List of disasters in Great Britain and Ireland by death toll

The following list of disasters in Great Britain and Ireland is a list of major disasters (excluding acts of war but including acts of terrorism) which relate to the United Kingdom or Ireland, or to the states that preceded them, or that involved their citizens, in a definable incident or accident such as a shipwreck, where the loss of life was forty or more.

Over 200 fatalities

Deaths in
Italics indicate an
estimated figure
3,500,000Black Death pandemic1347–1350See discussion of death toll estimates at Black Death in England#Death toll.
1,000,000[1] to 1,500,000Great Irish Famine1845–1849See discussion of death toll estimates at Great Famine (Ireland)#Death toll.
300,000 to 480,000[2]Great Irish Famine of 1740–41 (The Great Frost)1740–1741Some estimates indicate a death toll as high as 500,000 from starvation and disease.[3][4]
250,000Spanish flu pandemic1918 (Sep–Nov)An estimated 200,000 people died in England and Wales.[5] Although the official number of deaths in Scotland due to the pandemic is 17,575, a modern estimate of total pandemic mortality in Scotland is between 27,641 and 33,771.[6] About 20,000 died in Ireland.[7]
150,000+Seven ill years1695-99The last major famine to occur in Scotland. Marked by large-scale migration, especially to Ireland
75,000+[8]Great Plague of London1665–1666The last major epidemic of the bubonic plague to occur in England.
65,000Year Without a Summer1816Famine and typhoid fever in Ireland[9] and food riots in England and France, caused by the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora affecting the weather.
20,000 [10]Laki volcano fissure eruption1783–1784 (Jun–Feb)
8,000Great Storm of 17031703 (26 November)
5,000+Great Famine (14th century)1315–1317
4,000 to 12,000Great Smog of London1952 (December)
4,000+Blockade of Porto Bello1726–1727Deaths resulting from yellow fever
3,500+1782 Central Atlantic hurricane1782 (16–17 Sep)Loss of HMS Ramillies, HMS Centaur; storeships Dutton and British Queen; captured French prize ships Ville de Paris, Glorieux, Hector and Caton; plus other merchantmen.
3,0001212 Great Fire of London1212 (July)Source for fatalities is the Guinness Book of Records,[11] but historical evidence unclear.
2,900+Tainted blood scandal1970s–1980s (deaths up to decades later)[12]Importing and use of blood products known to be contaminated with HIV, Hepatitis B & C. People continue to die up to the present time.[13]
2,139 [14]2003 European heat wave2003 (4–13 August)
2,000Bristol Channel floods1607 (30 January)[15]
2,000Sweating sickness (sudor anglicus)1485 ff.
1,900+Christmas Eve storm1811 (24 December)Wrecks HMS St George, Defence and Fancy off Thorsminde, Jutland; and HMS Hero and the transport Archimedes off Texel, Netherlands
1,550+Scilly naval disaster1707 (22 October)Association (HMS Association), HMS Eagle, Romney and Firebrand
1,500+RMS Titanic1912 (15 April)Estimates vary but most official sources and historians put the death toll at upwards of 1500.
1,200Strait of Gibraltar storm1694 (1 March)[15]Wrecks HMS Sussex and accompanying ships
1,198RMS Lusitania1915 (7 May)Struck by torpedo on starboard side. Sank in the Celtic Sea within 18 minutes
1,012RMS Empress of Ireland1914 (29 May)Ship registered in London, crew almost entirely from Merseyside
1,0001867 Barbados hurricane1867RMS Rhone, RMS Wye and up to 50 other vessels driven ashore[16]
1,000Great Hurricane of 17801780 (10 October)Royal Navy ships lost included HMS Stirling Castle, HMS Laurel, HMS Andromeda, HMS Thunderer and HMS Phoenix
900+Plymouth Sound storm1691 (3 September)Wrecks HMS Coronation and HMS Harwich
900HMS Victory (1737)1744 (3 October)Wrecked on the Casquets in the Channel Islands
890+Walker Expedition disaster1711 (22 August)Seven transport ships and one storeship wrecked in thick fog on the Saint Lawrence River, Canada
843HMS Vanguard explosion1917 (9 July)Magazine explosion
800HMS Royal George capsizes.1782 (29 August)
748+Royal Charter Storm1859 (26 October)The Royal Charter and other ships wrecked in Lligwy Bay, Anglesey
738HMS Bulwark explosion1914 (26 November)Magazine explosion
699HMS Ramillies[17]1760 (15 February)Runs aground off Bolt Head, Devon.
690HMS Queen Charlotte fire1800 (17 March)
646SS Mendi1917 (21 February)Rammed by SS Darro off the Isle of Wight
640Princess Alice disaster1878 (3 September)Collision with the Bywell Castle in the River Thames near Woolwich. Estimates vary, but most historians put the figure between 600 and 700.
635SS Norge shipwreck1904 (28 June)
612Tramore storm1816 (30 January)Wrecks the ships Sea Horse,[18] Boadicea and Lord Melville.[19]
600+an unidentified troop ship1796 (23 January)shipwreck possibly one of Admiral Christian's West Indies convoy wrecked on Loe Bar, Cornwall[20]
600HMS Coronation (1685)1691 (3 September)2nd rate ship foundered off Rame Head, Cornwall.[21]
564SS Utopia disaster1891 (17 March)Collision with HMS Anson off Gibraltar[22]
546RMS Atlantic1873 (1 April)
531[23]1953 North Sea storm and flood1953 (31 Jan  1 Feb)Included the ferry MV Princess Victoria.
