List of industrial disasters

This article lists notable industrial disasters, which are disasters caused by industrial companies, either by accident, negligence or incompetence. They are a form of industrial accident where great damage, injury or loss of life are caused.

Other disasters can also be considered industrial disasters, if their causes are rooted in the products or processes of industry. For example, the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 was made more severe due to the heavy concentration of lumber industry facilities, wood houses, and fuel and other chemicals in a small area.

The Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents is designed to protect people and the environment from industrial accidents. The Convention aims to prevent accidents from occurring, to reduce their frequency and severity, and to mitigate their effects. The Convention addresses primarily industrial accidents in one country that affect the population and the environment of another country.

Defense industry

Energy industry

  • October 1957: The Windscale fire, the worst nuclear accident in Great Britain's history, released substantial amounts of radioactive contamination into the surrounding area at Windscale, Cumberland (now Sellafield, Cumbria).
  • May 1962: The Centralia mine fire began, forcing the gradual evacuation of the Centralia borough. The fire continues to burn in the abandoned borough.
  • March 4, 1965: The Natchitoches explosion: A 32-inch gas transmission pipeline, north of Natchitoches, Louisiana, belonging to the Tennessee Gas Pipeline exploded and burned from stress corrosion cracking on March 4, killing 17 people. At least 9 others were injured, and 7 homes 450 feet from the rupture were destroyed. The same pipeline had also had an explosion on May 9, 1955, just 930 feet (280 m) from the 1965 failure.
  • March 1967: The Torrey Canyon supertanker was shipwrecked off the west coast of Cornwall, England, causing an environmental disaster. This was the first major oil spill at sea.
  • August 1975: The Banqiao Dam failed in the Henan Province of China due to extraordinarily heavy precipitation from the remnants of Typhoon Nina and poor construction quality of the dam, which was built during the Great Leap Forward. The flood immediately killed over 100,000 people, and another 150,000 died of subsequent epidemic diseases and famine, bringing the total death toll to around 250,000 and making it the worst technical disaster ever.
  • March 16, 1978: The Amoco Cadiz, a VLCC owned by the company Amoco (now merged with BP) sank near the northwest coast of France, resulting in the spilling of 68,684,000 US gallons of crude oil (1,635,000 barrels). This is the largest oil spill from an oil tanker in history.
  • March 28, 1979: Three Mile Island accident. Partial nuclear meltdown. Mechanical failures in the non-nuclear secondary system, followed by a stuck-open pilot-operated relief valve in the primary system, allowed large amounts of reactor coolant to escape. Plant operators initially failed to recognize the loss of coolant, resulting in a partial meltdown. The reactor was brought under control but not before up to 481 PBq (13 million curies) of radioactive gases were released into the atmosphere.[1]
  • June 3, 1979: Ixtoc oil spill. The Ixtoc I exploratory oil well suffered a blowout resulting in the third-largest oil spill and the second-largest accidental spill in history.
  • November 20, 1980: A Texaco oil rig drilled into a salt mine transforming Lake Peigneur, a freshwater lake before the accident, into a saltwater lake.
  • February 15, 1982: Newfoundland, Canada. The mobile offshore oil rig Ocean Ranger was struck by a rogue wave off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada and sank with the loss of all 84 crew.
  • January 7, 1983: An explosion in Newark, New Jersey was felt for about 100–130 miles from the epicenter, but only claimed 1 life, and injured 22–24 people.
  • July 23, 1984: Romeoville, Illinois, Union Oil refinery explosion killed 19 people.
  • November 19, 1984: San Juanico Disaster. An explosion at a liquid petroleum gas tank farm killed hundreds and injured thousands in San Juan Ixhuatepec, Mexico.
  • April 26, 1986: Chernobyl disaster. At the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Prypiat, Ukraine a test on reactor number four went out of control, resulting in a nuclear meltdown. The ensuing steam explosion and fire killed up to 50 people with estimates that there may be between 4,000 and several hundred thousand additional cancer deaths over time. Fallout could be detected as far away as Canada. The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, covering portions of Belarus and Ukraine surrounding Prypiat, remains contaminated and mostly uninhabited. Prypiat itself was totally evacuated and remains as a ghost town.
