been removed from the old tunnels after they fell into disuse. A telecommunications worker inspecting a cable running through the tunnel discovered the leak while it was still passing mud and forwarded a videotape
    6.00
    2 votes
    198
    Glen Cinema Disaster

    Glen Cinema Disaster

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Glen Cinema Disaster was a fire in a cinema in Paisley, Scotland on 31 December, 1929 which killed 69 children and injured 40; the final death toll was 71. It is considered one of Scotland's worst human disasters. On the afternoon of 31 December 1929, during a children's matinee, a freshly shown film was put in its metal can, in the spool room, where it began to issue thick black smoke. Nitrocellulose film, as used at this time, can burn on its own without needing any supply of air. Soon the smoke filled the auditorium containing about one thousand children. Panic set in. Children ran downstairs so fast and in such numbers that they piled up behind the escape door which led to Dyers Wynd. The door could not be opened, as it was designed to open inwards and was padlocked. The following day, Paisley was stunned by the news that seventy children had died in the crush in the worst cinema disaster in British history. An inquiry was held in Edinburgh on 29 April 1930 during which it was revealed that the cinema had been inspected and pronounced safe by the Paisley fire brigade on the morning of the fire. The owner, James Graham, had, however, agreed that there were insufficient
    6.00
    2 votes
    199
    AIDS pandemic

    AIDS pandemic

    • Type of disaster: Pandemic
    HIV/AIDS is a global pandemic. As of 2010 approximately 34 million people have HIV worldwide. Of these, approximately 16.8 million are women and 3.4 million are less than 15 years old. There were about 1.8 million deaths from AIDS in 2010, down from 3.1 million in 2001. Sub-Saharan Africa is the region most affected. In 2010, an estimated 68% (22.9 million) of all HIV cases and 66% of all deaths (1.2 million) occurred in this region. This means that about 5% of the adult populations is infected. Here in contrast to other regions women compose nearly 60% of cases. South Africa has the largest population of people with HIV of any country in the world at 5.9 million. South & South East Asia (a region with about 2 billion people as of 2010, over 30% of the global population) has an estimated 4 million cases (12% of all people living with HIV), with about 250,000 deaths in 2010. Approximately 2.5 million of these cases are in India, where however the prevalence is only about 0.3% (somewhat higher than that found in Western and Central Europe or Canada). Prevalence is lowest in East Asia at 0.1%. In 2008 approximately 1.2 million people in the United States had HIV; 20% did not realize
    5.50
    2 votes
    200
    Cross Mountain Mine Disaster

    Cross Mountain Mine Disaster

    • Type of disaster: Mining accident
    The Cross Mountain Mine disaster was a coal mine explosion that occurred on December 9, 1911 near the community of Briceville, Tennessee, in the southeastern United States. In spite of a well-organized rescue effort led by the newly-created Bureau of Mines, 84 miners died as a result of the explosion. The likely cause of the explosion was the ignition of dust and gas released by a roof fall. At least 22 of the miners killed in the Cross Mountain Mine disaster were buried in a circular memorial known as the Cross Mountain Miners' Circle, which is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Cross Mountain is a massive ridge situated along the eastern Cumberland Plateau just west of the plateau's Walden Ridge escarpment, in the coal-rich Cumberland Mountains. Rising to an elevation of 3,534 feet (1,077 m), the mountain is the highest point in Tennessee west of the Blue Ridge Province. The mountain is located along the border between Anderson County and Campbell County. Coal Creek, a tributary of the Clinch River, flows northward along the southeastern base of Cross Mountain, slicing a narrow valley in which the communities of Briceville and Fraterville are located. Lake
    5.50
    2 votes
    201
    Ibrox disaster

    Ibrox disaster

    The Ibrox disaster refers to two accidents, both at football games held at Ibrox Park (now Ibrox Stadium) in Glasgow, Scotland:
    5.50
    2 votes
    202
    Irish railway accidents

    Irish railway accidents

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    This sortable table is intended to list railway accidents in the Republic of Ireland, and before its formation accidents in the provinces of Leinster, Munster and Connacht, plus the counties of Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan. It is currently limited to accidents where at least one train occupant was killed. It does not include acts of terror, nor accidents in Northern Ireland. The 'TRA link' column gives a link to the accident's page on The Railways Archive web site, though some may not yet be fully detailed.
    5.50
    2 votes
    203
    Moorgate tube crash

    Moorgate tube crash

    • Areas affected: Moorgate station
    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    • Victims: Leslie Newson
    The Moorgate tube crash was a railway disaster on the London Underground that occurred on 28 February 1975 at 8:46 am. A southbound train on the Northern Line (Highbury Branch) crashed into the tunnel end beyond the platform at Moorgate station. Forty-three people died at the scene, either from the impact or from suffocation, the greatest loss of life during peacetime in the London Underground, and the second greatest loss of life on the entire London Transport system (the first being the 7 July 2005 London bombings). The cause of the incident was never determined conclusively. The crash had two consequences for the London Underground. Firstly, the southern end of the Highbury Branch platforms (where the crash happened) were rebuilt extensively. Secondly, automatic systems for stopping trains were introduced into dead-ends on the tube, regardless of whether the driver brakes the train. These systems came to be known informally as Moorgate control. The train was the 8:39 am from Drayton Park on the Highbury Branch, terminating at platform nine of Moorgate station seven minutes later. At that time plans were being developed for the service, known previously as the Great Northern &
    5.50
    2 votes
    204
    1997 Red River Flood in the United States

    1997 Red River Flood in the United States

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The Red River Flood of 1997 in the United States was a major flood that occurred in April 1997, along the Red River of the North in North Dakota and Minnesota. The flood reached throughout the Red River Valley, affecting the cities of Fargo and Winnipeg, while Grand Forks and East Grand Forks received the most damage, where floodwaters reached over 3 miles (5 km) inland, inundating virtually everything in the twin communities. Total damages for the Red River region were US$3.5 billion. The flood was the result of abundant snowfall and extreme temperatures. Although river levels in Fargo reached record heights, the city was protected by several dikes and received minimal damage. In Grand Forks, however, the river crested at 54 feet (16 m), surpassing the 49-foot (15 m) estimate of flooding set by the National Weather Service. Within East Grand Forks, all but eight homes were damaged by floodwaters. Grand Forks mayor Pat Owens had to order the evacuation of over 50,000 people as a large portion of the city would eventually be flooded. A large fire started in Grand Forks, engulfing eleven buildings and sixty apartment units before being extinguished. Those affected by the flood
    6.00
    1 votes
    205
    Boston molasses disaster