520HMS Namur1749 (14 April)Wrecked in a storm near Fort St David
6161854 Broad Street cholera outbreak1854 (Aug–Sep)Cholera epidemic in London
500HMS Minotaur1810 (22 December)Wrecked on Haak Bank near Texel, Netherlands
500"Black Monday"1209Massacre of English settlers by Irish clans, near Ranelagh, Dublin, on Easter Monday
491HMS York1804 (Jan)Struck the Bell Rock and sank with the loss of her entire crew.
481HMS Captain1870 (6 September)Sank off Cape Finisterre, Spain.
480SS City of Glasgow1854 (March)Disappeared after leaving Liverpool for Philadelphia.
473Cospatrick1874 (18 November)Caught fire in the South Atlantic.
470HMS Courageux1796 (18 December)Shipwrecked at Apes' Hill, Barbary Coast (now Monte Hacho, Ceuta, Africa)[24]
454Vryheid1802 (23 November)Formerly Melville Castle, shipwrecked in a gale off the Kent coast between Hythe and Dymchurch. 18 of 472 on board survived.
450HMS Birkenhead1852 (25 February)Shipwrecked near Cape Town
439Senghenydd colliery disaster1913 (14 October)Gas explosion at the Universal Colliery, Senghenydd, Caerphilly, Glamorganshire. Britain's worst mining accident.
431HMS Otranto1918 (6 October)Shipwrecked off Islay. 351 United States troops and 80 crew perished.
421HMS Natal1915 (30 December)Magazine explosion. Precise number of deaths disputed; 421 is highest estimate.
421Dumfries cholera epidemic1832 (15 Sep  27 Nov)
406Cataraqui1845 (4 August)Shipwrecked off King Island, Tasmania.
400+Rochdale and Prince of Wales1807 (19 November)Carried troops leaving Dublin for the Napoleonic Wars.
400+HMS Invincible1801 (16 March)Sank off Norfolk while en route to the Battle of Copenhagen.
400HMS Winchester1695 (1 September)Shipwrecked on a reef off Key Largo, Florida.
400Pomona1859 (30 April)carrying, mainly Irish, emigrants from Liverpool to New York. Shipwrecked on a sandbank at Ballyconigar, off Wexford, Ireland.
384Annie Jane1853 (28 September)Emigrant ship out of Liverpool, wrecked Vatersay.
361The Oaks explosion1866 (12 December)Colliery disaster, Barnsley, Yorkshire. (383 claimed but not verified)[25]
380Mary Rose1545 (18 July)Sank off Portsmouth.
379HMS Dasher (D37)1943 (27 March)Accidental fuel explosion, Firth of Clyde.
374Driver (Clipper)1856 (February)Clipper ship out of Liverpool, disappeared while crossing the Atlantic Ocean.
372Arniston1815 (30 May)Wrecked at Waenhuiskrans, South Africa.
369[26]Queen1814 (14 Jan)Wrecked in Carrick Roads, Cornwall.
360+Elizabeth1810 (18 December)Chartered East Indiaman wrecked off Dunkirk.
358HMS Victoria1893 (22 June)Rammed by HMS Camperdown in the Mediterranean Sea.
352HMS Princess Irene1915 (27 May)Explosion while on the River Medway, Sheerness.
347HMS Athenienne1806 (20 October)Wrecked off Tunisia. 100 survivors crammed into the ship's launch.
344Pretoria Pit Disaster1910 (21 December)Underground explosion at the Hulton Bank Colliery, Westhoughton, Lancashire.
340Aeneas1805 (23 October)Troopship wrecked on the Îles aux Mortes along the Canadian coastline while carrying troops to Quebec.
338HMS Curaçao1942 (2 October)Light cruiser run down and split in two by RMS Queen Mary.
335SS Schiller1875 (7 May)Shipwrecked off the Isles of Scilly.
329Air India Flight 1821985 (23 June)Act of terror: destroyed by a bomb, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean while in Irish airspace.
317[27]HMS Eurydice1878 (22 March)Sank off the Isle of Wight. Commemorated by Gerard Manley Hopkins in the poem "The Loss of the Eurydice".
300White Ship1120 (25 November)Shipwrecked off Barfleur, Normandy, taking the only legitimate son of King Henry I of England.
300Sibylle1834 (11 September)Emigrant ship out of Cromarty wrecked off St. Paul Island, Nova Scotia.
300+HMS Amphion1796 (22 September)Magazine explosion while at Plymouth, Devon.
300HMS London1665Accidental explosion while in the Thames Estuary.
299Kapunda1887 (20 January)Emigrant ship out of London, collided with the barque Ada Melmore off Brazil.
297RMS Tayleur1854 (21 January)Shipwrecked off Lambay Island, Dublin Bay during its maiden voyage after its iron hull deflected its compass.
293Northfleet1873 (22 January)Rammed at night by a Spanish steamboat while anchored off Dungeness.
