Top 10 worst industrial disasters

7:15 am 6 Sep, 2012

Industrial disasters are literally industrial in nature. A massive sudden outburst of the explosion or remittance of any fatal gas due to accident, incompetence or mere negligence, followed by hundreds of deaths, thousands of injuries and uncountable damages, disrupting the lives of not only the one suffered but also the generations yet to come, that’s what the deadliest and the worst industrial disasters of the world did and continue to threaten. Let’s have a look on the top 10 industrial disasters ever witnessed in our collective memory.

10. Port Chicago Disaster:

The Port Chicago disaster during the World War II was a fatal armaments explosion that happened on July 17, 1944, at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine in Chicago, California,US. Armaments exploded while being loaded on a transport vessel bound for the Pacific Theater of Operations, taking the lives of 320 civilians and sailors and harming 390 others. The majority of the injured and dead were found to be African-American sailors.

Top 10 worst industrial disasters

(img source: nps.gov)

9. Chernobyl Disaster:

On April 26, 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear plant in Prypiat, Ukraine (then Ukranian SSR) a trial on a nuclear reactor went out of control ensuing in a catastrophic nuclear meltdown. As per the Chernobyl forum the estimated death due to radiation is almost 50 people but the estimated deaths due to radiation induced leukemia and cancer is 3940. The lot of people exposed to it was an astounding 600,000. The fallout was discovered as far away as Canada!

Top 10 worst industrial disasters

(img source: boston.com)

8. Enschede Fireworks Disaster:

The Enschede fireworks disaster was a disastrous fireworks blast at the SE Fireworks depot on May 13, 2000 in Enschede, the eastern city of Dutch. The explosion killed 23 people and injured 947 people. The explosion had so much strength that it destroyed 40 hectare area around the warehouse, damaging 1500 homes and leaving 1250 people homeless. Damages of around Euro 450 million are believed to have occurred.

Top 10 worst industrial disasters

(img source: geobron.nl)

7. Exxon Valdez Oil Spill:

The Exxon Valdez oil spill took place in Prince William Sound, Alaska, on March 24, 1989, when an oil tanker, the Exxon Valdez bound for Long Beach, California, US smacked Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound and trickled  260,000 to 750,000 barrels of crude oil. As a result 100,000 to 250,000 seabirds were killed. The disastrous effects of this incident are still felt in the sea.

Top 10 worst industrial disasters

(img source: earthlyissues.com)

6. Seveso Disaster:

Seveso in Italy suffered one of the major catastrophic industrial disasters on July 10, 1976 in a small chemical manufacturing plant of ICMESA due to the release of dioxins (TCDD) into the plain and atmosphere. Around 3300 farm animals died mostly rabbits and poultry and later 80,000 animals were slaughtered to avoid TCDD from entering the food chain.

Top 10 worst industrial disasters

(img source: robinlloyd99.tumblr.com)

5. Courrieres Mine Disaster:


The worst mining disaster in European history, the Courrieres mine disaster caused the death of 1099 miners, mainly children on 10th March 1906 in Northern France. The primary cause of the disaster cannot be determined with utter certainty as most of the witnesses are not alive. However, the cause of the destruction is generally agreed to be an explosion of coal dust which swept through the mine.

Top 10 worst industrial disasters

(img source: daibach-welldigger.blogspot.com)

4. San Juanico Disaster:

The San Juanico Disaster occurred on November 19, 1984 in San Juanico, Mexico due to a substantial series of blasts at a Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) tank farm. The explosions damaged the facility and devastated the local town of San Juan Ixhuatepec, killing 500 to 600 people, and hurting 5000 to7000 due to severe burns. This disaster is considered as one of the deadliest and the worst industrial disasters in the world history.

Top 10 worst industrial disasters

(img source: heraesteparia.wordpress.com)

3. Texas City Disaster:

The Texas City Disaster was the worst industrial accident in US history. The unpleasant incident happened on April 16, 1947, when an explosion took place in a vessel SS Grandcamp which was docked in the Port of Texas City. The fire ignited around 2,300 tons of ammonium nitrate and the subsequent chain reaction of fires and explosions took the lives of at least 581 people while more than 3,500 people were injured. It also triggered the first ever class action lawsuit against the US government, under the then enacted FTCA, on behalf of 8,485 sufferers.

Top 10 worst industrial disasters

(img source: texascity-library.org)

2. Benxihu Colliery Disaster:

The second on the list is the worst industrial disaster in the history of coal mining, the Benxihu Colliery disaster. On April 26, 1942, a coal dust and gas explosion in the mine of Benxihu Colliery situated in Benxi Liaoning, China killed 1,549 people. Out of which 31 people were Japanese and rest Chinese. Most deaths were caused because of the poisoning of Carbon Monoxide due to shutting the ventilation after the first blast.

Top 10 worst industrial disasters

(img source: dailycognition.com)

1. Bhopal Gas Tragedy:

The worst of the industrial disasters the world ever witnessed was in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India when a faulty tank containing methyl isocyanate leaked on the intervening night of December 2-3, 1984 at the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant. The instantaneous death toll was 2,259 and the Madhya Pradesh government has confirmed a sum of 3,787 deaths connected to the tragedy. A government official declaration in 2006 confirmed the leak caused 558,125 injuries with 38,478 temporary partial and roughly 3,900 permanently disabling injuries.

Top 10 worst industrial disasters

(img source: srai.org)

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