    Boston molasses disaster

    • Areas affected: North End
    • Type of disaster: Industrial disaster
    • Victims: Patrick Breen
    The Boston Molasses Disaster, also known as the Great Molasses Flood and the Great Boston Molasses Tragedy, occurred on January 15, 1919, in the North End neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts in the United States. A large molasses storage tank burst, and a wave of molasses rushed through the streets at an estimated 35 mph (56 km/h), killing 21 and injuring 150. The event has entered local folklore, and some residents claim that on hot summer days, the area still smells of molasses. The disaster occurred at the Purity Distilling Company facility on January 15, 1919. The temperature had risen above 40˚ F (4.4˚ C), climbing rapidly from the frigid temperatures of the preceding days. At the time, molasses was the standard sweetener in the U.S. Molasses can also be fermented to produce rum and ethyl alcohol, the active ingredient in other alcoholic beverages and a key component in the manufacturing of munitions at the time. The stored molasses was awaiting transfer to the Purity plant situated between Willow Street and what is now named Evereteze Way, in Cambridge. Near Keany Square, at 529 Commercial Street, a huge molasses tank 50 ft (15 m) tall, 90 ft (27 m) in diameter and
    6.00
    1 votes
    206
    Burchardi flood

    Burchardi flood

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The Burchardi Flood (also known as the second Grote Mandrenke) was a storm tide that struck the North Sea coast of North Frisia and Dithmarschen on the night between 11 and 12 October 1634. Overrunning dikes, it shattered the coastline and caused thousands of deaths (8,000 to 15,000 people drowned) and catastrophic material damage. Much of the island of Strand washed away, forming the islands Nordstrand, Pellworm and several Halligen. The Burchardi Flood hit Schleswig-Holstein during a period of economic weakness. In 1603 a plague epidemic which took the lives of numerous people spread across the land. The flooding occurred moreover during the Thirty Years' War, which also did not spare Schleswig-Holstein. Fighting had occurred between locals and the troops of Frederick III, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, especially on Strand Island. The people of Strand were resisting changes to their old defence treaties and the forced accommodation of troops. Supported by a Danish expeditionary fleet, they succeeded in repulsing first an imperial army and later the duke's men, but were eventually defeated in 1629. The island and subsequently also the means of coastal protection suffered from the
    6.00
    1 votes
    207
    Christmas flood 1717

    Christmas flood 1717

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The Christmas Flood of 1717 (Dutch: Kerstvloed 1717; German: Weihnachtsflut 1717) was the result of a northwesterly storm, which hit the coast area of the Netherlands, Germany and Scandinavia on Christmas night of 1717. In total, approximately 14,000 people drowned. It was the last large flood in the north of the Netherlands. Floodwaters reached the towns and cities of Groningen, Zwolle, Dokkum, Amsterdam, and Haarlem. Many villages near the sea were devastated entirely, such as in the west of Vlieland and villages behind the sea dykes in Groningen province. The local communities had to cope with population loss, economic decline and poverty. No area of the coast between the Netherlands and Denmark was spared. Everywhere dyke breaches were followed by wide flooding of the flat country. Between Tondern in Sleswig province and East Frisian Emden about 9,000 people drowned. In the Netherlands there were 2,500 victims. The worst affected areas were in the County of Oldenburg, around Jever, Kehdingen, and the principality of East Frisia. Butjadingen lost 30% of its population. In all the affected coastal areas a large number of cattle was lost. In East Frisia 900 houses were washed away
    6.00
    1 votes
    208
    Monash University shooting

    Monash University shooting

    • Type of disaster: Killing spree
    The Monash University shooting refers to a shooting in which a student shot his classmates and teacher, killing two and injuring five. It took place at Monash University in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 21 October 2002. The gunman, Huan Yun Xiang, was acquitted of crimes related to the shootings due to mental impairment, and is currently under psychiatric care. Several of the people present in the room of the shootings have been commended for their bravery in tackling Xiang and ending the shooting. At 11:24am on 21 October, Huan Yun "Allen" Xiang a commerce student at the university, armed with five loaded handguns, opened fire in room E 659 of the Menzies Building on Monash's Clayton campus in an econometrics class containing twelve students. People in the classroom were initially confused by the noise and by Xiang screaming "You never understand me!" from the desk he was standing on. Xiang killed two students in the room: Xiang wounded five others: When Xiang stopped shooting and moved to switch weapons, Lee Gordon-Brown, the injured lecturer, grabbed Xiang's hands as he reached into his jacket. Gordon-Brown and a student in the room, Alastair Boast, a trained wing chun
    6.00
    1 votes
    209
    October 2007 California wildfires

    October 2007 California wildfires

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The October 2007 California wildfires were a series of wildfires that began burning across Southern California on October 20. At least 1,500 homes were destroyed and over 500,000 acres (2,000 km², or about 770 mi²) of land burned from Santa Barbara County to the U.S.–Mexico border. Nine people died as a direct result of the fires; 85 others were injured, including at least 61 firefighters. The raging fire was visible from space. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency in seven California counties where fires were burning. President George W. Bush concurred, and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local response efforts. Over 6,000 firefighters worked to fight the blazes; they were aided by units of the United States Armed Forces, United States National Guard, almost 3,000 prisoners convicted of non-violent crimes, and 60 firefighters from the Mexican cities of Tijuana and Tecate. The fires forced approximately 1,000,000 people to evacuate their homes, the largest evacuation in California's history. Major contributing factors to the extreme fire conditions were drought in Southern California, hot weather, and the strong Santa Ana winds with
    6.00
    1 votes
    210
    Prestige oil spill

    Prestige oil spill

    • Type of disaster: Environmental disaster
    The Prestige oil spill was an oil spill off the coast of Galicia caused by the sinking of an oil tanker in 2002. The spill polluted thousands of kilometers of coastline and more than one thousand beaches on the Spanish, French and Portuguese coast, as well as causing great harm to the local fishing industry. The spill is the largest environmental disaster of both Spain's history and Portugal's history. The Prestige was a Greek-operated, single-hulled oil tanker, officially registered in the Bahamas, but with a Liberian-registered single-purpose corporation as the owner. The ship had a deadweight tonnage, or carrying capacity, of approximately 81,000 tons, a measurement that put it at the small end of the Aframax class of tankers, smaller than most carriers of crude oil but larger than most carriers of refined products. It was classed by the American Bureau of Shipping and insured by the London Steam-Ship Owners' Mutual Insurance Association, a shipowners' mutual known as the London Club. On November 13, 2002, while the Prestige was carrying a 77,000 metric tons cargo of two different grades of heavy fuel oil, one of its twelve tanks burst during a storm off Galicia, in northwestern
    6.00
    1 votes
    211
    The Battle of Broken Hill

    The Battle of Broken Hill

    • Type of disaster: Killing spree
    The Battle of Broken Hill otherwise known as the Broken Hill Massacre, was a fatal incident which took place near Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia on 1 January 1915. Two Muslim men shot dead four people and wounded seven more, before being killed by police and military officers. While the attack was politically and religiously inspired, as declared by the perpetrators in notes, the men were not members of any sanctioned armed force. The two men were later identified as being Muslims from the British colony of India, modern day Pakistan. The attackers were both former camel-drivers working at Broken Hill. They were Badsha Mahommed Gool (born c. 1874), an ice-cream vendor, and Mullah Abdullah (born c. 1854), a local imam and halal butcher. Gool's ice-cream cart was well known in town and was used to transport the men to the attack site. They also fashioned a home-made Ottoman flag which they flew. There appears to have been little effort made at hiding their identities. Abdullah had arrived in Broken Hill around 1898 and worked as a camel driver, before becoming a mullah and slaughtering animals according to halal Islamic rites. Several days before the killings Adbullah was
    6.00
    1 votes
    212
    Trolley Square shooting