290HMS Sceptre1799 (5 December)Wrecked during a storm in Table Bay, near the Cape of Good Hope.
290Albion Colliery explosion1894 (23 June)Firedamp explosion.[28][29]
285Gordon Riots1780 (2–13 June)Rioters shot by troops.
281HMS Atalanta1880 (31 January)HMS Eurydice's sister ship, disappeared after leaving Bermuda bound for Falmouth, Cornwall.
276VOC Hollandia1743 (13 June)Shipwrecked off Annet, Isles of Scilly.
270Great Sheffield Flood1864Caused by collapse of Dale Dike Reservoir during its first filling.
270[30]Pan Am Flight 1031988 (21 December)Blown apart at 31,000 ft over Lockerbie, Scotland, by terrorist bomb in forward hold.
268Abercarn mining disaster1878 (11 September)Mining disaster at Abercarn, Monmouthshire.
266Gresford Disaster1934 (22 September)Mining accident near Wrexham, North Wales.
260Earl of Abergavenny1805 (5 February)Shipwrecked off Portland Bill.
253HMS Saldanha1811 (4 December)Shipwrecked during gale off Lough Swilly, Donegal, Ireland.
250+Night of the Big Wind1839 (6–7 January)
250RMS Royal Adelaide1849Shipwrecked on a sandbank off Margate, Kent.
247Doddington1755Shipwrecked in Algoa Bay, South Africa.
246HMS Avenger1847 (20 December)Wrecked off the Galite Islands, Tunisia.
241Exmouth of Newcastle1847 (28 April)Shipwrecked off Islay.[31]
240HMS Lutine1799 (9 October)Shipwrecked off Vlieland.
238[32]MV Dara1961 (8 April)British-India Steam Navigation Company passenger liner evacuated in the Persian Gulf off Dubai following explosion and fire.
238HMS Tribune1797 (16 November)Wrecked during a storm off Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
237SS Anglo Saxon1863 (27 April)Wrecked in dense fog off Cape Race, Newfoundland, Canada
226Quintinshill rail crash1915 (22 May)Three-train collision in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. Britain's worst railway accident.[33]
224Neva1835 (13 May)Convict ship out of Cork wrecked on reefs off King Island, Tasmania
220SS London1866 (11 January)Sank during gale in the Bay of Biscay.[34]
220Great Blizzard of 18911891 (9–13 March)[35]
220Hartley Colliery Disaster1862 (16 January)Caused by steam engine metal fatigue
215Lady of the Lake1833 (11 May)Struck iceberg in the North Atlantic and sank.
212Sovereign1814 (18 October)Wrecked off St. Paul Island (Nova Scotia)
210Rinaldo1878 (18 December)Collision with French steamship Byzantin in the Dardanelles[16]
208Harpooner1818 (November)Military transport ship shipwrecked off Newfoundland
207Blantyre mining disaster1877 (22 October)Gas explosion
205SS Hungarian1860 (20 February)An Allan Line Royal Mail Steamer out of Liverpool and Queenstown (Cobh) wrecked off Cape Sable Island (Nova Scotia)[36]
201HMY Iolaire1919 (1 January)Admiralty yacht returning soldiers to the Isle of Lewis after World War I. Sank off Holm near Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides.[37]

100–199 fatalities

Deaths in
Italics indicate an
estimated figure
193MS Herald of Free Enterprise1987 (6 March)Ferry capsized off Zeebrugge in under one minute after its RORO bow doors were left open. Unlawful killing verdict.
192Transport ship Dispatch and Brig-of-War HMS Primrose1809 (22 January)Both ships sank after hitting The Manacles.[38]
191SS City of Boston (Inman Line)1870 (after 28 January)Ship out of New York City and Halifax, Nova Scotia disappeared in the Atlantic Ocean. Possibly struck an iceberg.
189Lundhill Colliery explosion1857 (19 February)Colliery disaster, Wombwell, Yorkshire.
189Wood Pit Colliery explosion1878 (7 June)Colliery disaster, Haydock, Lancashire. The total fatalities, which included one man and all of his five sons, may have been 204 or more.[39]
189HMS Orpheus1863 (7 February)Sank off Auckland due to outdated nautical charts and shortcuts.
189Eyemouth Disaster1881 (14 October)Local fishing fleet sank during a European Windstorm that struck the southeast coast of Scotland.
186Theatre Royal, Exeter1887 (5 September)Fire caused by gas lights.
183Victoria Hall disaster1883 (16 June)Stampede at Sunderland after a children's Variety show to get prizes and gifts resulted in compressive asphyxia and trampling.
179SS Cambria1870 (19 October)Shipwrecked at Inishtrahull.
178Ferndale Colliery disaster1867 (8 November)Mining disaster in the Rhondda Valley, Glamorganshire.
178Ocean Monarch1848 (24 August)Shipwreck and fire off Great Orme, Llandudno caused by steerage passengers' smoking materials.
178Clifton Hall Colliery explosion1885 (18 June)Explosion of firedamp gas in a colliery at Salford.
176Llannerch, Cwmnantddu1890 (6 February)Colliery gas explosion near Pontypool, Monmouthshire after the mine refused safety lamps by its MD two months earlier.