    Trolley Square shooting

    • Type of disaster: Killing spree
    The Trolley Square shooting was a shooting spree that occurred on the evening of February 12, 2007, at Trolley Square Mall in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. A lone gunman killed five bystanders and wounded four others before being shot dead by police. On February 12, 2007, at 6:44 PM MST, Sulejman Talović began a deadly shooting spree in Trolley Square resulting in the deaths of five bystanders and the shooter himself, as well as the wounding of at least four others. Talović was described as wearing a white shirt, a tan trenchcoat and a mullet. He carried both a shotgun with a pistol grip and a 38-caliber handgun with rubber grips, as well as a backpack full of ammunition. The gunman's rampage was stopped after trading shots with off-duty police officer Kenneth Hammond of the Ogden City Police Department and Sgt. Andrew Oblad of the Salt Lake City Police Department. The final confrontation, in which Talović was killed, occurred in the Pottery Barn Kids home furnishing store. Hammond was at Trolley Square having an early Valentine's Day dinner with his pregnant wife, 911 dispatcher Sarita Hammond, when they heard gunshots. Sarita Hammond borrowed a waiter's cell phone to call
    4.33
    3 votes
    213
    1966 Flood of the River Arno in Florence

    1966 Flood of the River Arno in Florence

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The 1966 Flood of the Arno River in Florence killed many people and damaged or destroyed millions of masterpieces of art and rare books. It is considered the worst flood in the city's history since 1557. With the combined effort of Italian citizens and foreign donors and committees, or angeli del fango ("Mud Angels"), many of these fine works have been restored. New methods in conservation were devised and restoration laboratories established. However, even decades later, much work remains to be done. Located in the Tuscany region of Central Italy, the Arno river is approximately 240 kilometres (150 mi) long. It flows from the Mount Falterona hills of the Apennine Mountains to the Ligurian Sea, just 11 kilometres (7 mi) west of Pisa. Lush vineyards and olive groves line the river's scenic course to the west, out to sea. Principally utilized for irrigation purposes, only 32 kilometres (20 mi) of the river is used for navigation. The highest flows of the river generally occur in spring and autumn of every year, when rainfall in the Apennines is at its greatest. The intensity of the 1966 flood was further intensified by both the orography of the Apennines, which contributed to the
    5.00
    2 votes
    214
    2006 Lathen maglev train accident

    2006 Lathen maglev train accident

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The Lathen train collision occurred on 22 September 2006 when a Transrapid magnetic levitation (or "maglev") train collided with a maintenance vehicle near Lathen, Germany, killing 23 people. This was the first ever fatal accident on a maglev train. The Transrapid 08 was still doing trial runs, but it did carry passengers along a 31.8-kilometre (19.8 mi) test track to demonstrate the maglev technology. The Emsland test track runs from Lathen, near where the accident occurred, to Dörpen, with a loop at each end. Speeds of up to 450 km/h (280 mph) are reached on the test track. Maglev trains use powerful magnets to keep them just above the tracks. Currently the only Transrapid maglev in commercial operation is a Transrapid line in Shanghai, linking Pudong International Airport with the outskirts of the city. The accident occurred on the morning of 22 September 2006 about 1 km (0.62 mi) away from Lathen on a section of elevated track at about 09:30 CEST. A (wheeled) maintenance vehicle was moving on the tracks to check them for debris, and the Transrapid train hit the maintenance vehicle at approximately 200 km/h (125 mph), resulting in the partial derailment of the Transrapid and
    5.00
    2 votes
    215
    Camp Mountain rail accident

    Camp Mountain rail accident

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The Camp Mountain rail accident occurred at approximately 9:48am on 5 May 1947 when a crowded picnic train derailed on a sharp left-hand curve between Ferny Grove and Camp Mountain stations on the now-closed Dayboro line, approximately 15 km (9.3 mi) northwest of Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland, Australia. The Camp Mountain train disaster is still the largest loss of life in a rail accident on the Queensland railway network with 16 fatalities, including both the driver and fireman of the train; 38 were injured. A branch line was opened from the North Coast railway line at Mayne Junction (north of Bowen Hills station) to Enoggera in 1899, to Ferny Grove and Samford in 1918, finally reaching Dayboro on 27 September 1920. By 1908, banana growing in the Samford district had become one of the area's most important industries, and in 1926 and 1927, more bananas were sent from Samford railway station, just down from Camp Mountain, to Sydney and Melbourne than any other station in Queensland. This successful industry existed until the banana bunchy top virus wiped out the crops in the early 1930s. Dairy farming and timber were other industries in the district and out to the end
    5.00
    2 votes
    216
    Canberra air disaster, 1940

    Canberra air disaster, 1940

    The 1940 Canberra air disaster was a plane crash that occurred near Canberra, the capital of Australia, on 13 August 1940, during World War II. All six passengers, including three members of the Australian Cabinet and the Chief of the General Staff and the four crew aboard were killed in the accident. The deaths of the three cabinet ministers severely weakened the United Australia Party government of Robert Menzies and contributed to its fall in 1941. The Ministers, General White and their staff were being flown from Melbourne to Canberra for a Cabinet meeting. The aircraft, an RAAF Lockheed Hudson bomber, was flown by an experienced RAAF officer, Flight Lieutenant Robert Hitchcock. The Melbourne Herald reported: "The plane was seen by watchers at the Canberra Aerodrome and the Air Force station to circle the drome, and then rise and head south. It disappeared behind a low tree-dotted hill. There was an explosion and a sheet of flame, followed by a dense cloud of smoke... The Canberra Fire Brigade and ambulances from Queanbeyan and Canberra, as well as several Air Force tenders, arrived soon afterwards and fire extinguishers were played on the blazing wreckage. After about
    5.00
    2 votes
    217
    Eschede train disaster

    Eschede train disaster

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The Eschede train disaster was the world's deadliest high-speed train accident. It occurred on 3 June 1998, near the village of Eschede in the Celle district of Lower Saxony, Germany. The toll of 101 people dead and 88 (estimated) injured surpassed the 1971 Dahlerau train disaster as the deadliest accident in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany. It was caused by a single fatigue crack in one wheel which, when it finally failed, caused the train to derail at a switch. InterCityExpress trainset 51 was travelling as ICE 884 "Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen" on the Munich to Hamburg route; the train was scheduled to stop at Augsburg, Nuremberg, Würzburg, Fulda, Kassel, Göttingen, and Hanover before reaching Hamburg. After stopping in Hanover at 10:30, the train continued its journey northwards. About 130 kilometres (80 mi) and forty minutes away from Hamburg and six kilometres south of central Eschede, near Celle, the steel tyre on a wheel on the third axle of the first car broke, peeled away from the wheel, and punctured the floor of the car, where it remained embedded. What ensued was a series of events that occurred within minutes yet took investigators months to reconstruct. The
    5.00
    2 votes
    218
    2006 European floods

    2006 European floods

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    From February to April 2006 many rivers across Europe, especially the Elbe and Danube, swelled due to heavy rain and melting snow and rose to record levels. These are the longest rivers in Central Europe. High Danube levels caused significant flooding in parts of Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania, with damage to property and infrastructure in localities near the shores of the river. The effects of high water across Southeastern Europe were blamed on the poor levee systems in the affected countries. In Vidin an industrial district was flooded and over 300 people were evacuated to a tent city about 20 kilometers from the town. In Lom, Bulgaria 25 houses, a hotel, the port (which is the second biggest Bulgarian port on the River Danube), and the Danube Park were flooded. Boruna quarter in the north-western part of the city has declared a state of emergency. Of the 30.000 people who live in Lom, 6.000 people are in danger due to the flooding. The two schools are prepared to accommodate any people if found necessary. A few blocks along the water's edge in the city of Nikopol were flooded. 60 people were evacuated and 57 buildings have been flooded so far as well as the main road from Nikopol
    4.50
    2 votes
    219
    Bath School disaster

    Bath School disaster

    • Type of disaster: Explosion
    • Victims: Nellie Kehoe
    The Bath School disaster is the name given to three bombings in Bath Township, Michigan, on May 18, 1927, which killed 38 elementary school children, two teachers, four other adults and the bomber himself; at least 58 people were injured. Most of the victims were children in the second to sixth grades (7–14 years of age ) attending the Bath Consolidated School. Their deaths constitute the deadliest mass murder in a school in U.S. history and the third-deadliest massacre in U.S. history, behind the Oklahoma City bombing and the September 11 attacks. The bomber was school board treasurer Andrew Kehoe, 55, who was enraged about a property tax levied to fund the construction of the school building. He blamed the additional tax for financial hardships which led to foreclosure proceedings against his farm. These events apparently provoked Kehoe to plan his attack. He died in a car bomb he set off after he drove up to the school as the crowd gathered to rescue survivors from the burning school. On the morning of May 18, Kehoe murdered his wife by beating her to death, then set his farm buildings afire. As fire fighters arrived at the farm, an explosion devastated the north wing of the
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    1948 Gatow air disaster

    1948 Gatow air disaster

    The 1948 Gatow air disaster occurred on Monday 5 April 1948 when a British European Airways Vickers VC.1B Viking airliner crashed near RAF Gatow, Berlin, Germany after a mid-air collision with a Soviet Air Force Yakovlev Yak-3 fighter. All ten passengers and four crew on board the Viking were killed, as was the Soviet pilot. The disaster resulted in a diplomatic standoff between the United Kingdom, the United States and the Soviet Union and intensified distrust during the Berlin Blockade. The historical backdrop of the air disaster was the intensifying clash over the future of Berlin and Germany. At the end of World War II, the Allied Powers agreed to divide and occupy Germany, including the capital Berlin. Through a series of agreements it was decided to divide Berlin into four sectors: the Americans, British and French shared the western half of Berlin, while the Soviets occupied East Berlin. The division of Germany placed Berlin well inside the Soviet zone of occupation and supplies to West Berlin had to be brought in either overland or by air from the American, British and French zones in the western half of Germany. Germany was jointly governed by the wartime allies through a
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    221
    Baghdad bridge stampede

    Baghdad bridge stampede

    • Type of disaster: Human stampede
    The 2005 Baghdad bridge stampede occurred on August 31, 2005 when 953 people died following a stampede on Al-Aaimmah bridge, which crosses the Tigris river in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. At the time of the stampede, around one million pilgrims had gathered around or were marching toward the Al Kadhimiya Mosque, which is the shrine of the Imam Musa al-Kazim, one of the twelve Shi'a Imams. Tensions had been high within the crowd. Earlier in the day, seven people had been killed and dozens more wounded in a mortar attack upon the assembled crowd for which an Al-Qaeda linked insurgent group claimed responsibility. Near the shrine, rumors of an imminent suicide bomb attack broke out, panicking many pilgrims. Interior Minister Bayan Baqir Solagh said that one person "pointed a finger at another person saying that he was carrying explosives...and that led to the panic". The panicked crowd flocked to the bridge, which had been closed. Somehow, the gate at their end of the bridge opened, and the pilgrims rushed through. Some people fell onto the concrete base and died instantly. The ensuing crush of people caused many to suffocate. The pressure of the crowd caused the bridge's iron
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    222
    Great Chatsworth Train Wreck

    Great Chatsworth Train Wreck

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The 1887 Great Chatsworth train wreck was a major rail accident that occurred late on the night of August 10, 1887, 3 miles (5 km) east of the town of Chatsworth, Illinois, in the United States. A Toledo, Peoria and Western Railroad (TP&W) train bound for Niagara Falls from Peoria crossed over a trestle, weakened earlier in the day by a fire, causing it to collapse. Between 81 and 85 people were killed, and between 169 and 372 injured. The summer of 1887 had been hot and dry. Fearing that sparks from the steam engines of the trains could ignite brush fires, the TP&W company began performing controlled burns to prevent an uncontrollable brush fire. On the day of the accident, TP&W crews performed a controlled burn near the site of the accident—it is suspected that failure to extinguish the fire resulted in charring of the bridge. That evening, a TP&W train departed Peoria, traveling east through Eureka and Chenoa. Two steam engines pulled six fully loaded wooden passenger cars, six sleeper cars, and three luggage cars. In total, the train carried about 700 vacationers taking advantage of a special offer to visit Niagara Falls. Just before the accident site, the coach accelerated
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    223
    Great Fire of 1901

    Great Fire of 1901

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Great Fire of 1901 was a conflagration in Jacksonville, Florida on May 3, 1901. It was one of the worst disasters in Florida history and the largest urban fire in the Southeastern United States. About noon on Friday, May 3, 1901, in the LaVilla area, a spark from a kitchen stove during the lunch hour at a mattress factory set fire to mattresses filled with Spanish moss. The fire was soon discovered and its magnitude was underestimated. The causers thought it could be put out with a few buckets of water and therefore did not sound an alarm until the fire had grown beyond their control. In eight hours, the fire burned 146 city blocks, destroyed more than 2,368 buildings, and left almost 10,000 residents homeless. It is said the glow from the flames could be seen in Savannah, Georgia, and the smoke plumes in Raleigh, North Carolina. Florida Governor William S. Jennings declared martial law in Jacksonville and dispatched several state militia units to help. Reconstruction began immediately, and the city was returned to civil authority on May 17. Seven human deaths were reported. The George A. Brewster Hospital and School of Nurse Training, which later became Methodist Medical
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    224
    Great New Orleans Fire of 1794