173Bethnal Green tube station panic1943 (3 March)Crowd stampede caused by British anti-aircraft battery salvo.
172HMS Serpent1890 (9 November)Royal Navy torpedo cruiser launched in 1887 shipwrecked off Camariñas, Galicia.
168Burns Pit Disaster1909 (16 February)Mining disaster at Stanley, County Durham.
167Piper Alpha1988 (6 July)Oil platform gas leak, explosion and fire 30m above cold seas in the North Sea.
166Bombing of underground shelter at Edge Hill, Liverpool1940 (29 November)Direct hit on the shelter at Durning Road during the Liverpool Blitz of World War 2.
164Seaham Colliery accident1880 (8 September)Mining accident at Seaham, County Durham.
159Ferndale Colliery explosions1867 (8 November)Mining explosions in the Rhondda Valley, Glamorganshire, caused by gas and miners tampering with safety lamps.
157Deutschland1875 (6 December)Shipwrecked during a blizzard on Kentish Knock sandbank, Thames Estuary. Tugboat rescue delayed until the next day, most died of hypothermia.
155Minnie Pit disaster1918 (12 January)Mining disaster at Podmore Hall, Halmer End, Staffordshire.
150Clifford's Tower fire massacre1190 (16 March)Massacre of Jews in York by a mob.
146Risca Blackvein Disaster1860 (1 December)Coal mining disaster at Risca, Monmouthshire caused by a gas explosion.
146Dan-Air Flight 10081980 (25 April)While in a holding pattern the plane flew into Mount Esperanza, Tenerife, after turning the wrong way.
146Aberfan disaster1966 (21 October)Coal-waste spoil tip collapsed onto a junior school, Glamorganshire.
143Swaithe Main Colliery disaster1875 (6 December)Mining disaster at Worsbrough, Yorkshire.
141SS Berlin1907 (21 February)Great Eastern Railway steamship out of Harwich wrecked off Hook of Holland.
140RMS Amazon1852 (4 January)Steam engine of a wooden mail paddle steamer caught fire, 60 miles west of Isles of Scilly.
140HMS Condor1901 (3 December)Ship lost with all hands in a gale off Vancouver Island.
1402004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami2004 (26 December)UK victims only; see Countries affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.
139George III1835 (12 April)Convict ship wrecked in D'Entrecasteaux Channel, Tasmania.
139Combs Pit disaster1893 (4 July)Mining disaster at Thornhill, Yorkshire.
137National Shell Filling Factory explosion1918 (1 July)Munitions explosion at Chilwell in Nottinghamshire. Eight tons of TNT exploded.
136Wellington Colliery disaster1910 (11 May)Coal mining disaster at Whitehaven, Cumberland.
135Alexander1815 (27 March)Ship out of Bombay wrecked near Portland within sight of shore. The ship was caught in a gale and ran aground at night.
133Amphitrite1833 (31 August)Convict ship from Woolwich to Australia wrecked off Boulogne.
133MV Princess Victoria1953 (31 January)Early roll-on/roll-off ferry disaster in the North Channel during a storm.
131Lincoln typhoid fever epidemic1904 (November) – 1905 (April)
130Rothsay Castle1831 (18 August)Paddle steamer from Liverpool shipwrecked in the Menai Strait under the command of a drunken captain.
129John Franklin's Northwest Passage expedition1845–1848HMS Erebus and HMS Terror caught in pack ice; the crews endured botulism, lead poisoning and cannibalism before starvation.
128TSMS Lakonia1963 (22 December)Caught fire and sank off Madeira. Resulted in 98 (mainly British) passenger deaths, plus 33 crew fatalities.
128HMS Gladiator1908 (25 April)Shipwrecked in a collision with an American steamship during a snowstorm, Isle of Wight.
127Maxwelltown Cholera epidemic1832 (September–November)
125HMS Primrose1809 (22 January)Shipwrecked on The Manacles, Cornwall.
125SS Hilda1905 (18 November)London and South Western Railway steamship wrecked in snow squalls off Saint-Malo.
124BOAC Flight 9111966 (5 March)Aircraft broke up in flight near Mount Fuji, Japan. A significant percentage of the fatalities were American and Japanese citizens.
124SS Daphne1883 (3 July)Capsized during her ship naming and launching, River Clyde, Glasgow.
123Ocean Queen1856 (February)Clipper ship out of London disappeared in the Atlantic Ocean.
121Dunbar1857 (20 August)Clipper out of Plymouth wrecked at Sydney Cove, Australia.
120New Risca pit explosion1880 (5 July)Coal mining disaster, Risca, Monmouthshire.
120Dover Straits earthquake1580 (6 April)Earthquake causing freak waves, possible tsunami and flooding in France, Flanders and England.
120+Bibighar Massacre1857 (15 July)Massacre of European women and children at Cawnpore (Kanpur), India during the Indian Rebellion of 1857.
119National Colliery explosion1905 (11 July)Coal mine explosion at Wattstown, Rhondda Valley, Glamorganshire.
118British European Airways Flight 5481972 (18 June)Crashed into a field at Staines. Possible heart attack in the pilot after takeoff.