    Great New Orleans Fire of 1794

    The Great New Orleans Fire (1794) was a fire that destroyed 212 structures in New Orleans, Louisiana on December 8, 1794, in the area now known as the French Quarter from Burgundy to Chartres Street, almost to the riverfront buildings. Another 856 buildings had been destroyed 6 years earlier, in the Great New Orleans Fire (1788) on March 21, 1788. The fire started on December 8, 1794. The fire area stretched across 212 buildings, including the royal jail. It spared the Mississippi River front buildings. Among the buildings spared were the Customs House, the tobacco warehouses, the Governor's Building, the Royal Hospital and the Ursulines Convent. Despite widespread fire damage, the St. Louis Cathedral was not destroyed but was dedicated just 2 weeks later, on December 23, 1794. Afterward, the schooner Nuestra Señora del Cármen was used as a temporary jail during the period December 10, 1794 to February 26, 1795. The ship's owner, Don Prospero Ferrayolo, received rental payments for use of the ship, replacing the royal jail destroyed during the fire. The Spanish were to replace the wooden buildings with structures with courtyards, thick brick walls, arcades, and wrought iron
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    225
    Gresford Disaster

    Gresford Disaster

    • Type of disaster: Mining accident
    The Gresford Disaster was one of Britain's worst coal mining disasters and mining accidents. It occurred on September 22, 1934 at Gresford Colliery near Wrexham, in north-east Wales, when 266 men died. Only eleven bodies were ever recovered from the mine. Work began sinking the pit at Gresford in 1908 by the United Westminster & Wrexham Collieries. Two shafts were sunk, the Dennis (named after the pit's owners, the industrialist Dennis family of Ruabon) and the Martin, which were 50 yards (46 m) apart. Work was completed in 1911; the mine was one of the deepest in the Denbighshire coalfield with the Dennis shaft reaching a depth of about 2,264 feet (690 m) and the Martin shaft about 2,252 feet (686 m). By 1934, 2,200 coal miners were employed at the colliery, with 1,850 working underground and 350 on the surface. Three seams were worked at Gresford, the Crank, Brassey, and Main seams. The accident would occur in the Dennis section of the Main seam. The Dennis section was itself divided into six "districts": the 20's, 61's, 109's, 14's and 29's districts, along with a very deep district known as "95's and 24's". All these districts were worked by the longwall system. 20's and 61's,
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    226
    Marchioness disaster

    Marchioness disaster

    • Type of disaster: Maritime disaster
    The Marchioness disaster occurred on the River Thames in London in the early hours of 20 August 1989. The pleasure boat Marchioness sank after being run down by the dredger Bowbelle, near Cannon Street Railway Bridge. There were 131 people on the Marchioness. Some were members of the crew, some were catering staff and others were guests at a private birthday party. Fifty-one of them drowned. The Marchioness was built in 1923 and in 1940 was one of the little ships of Dunkirk. The party was organised by photographer agent Jonathan Phang to celebrate the 26th birthday of Antonio de Vasconcellos, who worked in a merchant bank. The pair were good friends and business partners in a photographic agency. Of Portuguese family background, Vasconcellos had studied Economics at Cambridge University. Phang organised a three-part celebration: an eight-person dinner in a flat on Meard Street (only two of the diners survived); a birthday cake and champagne celebration for a group of 30 at the flat; and the party on the Marchioness. Many of those at the party were also in their twenties; some were former student friends and others worked in the fashion industry. The dead included Francesca
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    227
    Paraguay supermarket fire

    Paraguay supermarket fire

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Ycuá Bolaños supermarket fire was a disastrous fire that occurred on Sunday, August 1, 2004 in Asunción, Paraguay. The three-story Ycuá Bolaños V supermarket and commercial complex, which included a restaurant, offices, and an underground parking garage, caught fire, causing two explosions on the first floor. The fire burned for seven hours before firefighters were able to extinguish it. Initially, it was reported that at least 464 people died, including many children. The final death toll is 394 (leaving 204 orphans), including nine missing and nearly 500 injured. The cause was believed to be a faulty barbecue chimney that leaked hot flammable gases into the ceiling, which ignited. Several survivors of the fire and volunteer firefighters alleged that, when the fire broke out, doors within the complex were deliberately closed under the direction of the owners, Juan Pío Paiva and his son, Víctor Daniel, trapping people inside, in order to prevent people from fleeing with merchandise without paying for it. The management of the shopping center denied the charge. Paiva, his son and a security guard surrendered to the police and were formally charged. A major issue was that the
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    228
    Westroads Mall massacre

    Westroads Mall massacre

    • Type of disaster: Killing spree
    The Westroads Mall shooting was a murder-suicide that occurred on Wednesday, December 5, 2007, at the Von Maur department store in the Westroads Mall in Omaha, Nebraska, United States. Nineteen-year-old Robert A. Hawkins killed nine people (including himself) and wounded four, two of them critically. It was the deadliest shooting spree in Nebraska since the rampage of Charles Starkweather in 1958. An hour before the rampage, Hawkins' mother gave the Sarpy County Sheriff's Department his suicide note, which read: "I just want to take a few pieces of shit with me... just think tho, I'm gonna be fuckin famous [sic]." Hawkins entered the south entrance of the Von Maur department store about 1:36 p.m. CST (19:36 UTC). After walking a short distance into the store, he paused for a second, then turned around and left. Returning six minutes later through the same entrance, he proceeded directly to the elevator at his immediate right, this time with a Century WASR-10 (a commercial copy of the AKM 7.62x39mm) semi-automatic rifle stolen from his stepfather's house, along with two 30-round magazines taped together, concealed in a sweatshirt. He took the elevator to the top floor. At
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    229
    Wreck of the Old 97

    Wreck of the Old 97

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    Old 97 was a Southern Railway train officially known as the Fast Mail. It ran from Washington DC to Atlanta, Georgia. On September 27, 1903 while en route from Monroe, Virginia, to Spencer, North Carolina, the train derailed at Stillhouse Trestle near Danville, Virginia. The wreck inspired a famous railroad ballad, which was the focus of a convoluted copyright lawsuit but became seminal in the genre of country music. The wreck of Old 97 occurred when the engineer, 33 year old Joseph A. ("Steve") Broady, at the controls of engine number 1102, was operating the train at high speed in order to stay on schedule and arrive at Spencer on time (Fast Mail had a reputation for never being late). Locomotive 1102, a ten wheeler (4-6-0) engine built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia, had rolled out of the factory in early 1903, less than a year before the wreck. After the wreck the engine was rebuilt and served for slightly over 32 years before being scrapped on July 9, 1935. On the day of the accident, Old 97 was behind schedule when it left Washington, DC and was one hour late when it arrived in Monroe, Virginia. When the train arrived in Monroe, it switched train crews and when it
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    230
    Black Death

    Black Death

    • Areas affected: Europe
    • Type of disaster: Pandemic
    The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. Although there were several competing theories as to the etiology of the Black Death, recent analysis of DNA from victims in northern and southern Europe indicates that the pathogen responsible was the Yersinia pestis bacterium, which causes the Bubonic plague, although these were different, previously unknown ancestral variants of those identified in the 20th century. The Black Death is thought to have started in China or central Asia, before spreading west. It is estimated to have killed 25 million people or 30% of the population of China. The plague then travelled along the Silk Road and reached the Crimea by 1346. From there, it was probably carried by Oriental rat fleas living on the black rats that were regular passengers on merchant ships. Spreading throughout the Mediterranean and Europe, the Black Death is estimated to have killed 30–60 percent of Europe's population. All in all, the plague reduced the world population from an estimated 450 million to between 350 and 375 million in the 14th century. The aftermath of the plague created a series of religious,
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    231
    Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917

    Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 (Greek: Μεγάλη Πυρκαγιά της Θεσσαλονίκης, 1917) was an accidental fire that got out of control and destroyed two thirds of the city of Thessaloniki, second-largest city in Greece, leaving more than 70,000 homeless, majority of them in the Turkish and Jewish quarters of the city. The fire burned for 32 hours and destroyed 9,500 houses within an extent of 1 square kilometer. Half the Jewish population emigrated from the city as their livelihoods were gone. Rather than quickly rebuilding, the government commissioned the French architect Ernest Hébrard to design a new urban plan for the areas of Thessaloniki that were burned and for the future expansion of the city. The designs of Hébrard are still evident in the city, most notably Aristotelous Square, although some of his most grandiose plans were never completed due to a lack of funds. Thessaloniki was one of the largest and most modern cities in western Europe by Balkan standards at the time of the fire. By European standards, the city's planning was chaotic and the unhygeinic conditions that prevailed in the poorer areas were described as "unacceptable" by the government in Athens. The city's
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    232
    Kalamazoo Tornado of 1980

    Kalamazoo Tornado of 1980

    • Areas affected: Kalamazoo
    • Type of disaster: Tornado
    The Kalamazoo Tornado of 1980 struck downtown Kalamazoo, Michigan, on May 13, 1980. The tornado, which touched down at 4:09 pm, was rated F3 on the Fujita scale. The tornado killed 5 people and injured 79. Damage was estimated at $50,000,000. The tornado left a path of destruction 11 miles (18 km) long during its approximately 20-minute duration. It was notable for having struck the heart of downtown, damaging or destroying many notable buildings, parks, and landmarks. The massive F3 caused a power outage so extensive, phone companies pleaded for people to only use phones for emergencies. In total, the storm caused 5 deaths, 79 injuries, and about 1,200 people were left homeless.
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    233
    Monongah Mining disaster

    Monongah Mining disaster

    • Type of disaster: Mining accident
    The Monongah Mine disaster of Monongah, West Virginia occurred on December 6, 1907 and has been described as "the worst mining disaster in American History". An explosion thought to have been caused by the ignition of methane (also called "firedamp") ignited the coal dust in mines number 6 and 8, killing hundreds of workers. Rescue workers could only work in the mines for 15 minutes due to the lack of breathing equipment. Some of those workers also perished due to suffocation caused by methane oxidation. Officially, the lives of 362 workers including children were lost in the underground explosion, leaving 250 widows and more than 1000 children fatherless. In October 1964 Reverend Everett Francis Briggs stated that "a fairer estimate of the victims of the Monongah Disaster would be upward of 500". This estimate is corroborated by the research of Davitt McAteer, Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health Administration at the United States Department of Labor during the Clinton administration. The exact death toll remains unknown. Most of those who died were Italian immigrants. On May 1, 2009 the President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, conferred the honour of
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    234
    October 1998 South Central Texas floods

    October 1998 South Central Texas floods

    The October 1998 South Central Texas floods took place October 17-October 18 1998 and had rain totals of 30 inches. The flood caused 32 deaths, and approximately 1.5 billion USD in damage. flooding took place in parts of the San Antonio River, Colorado River, Guadalupe River, Lavaca River, San Bernard River, San Jacinto River, and San Marcos River.
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    235
    Preparedness Day bombing

    Preparedness Day bombing

    • Areas affected: San Francisco
    • Type of disaster: Explosion
    The Preparedness Day Bombing was a bombing in San Francisco, California on July 22, 1916, when the city held a parade in honor of Preparedness Day, in anticipation of the United States' imminent entry into World War I. During the parade a suitcase bomb was detonated, killing ten and wounding forty in the worst such attack in San Francisco's history. Two labor leaders, Thomas Mooney and Warren Billings, were convicted in separate trials and sentenced to be hanged. Rena Mooney and Israel Weinberg were acquitted. By mid-1916, after viewing the carnage in Europe, the United States saw itself poised on the edge of participation in World War I. Isolationism remained strong in San Francisco, not only among radicals such as the Industrial Workers of the World ("the Wobblies"), but also among mainstream labor leaders. At the same time, with the rise of Bolshevism and labor unrest, San Francisco's business community was nervous. The Chamber of Commerce organized a Law and Order Committee, despite the diminishing influence and political clout of local labor organizations. The huge Preparedness Day parade of Saturday, July 22, 1916, was a target of radicals. An unsigned antiwar pamphlet issued
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    236
    St. Elizabeth's flood

    St. Elizabeth's flood

    The St. Elizabeth's flood of 1421 was a flooding of an area in what is now the Netherlands. It takes its name from the feast day of Saint Elisabeth of Hungary which was formerly November 19. It ranks 10th in the list of top ten (10) worst floods in history. During the night of November 18 to November 19, 1421 a heavy storm near the North Sea coast caused the dikes to break in a number of places and the lower lying polder land was flooded. 72 number of villages were swallowed by the flood and were lost, causing between 2,000 and 10,000 casualties. The dike breaks and floods caused widespread devastation in Zeeland and Holland. This flood separated the cities of Geertruidenberg and Dordrecht which had previously fought against each other during the Hook and Cod (civil) wars. Most of the land remains flooded even today. Most of the area remained flooded for several decades. Reclaimed parts are the Island of Dordrecht, the Hoeksche Waard island, and north-western North Brabant (around Geertruidenberg). Most of the Biesbosch area has been flooded since. The cause of the flood was not a spring tide like in the great flood of 1953 (see North Sea flood of 1953), but water from the storm in
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    237
    Versailles train crash

    Versailles train crash

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The Versailles rail accident occurred on May 8, 1842 in the cutting at Meudon Bellevue (between Versailles and Paris), France. Following the King's fete celebrations at the Palace of Versailles, a train returning to Paris crashed at Meudon after the leading locomotive broke an axle. The carriages behind piled into the wrecked engines and caught fire. At least 55 passengers were killed, including the explorer Jules Dumont d'Urville. This accident is known in France as the "Catastrophe ferroviaire de Meudon". The accident was the first railway accident in France and one of the first in the world. On 8 May 1842 Dumont and his family boarded a train from Versailles to Paris after seeing water games celebrating the king. Near Meudon the train’s locomotive derailed, the wagons rolled and the tender’s coal ended up on the front of the train and caught fire. Dumont's whole family died in the flames of the first French railway disaster. Dumont's remains were identified by Dumontier, a doctor on board the ship the Astrolabe and a phrenologist. He had taken a cast of Dumont's head before the accident and was able to recognise his remains by its shape and characteristic lumps. This was an
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    238
    1812 Fire of Moscow

    1812 Fire of Moscow

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The 1812 Fire of Moscow broke out on September 14, 1812 in Moscow on the day when Russian troops and most residents abandoned the city and Napoleon's vanguard troops entered the city following the Battle of Borodino. The fire raged until September 18, destroying an estimated three-quarters of Moscow. Before leaving Moscow, Count Rostopchin gave orders to have the Kremlin and major public buildings (including churches and monasteries) either blown up or set on fire. But this was not the foremost cause of the conflagration that destroyed the city. As the bulk of the French army moved into the city, there were some fires. Their cause has never been determined and both neglect as well as Rostopchin's orders may be among possible reasons. Today, the majority of historians blames the initial fires on Russian sabotage. This version of events is confirmed by General Armand de Caulaincourt. He states that they had been in Moscow for three days. That evening a small fire had broken out but was extinguished and 'attributed to the carelessness of the troops'. Later that evening (10h 30min) Coulaincourt was woken by his valet with the news that 'for three quarters of an hour the city has been
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    239
    2007 Greek forest fires

    2007 Greek forest fires

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The 2007 Greek forest fires were a series of massive forest fires that broke out in several areas across Greece throughout the summer of 2007. The most destructive and lethal infernos broke out on 23 August, expanded rapidly and raged out of control until 27 August, until they were put out in early September. The fires mainly affected western and southern Peloponnese as well as southern Euboea. The death toll in August alone stood at 67 people. In total 84 people lost their lives because of the fires, including several fire fighters. Some of these firestorms are believed to be the result of arson while others were indeed the result of mere negligence. Hot temperatures, that included three consecutive heat waves of over 40 °C (105 °F), and severe drought rendered the 2007 summer unprecedented in modern Greek history. From the end of June to early September, over 3,000 forest fires were recorded across the nation. Nine more people were killed in blazes in June and July. A total of 2,700 square kilometers (670,000 acres) of forest, olive groves and farmland were destroyed in the fires, which was the worst fire season on record in the past 50 years. Of the total of 2,700 km², 1,500 km²
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    2007 Zasyadko mine disaster

    2007 Zasyadko mine disaster

    • Type of disaster: Mining accident
    The 2007 Zasyadko mine disaster was a mining accident that happened on November 18, 2007 at the Zasyadko coal mine (Ukrainian: Шахта ім. Засядько) in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk. At present, 101 miners are dead: the worst accident in Ukraine’s history. At the time of the explosion, 457 miners were in the complex. The accident was caused by a methane explosion located more than 1,000 metres (3,281 ft) below ground level. One of the most dangerous coal mines in the world, the Zasyadko Mine is equipped with up-to-date and permanently renovated safety-monitoring systems. However, an independent mining expert recently claimed that the company management, linked to a powerful local clan, interferes with hazard-measuring equipment on a permanent basis, in order to present underground situation as being within the safety standards, and so to prevent production from closure by the government inspectors. President Viktor Yushchenko blamed the cabinet for failing to “implement safe mining practices” in the coal industry. A criminal investigation is also underway. Families of the deceased miners will receive compensations totaling 100,000 hryvnias, (approx. $20,000 USD) which
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    241
    Black Hills flood

    Black Hills flood

    • Type of disaster: Flood
    The Black Hills Flood of 1972, in the Black Hills of Western South Dakota, occurred on June 9, 1972. The extreme rainfall of around 15 inches (380 mm) of rain in six hours sent Rapid Creek and other creeks overflowing and flooded many residential and commercial properties around the Black Hills. During the night of June 9, the Canyon Lake Dam became clogged with debris and failed, resulting in 238 deaths and 3,057 injuries. Several bodies were never found. There were over 1,335 homes and 5,000 automobiles destroyed. The value of the damaged property was over US$160 million in 1972 dollars. One of the most detrimental floods in the history of South Dakota took place on June 9th-10th 1972 (Nair, Hjelmfelt, and Pielke 1753). This flood was the 1972 Black Hills Flood, taking place in the Black Hills of Rapid City, South Dakota. The Black Hills Flood also known as the Rapid City Flood, not only hit Rapid city although the main object, it caused flooding in “Battle Spring Creek, Rapid, and Boxelder Creeks” (Carter, Williamson, and Teller). The occurrence of such a devastating flood was caused by the excessive and rare amount of rainfall the area received. A few days before the happening
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    242
    Chunky Creek Train Wreck of 1863

    Chunky Creek Train Wreck of 1863

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The Chunky Creek Train Wreck of 1863 happened during the American Civil War near the town of Hickory, Mississippi on the Chunky River. On February 19, 1863 the train Mississippi Southern left the Meridian, Mississippi depot at 3:00 am to transport Confederate soldiers and some civilians to the Battle of Vicksburg. Severe flooding at the time caused debris to build up against the bridge. The weight of the debris caused the bridge to shift, leaving it six inches out of alignment. Attempts to warn the train failed, and the bridge collapsed as the train crossed. The locomotive was totally submerged with the attached wooden boxcars demolished. The cargo debris of barrels, boxes, and supplies could be found floating in the winter cold stream. Over forty out of nearly one-hundred passengers were killed because of the high speed impact but others drowned after being trapped under the wreckage. After the disastrous train wreck the 1st Choctaw Battalion, who was just organized days earlier, led rescue and recovery efforts. Spann describes the horrific scene, "the engineer was under military orders, and his long train of cars was filled with Confederate soldiers, who, like the engineer, were
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    243
    Exxon Valdez oil spill

    Exxon Valdez oil spill

    • Type of disaster: Maritime disaster
    The Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred in Prince William Sound, Alaska, on March 24, 1989, when Exxon Valdez, an oil tanker bound for Long Beach, California struck Prince William Sound's Bligh Reef and spilled 260,000 to 750,000 barrels (41,000 to 119,000 m) of crude oil. It is considered to be one of the most devastating human-caused environmental disasters. The Valdez spill was the largest ever in U.S. waters until the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, in terms of volume released. However, Prince William Sound's remote location, accessible only by helicopter, plane, and boat, made government and industry response efforts difficult and severely taxed existing plans for response. The region is a habitat for salmon, sea otters, seals and seabirds. The oil, originally extracted at the Prudhoe Bay oil field, eventually covered 1,300 miles (2,100 km) of coastline, and 11,000 square miles (28,000 km) of ocean. Then Exxon CEO, Lawrence G. Rawl, shaped the company's response. According to official reports, the ship was carrying approximately 55 million US gallons (210,000 m) of oil, of which about 11 to 32 million US gallons (42,000 to 120,000 m) were spilled into the Prince William Sound. A
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    244
    Great Chicago Fire

    Great Chicago Fire

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Great Chicago Fire was a conflagration that burned from Sunday, October 8, to early Tuesday, October 10, 1871, killing hundreds and destroying about 3.3 square miles (9 km) in Chicago, Illinois. Though the fire was one of the largest U.S. disasters of the 19th century, the rebuilding that began helped develop Chicago as one of the most populous and economically important American cities. On the flag of Chicago, the second star commemorates the fire. The exact cause was never determined. The popular account dreamed up by a reporter, attributing it to Mrs. Catherine O'Leary and her cow, survived his confession of fiction in 1893. The fire started at about 9 p.m. on Sunday, October 8, in or around a small barn that bordered the alley behind 137 DeKoven Street. The traditional account of the origin of the fire is that it was started by a cow kicking over a lantern in the barn owned by Patrick and Catherine O'Leary. In 1893, Michael Ahern, the Chicago Republican reporter who wrote the O'Leary account, admitted he had made it up as colorful copy. The barn was the first building to be consumed by the fire, but the official report could not determine the exact cause. The fire's spread
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    245
    Great Fire of New York