114Rhondda Colliery gas explosion1856 (13 July)Coal mine explosion at Cymmer, Porth, Glamorganshire.
112SS Stella1899 (30 March)London and South Western Railway steamship wrecked on a granite reef in fog at full speed, sinking in 8 minutes, at the Casquets, Channel Islands.
112Harrow and Wealdstone rail crash1952 (12 October)Three trains collided in patchy fog in morning rush hour. Death toll second only to Quintinshill rail crash.[40]
112Dan-Air Flight 19031970 (3 July)De Havilland Comet crashed into a mountain in Catalonia, Spain.
111Caledonian Airways Flight 1531962 (4 March)Crashed after take-off from Douala, Cameroon.
110Parc Slip Colliery gas explosion1892 (26 August)Gas explosion due to a damaged Davy lamp, Tondu, Glamorganshire.
109Faversham gunpowder mill explosion1916 (2 April)
108Invicta International Airlines Flight 4351973 (10 April)Crashed into a forested, snowy hillside near Hochwald, Switzerland.
106SS Avalanche1877 (11 September)Ship out of London for Wellington, New Zealand, collided with Forest Queen off Isle of Portland, English Channel. Both sank.
106SS Mohegan1898 (14 October)Shipwrecked off The Manacles, Cornwall.
104William Pit disaster1947 (15 August)Coal mining disaster at Whitehaven, Cumberland.[41]
104HMS Brazen1800 (26 January)Shipwrecked off Newhaven, Sussex.
102Pelican1793 (20 March)Sank in the River Mersey.
102HMS Feversham1711 (7 October)Shipwrecked off Scatarie Island, Louisbourg, Nova Scotia.
101Naval Steam Colliery explosion1880 (10 December)Colliery explosion, Tonypandy, Rhondda Valley. 4 bodies unidentified.[42]
100+HMS Lizard1748 (27 February)Wrecked on the Seven Stones reef.[43]
100"Battle" of May Island1918 (31 January–1 February)Two Royal Navy submarines sunk after collisions during naval exercise.
100Moray Firth fishing disaster1848 (19 August)Open hulled fishing fleet storm disaster.
100HMS Confiance1822 (21 September)36-gun, 393 ton brig sloop was wrecked between Mizen Head and Three Castles Head, at the south-westernmost point of Ireland.

Fewer than 100 fatalities

Italics indicate an
estimated figure
99Meikle Ferry disaster1809 (16 August)Dornoch Firth, Scotland. Over-laden ferryboat sank with the loss of 99 lives.
99HMS Thetis submarine disaster1939 (1 June)Flooded through torpedo tube during pre-war sea trials, Liverpool Bay, salvaged but sunk by depth charges with all hands in 1943
98Edmond (1833)1850 (19 November)A chartered passenger sailing vessel sunk at Edmond Point in Kilkee, Co. Clare; of the 216 on board, 98 drown
98Britannia Airways Flight 1051966 (1 September)Britannia Airways Bristol Britannia G-ANBB from London Luton Airport, aircrash at Ljubljana
96Hillsborough Stadium Disaster1989 (15 April)
95Haswell Colliery explosion1844 (28 September)
95Blackfriars Disaster aka "Fatal Vespers"1623 (26 October)
94Carlingford Lough disaster1916 (3 November)SS Connemara and a coalship SS Retriever collided and sank, Carlingford Lough, County Down
93St Scholastica riot, Oxford1355 (10–12 February)A Town and gown dispute over beer escalates over three days
92Felling mine disaster, County Durham1812 (25 May)Firedamp explosion ushers in safety lamps by George Stephenson and Humphry Davy
91Carrick-on-Suir disaster1799 (9 February)Barge capsize[44]
90Lewisham rail crash1957 (4 December)Railway signals missed in the rush hour fog
88Armagh rail disaster1889 (12 June)10 runaway railway passenger cars on a Sunday School day trip
88Cadeby Coal mine disaster1912 (9 July)Cadeby, South Yorkshire
88Air Ferry aircrash,1967 (3 June)Douglas C-54 G-APYK, from Kent International Airport, Mont Canigou, France,
87Morfa Mine, Port Talbot1890 (10 March)Glamorganshire, Colliery gas explosion,
86SS Egypt1922 (20 May)Shipwreck, off Ushant, Brittany
85Rohilla1914 (30 October)Ran aground off Whitby, with a survivor of the sinking of the RMS Titanic two years earlier rescued again
84British Eagle1964 (29 February)International Airlines aircrash Bristol Britannia G-AOVO from London Heathrow Airport, Innsbruck, Austria,
84Paisley canal disaster1810 (10 November)canal pleasure boat capsize, Paisley, Scotland,
83East Side pit, Senghenydd1901 (24 May)Glamorganshire, Colliery gas explosion, precursor to the 1913 disaster
81Mardy Colliery, Rhondda Valley1885 (23 December)Glamorganshire, mining disaster,
81Easington Colliery1951 (29 May)County Durham, coal mine explosion,
81Holmfirth Flood1852 (5 February)Bilberry Reservoir collapsed, Holme Valley, West Yorkshire,
80+PS Queen Victoria1853 (15 February)Wrecked below a lighthouse in a night-time snowstorm, off Howth Head, Dublin
80PS Pacific1856 (after 23 January)lost at sea out of Liverpool, [sister ship of SS Arctic]
80Llandow air disaster1950 (12 March)Fairflight Avro Tudor G-AKBY, Sigginstone, Glamorganshire, with returning Welsh Rugby Union supporters on board (highest confirmed death toll of any civil aviation disaster up to that date)
80Creswell Colliery1950 (26 September)mining accident caused by smoke inhalation, Creswell, Derbyshire,
79Great Yarmouth Suspension bridge1846 (2 May)collapse above a river, killing children watching a clown.
79British Admiral out of Liverpool wrecked off Tasmania1874 (23 May)
79HMS Glatton1918 (16 September)Wrecked by accidental explosion, Dover harbour
79Markham Colliery disaster1938 (10 May)Underground explosion Derbyshire
78Burwell, Cambridgeshire Barn fire1727 (8 September)Occurred during a puppet show with the doors nailed shut.
77The Cherubim and Ocean Home collided off Lizard Point1856 (5 September)
75Maypole Colliery disaster1908 (18 August)Abram, Lancashire
75Tay Bridge disaster1879 (28 December)cast iron bridge collapse with a steam train on it during an evening storm, Dundee,
75HMS Affray1951 (17 April)Mysterious submarine disaster, English Channel,
75STV Royston Grange1972 (11 May)A Houlder Line cargo liner, destroyed by fire after a collision with Liberian-registered tanker Tien Chee in the Rio de la Plata,
74SS Naronic1893 (19 February)Lost at sea, possibly due to iceberg strike off Nova Scotia, out of Liverpool, with no Wireless Telegraph to make a distress call.
74Trimdon Grange Colliery mining disaster1882 (16 February)
73Udston mining disaster1887 (28 May)Hamilton, Scotland, firedamp explosion
73Silvertown explosion1917 (19 January)Explosion in a TNT factory in West Ham
72Stockport Air Disaster1967 (4 June)British Midland Airways Argonaut G-ALHG, an unrecognised flaw in the fuel system made the plane returning from Majorca uncontrollable.
72Grenfell Tower fire2017 (14 June)North Kensington, London.[45]
71Glen Cinema Disaster1929 (31 December)Paisley, Scotland. Glen Cinema Website
70Great Gale of 18711871 (10 February)Bridlington 100 shipwrecks, incl. Royal National Lifeboat Harbinger, plus other losses at sea, estimated total of 70 marine fatalities.
70RAF Fauld1944 (27 November)munitions explosion during World War II, Staffordshire,
69HMS M11925 (12 November)Submarine wreck— collision with Swedish surface vessel—off Plymouth,
67September 11, 2001 attacks2001 (11 September)[UK victims only]
66BEA Comet G-ARCO bombing1967 (12 October)Off Rhodes, [all nationalities]
66Ibrox disaster1971 (2 January)compressive asphyxia spectator crush on stairway at Ibrox Park football stadium, Glasgow
65Theatre Royal, Glasgow1849 (17 February)panic, Dunlop Street, Glasgow,
65Cherokee class brig-sloop HMS Jasper1817 (20 January)Wrecked in hurricane-force winds on either Rame Head, Cornwall or Bear's Head, Mount Batten, Devon[46]
64Middle Duffryn Mine1852 (10 May)Aberdare, Glamorganshire, Colliery explosion
64Masbrough boat disaster1841 (5 July)Rotherham,
64HMS Truculent1950 (12 January)Submarine collision on the surface, Thames Estuary, survivors died of hypothermia on mid-winter mudbanks
63Peckfield Colliery Disaster1896 (30 April)Micklefield, Yorkshire
63Victoria coal pit, Nitshill near Glasgow1851 (15 March)Explosion [47]
63Great Western Mine1893 (11 April)Rhondda Valley Colliery mining disaster, South Wales,
63British European Airways aircrash1971 (2 October)A Vickers Vanguard G-APEC flight 706, Aarsele, Belgium,
63Mauricewood Colliery disaster1886 (17 December)underground fire, Penicuik
62Dinas Rhondda1879(13 January )Rhondda Valley, Glamorganshire, Colliery gas explosion.
62PS Comet II1825 (21 October)Sank in collision off Gourock, Scotland
61SS Thames1841 (4 January)Steamship shipwrecked in a night-time storm, Isles of Scilly
61Freckleton Air Disaster1944 (23 August)A USAAF Consolidated B-24 Liberator heavy bomber crashed into a village school in a storm, Freckleton, Lancashire, (3 aircrew, 58 ground fatalities)
60Garland of Topsham1649 (30 January)A vessel carrying Charles I wrecked on Godrevy Island.[48]
60+Harwich ferry disaster1807 (18 April)A 'grossly overladen' coastal vessel capsizes while transporting soldiers and their families,
60Dalhousie, "Blackwall Frigate"1853(October )Sinks off Beachy Head
60HMS M2 British M class submarine1932 (26 January)Floods through her Parnall Peto seaplane hangar doors, Lyme Bay
58Wharncliffe Woodmoor Colliery1936 (6 August)A pit disaster, underground explosion caused by an electrical fault
57Tylorstown1896 (27 January)Rhondda Valley Colliery mining disaster, South Wales
57Sneyd Colliery Disaster1942 (1 January)Burslem, Staffordshire
57HMS K51921 (24 January)A submarine sank in deep water, 120 miles south-west of the Isles of Scilly during sea trials
56Bradford City stadium fire1985 (11 May)football stadium fire
567 July 2005 London bombings2005 (7 July)by suicide bombers
55Manchester air disaster1985 (22 August)Flight 28M, a Boeing 737-236 engine fire before takeoff on a holiday flight to Corfu
53Ferndale Colliery1869 (10 June)Rhondda Valley, Glamorganshire, Colliery explosion,
53Great fire of Newcastle and Gateshead1854 (6 October)A Victorian-era firestorm.