    Great Fire of New York

    • Type of disaster: Fire
    The Great New York Fire was a conflagration that destroyed the New York Stock Exchange and most of the buildings on the southeast tip of Manhattan around Wall Street on December 16–17, 1835. The fire began in the evening in a five-story warehouse at 25 Merchant Street (now called Beaver Street) at the intersection with Pearl Street between Hanover Square, Manhattan and Wall Street in the snow-covered city and was fed by gale-force winds blowing from the northwest towards the East River. With temperatures as low as −17 °F (−27 °C) and the East River frozen solid, firefighters had to cut holes in the ice to get water. Water then froze in the hoses and pumps. Attempts to blow up buildings in its path (a technique later regarded as counterproductive) were thwarted by a lack of gunpowder in Manhattan. Firefighters coming to help from Philadelphia said they could see signs of the fire there. About 2 a.m. Marines returned with gunpowder from the Brooklyn Navy Yard and blew up buildings in the fire's path. By then it covered 50 acres (200,000 m), 17 blocks of the city, destroying between 530 and 700 buildings. The area is now reported as Coenties Slip in the south to Maiden Lane in the
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    246
    Great train wreck of 1918

    Great train wreck of 1918

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The Great Train Wreck of 1918 occurred on July 9, 1918, in Nashville, Tennessee. Two passenger trains, operated by the Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway ("NC&StL"), collided head-on, Costing 101 lives and injuring an additional 171. It is considered the worst rail accident in United States history. The two trains involved were the No. 4, scheduled to depart Nashville for Memphis, Tennessee at 7:00 a.m., and the No. 1 from Memphis, about a half-hour late for a scheduled arrival in Nashville at 7:10 a.m. At about 7:20 a.m., the two trains collided while traversing a section of single track line known as "Dutchman's Curve" west of downtown, in the present-day neighborhood of Belle Meade. The trains were each traveling at an estimated 50 to 60 miles per hour; the impact derailed them both, and destroyed several wooden cars. An investigation by the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) attributed the cause of the accident to several factors, notably serious errors by the No. 4 crew and tower operators, all of whom failed to properly account for the presence of the No. 1 train on the line. The ICC also pointed to a lack of a proper system for the accurate determination of train
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    Ramstein airshow disaster

    Ramstein airshow disaster

    The Ramstein air show disaster is the second-deadliest air show incident (following that in 2002 at Sknyliv). It took place in front of about 300,000 people on Sunday August 28, 1988, in Ramstein, West Germany, near the city of Kaiserslautern at the US Ramstein Air Base airshow Flugtag '88. Aircraft of the Italian Air Force display team collided during their display, crashing to the ground. 67 spectators and 3 pilots died, 346 spectators sustained serious injuries in the resulting explosion and fire. 10 Aermacchi MB-339 PAN jets from the Italian Air Force display team, Frecce Tricolori, were performing their 'pierced heart' (Italian: Cardioide, German: Durchstoßenes Herz) formation. In this formation, two groups of aircraft create a heart shape in front of the audience along the runway. In the completion of the lower tip of the heart, the two groups of planes pass each other parallel to the runway. The heart is then pierced, in the direction of the audience, by a lone aircraft. The mid-air collision took place as the two heart-forming groups passed each other and the heart-piercing aircraft hit them. The piercing aircraft crashed onto the runway and consequently both the fuselage
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    Rizal Day bombings

    Rizal Day bombings

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The Rizal Day bombings, also referred to as the December 30 bombings, were a series of bombings that occurred around Metro Manila in the Philippines on December 30, 2000. The explosions occurred in close succession within a span of a few hours. Twenty-two (22) fatalities were reported and around a hundred more suffered non-fatal injuries. The blasts occurred during a national holiday in the Philippines, where December 30 is known as Rizal Day, commemorating the martyrdom of the country's national hero, José Rizal. Five locations were bombed almost simultaneously within the span of an hour. All of the locations were situated within the Metro Manila area on the Philippine island of Luzon. The Philippine National Police identified the bombs as one-kilogram blackpowder bombs, set to detonate using timing devices. In addition, confessions by the convicted perpetrators describe the bombs as ammonium nitrate-based explosives. Most of the components of the bombs such as blasting caps and detonating cords were discovered to have come from the city of Talisay in the southern province of Cebu. The town itself is known for the production of blasting caps used in illegal fishing. Initially,
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    Sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway

    Sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The Sarin attack on the Tokyo subway, usually referred to in the Japanese media as the Subway Sarin Incident (地下鉄サリン事件, Chikatetsu Sarin Jiken), was an act of domestic terrorism perpetrated by members of Aum Shinrikyo on March 20, 1995. In five coordinated attacks, the perpetrators released sarin on several lines of the Tokyo Metro, killing thirteen people, severely injuring fifty and causing temporary vision problems for nearly a thousand others. The attack was directed against trains passing through Kasumigaseki and Nagatachō, home to the Japanese government. It is the most serious attack to occur in Japan since the end of World War II. Aum Shinrikyo is the former name of a controversial group now known as Aleph. In 1992 Shoko Asahara, the founder of Aum Shinrikyo published a landmark book, in which he declared himself "Christ", Japan's only fully enlightened master and identified with the "Lamb of God". His purported mission was to take upon himself the sins of the world. He outlined a doomsday prophecy, which included a Third World War, and described a final conflict culminating in a nuclear "Armageddon", borrowing the term from the Book of Revelation 16:16. His purported
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    Sunshine rail disaster

    Sunshine rail disaster

    • Type of disaster: Rail disaster
    The Sunshine rail disaster happened at the Sunshine railway station, which is the junction for the Ballarat and Bendigo railway lines, 13.5 km (8.4 mi) from Melbourne, the state capital of Victoria, Australia. On the night of Easter Monday, 20 April 1908, 44 people were killed and over 400 injured when a Melbourne-bound train from Bendigo collided with the rear of a mail train from Ballarat, which was just leaving the station. Around 1,100 people were aboard the two trains. Almost all of the casualties were from the Ballarat train, as the Bendigo train was cushioned by its two locomotives. A temporary mortuary was set up at Spencer Street Station (Melbourne's regional terminus, now Southern Cross Station), and flags at the station flew at half-mast. The disaster was the worst train crash in Victorian railway history. The Stationmaster on duty that fateful night had 20 years of service, including 20 months at Sunshine, but was alone without relief staff. He had been continuously on duty for 10 hours without relief prior to the accident. This state of affairs was reflected in his having applied repeatedly, without avail, for extra qualified assistance. Four locomotives were involved
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