52Lletty Shenklin Mine1849 (14 August)Aberdare Colliery mining disaster, South Wales
52Yellow fever outbreak, HMS Firebrand1861 (July)West Indies,
52Loch Ard1878 (1 June)A clipper out of Gravesend, Kent, wrecked off Loch Ard Gorge, just off the Shipwreck Coast of Victoria, Australia in thick fog
52HMS Wasp1884 (22 September)Wrecked on Tory Island, County Donegal
52Marine Colliery1927 (1 March)Gwm near Ebbw Vale, Monmouthshire, coal mine disaster
51Colney Hatch Lunatic Asylum fire, London1903 (27 January)In an early psychiatric hospital holding up to 3,500 patients
51Marchioness disaster, River Thames1989 (20 August)A pleasure boat rammed by a dredger under a bridge.
51St Hilda Colliery, South Shields, coal pit explosion1839 (28 June)
50Ariana Afghan Airlines aircrash1969 (5 January)Crashed into a house, Boeing 727 YA-FAR, Gatwick
50Summerland fire disaster1973 (2 August)Douglas, Isle of Man, a fire in a leisure centre
50Whiddy Island disaster1979 (8 January)explosion of oil tanker Betelguese in Bantry Bay, Ireland
49?SS Nile1854 (30 November)All the crew and passengers died when she hit The Stones reef off Godrevy Head, Cornwall. The loss of life led to the building of the lighthouse.[49]
49Booth's clothing factory fire, Huddersfield1941 (31 October)Fire at a major clothing factory in Huddersfield, West Riding of Yorkshire.[50]
49HMS Punjabi collision with the battleship HMS King George V1942 (1 May)sinking 469 miles north-west of Shetland.
49Hither Green rail crash1967 (5 November )In London, a broken rail caused derailment of an express train
48Stardust fire1981 (14 February)A nightclub fire in Artane, Dublin, 841 people had attended a disco there, of whom 48 died and 214 were injured as a result of the fire.
48A British Eagle International Airlines Vickers Viscount1968 (9 August)en route from London to Innsbruck, Austria, breaks up in mid-air over Bavaria
47Emma1828 (28 February)Capsizes after launching, Mersey and Irwell Navigation, Manchester
47Gethin Mine1862 (19 February)Merthyr Tydfil, Colliery mining disaster, South Wales
47R101 airship crash1930 (5 October)Beauvais, France
47SS Samtampa1947( 23 April)wrecked off Sker Point in the Bristol Channel (death toll includes 8 crew of Mumbles lifeboat)
47Auchengeich coal mining disaster1959 (18 September)Auchinloch, Lanarkshire, Scotland
47Kegworth Air Disaster1989 (8 January)British Midland Flight 92, Leicestershire, the pilot shuts down the wrong engine and just misses the M1 Motorway
46Wreck of Confederate States of America blockade runner PS Lelia1865 (14 January)(39 fatalities) and lifeboat crew (7 fatalities) in Liverpool Bay
45Bentley Coal mine disaster1931 (20 November)Bentley, South Yorkshire
45Six Bells Colliery Disaster1960 (28 June)Aberbeeg, Monmouthshire
45Aquila Airways Short Solent flying boat crash1957 (15 November)Isle of Wight
45Sumburgh disaster1986 (6 November)A Brent oilfield CH-47 Chinook helicopter crashed at sea
45PS Nimrod1860 (28 February)An Irish paddle steamer that sank off St David's Head.
44R38 (ZR-2) airship crash1921 (24 August)River Humber, near Hull
44MV Derbyshire1980 (9 September)Bibby Line bulk carrier sank during Typhoon Orchid, south of Japan (by tonnage the largest UK-flagged ship loss)
43Bourne End rail crash1945 (30 September)Near Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, driver had worked for 26 consecutive days.
43Moorgate tube crash1975 (28 February)London Underground, in the morning rush hour
41Little Baldon Hastings accident1965 (6 July)Occurred at Little Baldon, Oxfordshire, aircraft crash during parachute training flight from RAF Abingdon, caused by metal fatigue
40Garden Pit Disaster1844 (14 February)40 men and boys are crushed or drowned when water from the River Cleddau broke through the roof of their coalmine at Landshipping, Pembrokeshire, Wales.[51]
40Regent's Park ice-skating disaster1867 (15 January)Ice covering the boating lake collapsed and 200 people plunged into the lake [52]
40Low Moor Explosion1916 (21 August)Explosion at a picric acid plant producing explosives for the war effort in the First World War.[53]

See also


  1. Jim Donnelly (2011). "The Irish Famine". BBC.
  2. Sir William Wilde, "Table of Cosmical Phenomena", pp. 124–32; Dickson, "The other great famine", in Cathal Póirtéir, (ed.) The Great Irish Famine (1955), Mercier Press, pp. 53–55; and David Dickson, "The gap in famines: a useful myth?", in E. Margaret Crawford (ed.), Famine: the Irish experience, Edinburgh: John Donald, 1989, pp. 97–98
  3. "Our cold snap was nothing compared to the Great Irish Frost of 1740". Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  4. "The Great Frost and Forgotten Famine". Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  5. "British Influenza Epidemic of 1918–19" in Encyclopedia of Plague and Pestilence: From Ancient Times to the Present (3rd ed. 2008: ed. George Childs Kohn), Infobase, p. 46.
  6. Niall P. A. S. Johnson, Scottish flu – The Scottish Experience of 'Spanish Flu', Scottish Historical Review, Jan 2008, vol. 83, No. 2, pp. 216–226.
  7. Michael B. A. Oldstone, Viruses, Plagues, and History, Oxford University Press, 1998, p. 174.
  9. Bill Bryson; A Short History..., p. 372, ISBN 0-385-40818-8
  10. Estimate of mortality in England.
  11. "In July 1212, 3,000 were killed in the crush, burned or drowned when London Bridge caught fire at both ends". (p. 184) Norris McWhirter and Ross McWhirter (1971). Guinness Book of Records. Guinness Superlatives Limited. ISBN 0-900424-05-2.
  12. Archived 3 December 2015 at the Wayback Machine accessed 01/09/2015
  14. Difference between the number of deaths in that period and the average number in other years.
  15. New style dating.
  16. Marshall, Logan, Sinking of the Titanic and Great Disasters of the Sea, 1912.
  17. Formerly HMS Royal Katherine
  18. Andy Taylor. "The Wreck of the Sea Horse". Discover Tramore. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
  19. Grocott, Terence (1999). Shipwrecks of the Revolutionary & Napoleonic Eras. Journal of Navigation: Cambridge University Press 52 p.149–162.
  20. Treglown, Tony (2011). Porthleven in years gone by Local Shipwrecks. Ashton: Tony Treglown. ISBN 978-0-9539019-7-5.
  21. Eekelers, Dirk; Lettens, Jan. "HMS Coronation (north part) [+1691]". wrecksite. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
  22. 562 passengers and crewmembers of Utopia and two rescuers from HMS Immortalité. "The Dead of the Utopia", The New York Times, 20 March 1891.
  23. British victims only.
  24. Grocott, p. 41.
  25. "Oaks Disaster Victims". Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  26. Allen, Tony. "Queen [+1814]". wrecksite. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
  27. 317 named fatalities (Memorials & Monuments in St Ann's Church – HMS Eurydice Archived 27 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine).
  28. "Albion Colliery". BBC Wales. 2008. Retrieved 15 October 2010.
  29. "Albion Colliery Cilfynydd". Welsh Coal Mines. Retrieved 15 October 2010.
  30. All victims, regardless of nationality.
  31. Islay Info
  32. Mostly non-British nationals.
  33. Rolt, L. T. C. Red For Danger (1966 ed.). Pan Books. p. 207.
  35. Woodward, Antony and Penn, Robert (2007). The Wrong Kind of Snow. ISBN 978-0-340-93787-7
  36. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 July 2007. Retrieved 4 March 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  37. "Sinking of HMY Iolaire – list of all on board at time of grounding". Across Two Seas. 17 December 2008. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  38. "The Manacles". Archived from the original on 11 January 2004. Retrieved 3 November 2011.
  39. Ian Winstanley, Those Who Died Archived 19 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  40. Rolt, L.T.C. Red For Danger (1966 ed.). Pan Books. p. 275.
  41. – Photograph of William Pit
  42. "Naval Colliery disasters". Welsh Coal Mines. Retrieved 14 October 2010.
  43. Larn, Richard (1992). The Shipwrecks of the Isles of Scilly. Nairn: Thomas & Lochar. ISBN 0 946537 84 4.
  44. Coady, Michael (1999). "The cries at the bridge". Full Tide: a miscellany. Nenagh: Relay Books. pp. 54–60. ISBN 9780946327270.
  45. "Grenfell Tower fire: Who were the victims?". BBC News. 30 May 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  46. Lettens, Jan. "HMS Jasper (+1817)". wrecksite. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
  47. Nitshill 15 March 1851, accessed 5 April 2009
  48. Noall, Cyril (1968). Cornish Lights and Ship-Wrecks. Truro: D Bradford Barton.
  49. Larn, Richard; Larn, Bridget (1997). Shipwreck Index of the British Isles. London: Lloyd's Register of Shipping.
  50. "Permanent memorial to Booth's factory fire in Huddersfield unveiled". Huddersfield Examiner. 5 November 2012. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  51. "The Landshipping mining disaster". 2 November 2011.
  52. "The Catastrophe in the Regent's Park", The Times, 22 January 1867, p.12
  53. "At last it can be told: Fireball that ripped apart Bradford factory 100 years ago". The Yorkshire Post. 11 August 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
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