  • May 5, 1988: Norco, Louisiana, Shell Oil refinery explosion. Hydrocarbon gas escaped from a corroded pipe in a catalytic cracker and was ignited. Louisiana state police evacuated 2,800 residents from nearby neighborhoods. Seven workers were killed and 42 injured. The total cost arising from the Norco blast is estimated at US$706 million.
  • July 6, 1988: Piper Alpha disaster. An explosion and resulting fire on a North Sea oil production platform killed 167 men. The total insured loss was about US$3.4 billion. To date it is rated as the world's worst offshore oil disaster in terms both of lives lost and impact to industry.
  • March 24, 1989: Exxon Valdez oil spill. The Exxon Valdez, an oil tanker bound for Long Beach, California, hit Prince William Sound's Bligh Reef, dumping an estimated minimum 10.8 million US gallons (40.9 million litres, or 250,000 barrels) of crude oil into the sea. It is considered to be one of the most devastating human-caused environmental disasters ever to occur.[2] 100,000 to as many as 250,000 seabirds died, as well as at least 2,800 sea otters, approximately 12 river otters, 300 harbor seals, 247 bald eagles, and 22 orcas, and billions of salmon and herring eggs were destroyed.[3] Overall reductions in population have been seen in various ocean animals, including stunted growth in pink salmon populations.[4] Sea otters and ducks also showed higher death rates in following years, partially because they ingested prey from contaminated soil and also from ingestion of oil residues on their hair/feathers due to grooming.[5]
  • April 22, 1992: 1992 Guadalajara explosions. A leak of gasoline into the sewer system caused 12 explosions in downtown Guadalajara, Mexico between 10:05 and 11:16 a.m., killing 206 - 252 people and injuring 1,800. Eight kilometers of streets were destroyed or seriously damaged.
  • March 23, 2005: Texas City Refinery explosion. An explosion occurred at a BP refinery in Texas City, Texas. It is the third largest refinery in the United States and one of the largest in the world, processing 433,000 barrels of crude oil per day and accounting for three percent of that nation's gasoline supply. Over 100 were injured, and 15 were confirmed dead, including employees of Jacobs, Fluor and BP. BP has since accepted that its employees contributed to the accident. Several level indicators failed, leading to overfilling of a knockout drum, and light hydrocarbons concentrated at ground level throughout the area. A nearby running diesel truck set off the explosion.
  • December 11, 2005: Hertfordshire Oil Storage Terminal fire. A series of explosions at the Buncefield oil storage depot, described as the largest peacetime explosion in Europe, devastated the terminal and many surrounding properties. There were no fatalities. Total damages have been forecast as £750 million.
  • December 19, 2007: T2 Laboratories explosion and fire. Runaway reactor for production of gasoline additives explodes at Jacksonville, Florida, killing four.
  • December 22, 2008: Kingston Fossil Plant coal fly ash slurry spill. 1.1 billion gallons of coal ash were released when a dike ruptured at an ash storage pond at the Tennessee Valley Authority's Kingston Fossil Plant in Roane County, Tennessee.
  • August 17, 2009: Sayano–Shushenskaya power station accident. Seventy-five people were killed at a hydroelectric power station when a turbine failed. The failed turbine had been vibrating for a considerable time. Emergency doors to stop the incoming water took a long time to close, while a self-closing lock would have stopped the water in minutes.
  • February 7, 2010: 2010 Connecticut power plant explosion. A large explosion occurred at a Kleen Energy Systems 620-megawatt, Siemens combined cycle gas- and oil- fired power plant in Middletown, Connecticut, United States. Preliminary reports attributed the cause of the explosion to a test of the plant's energy systems.[6] The plant was still under construction and scheduled to start supplying energy in June 2010.[7] The number of injuries was eventually established to be 27.[8] Five people died in the explosion.[9]
  • April 20, 2010: Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Eleven oil platform workers died in an explosion and fire that resulted in a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, considered the largest offshore spill in US history.[10]
  • March 11, 2011: As a result of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami,
  • February 24, 2012: Köprü Dam in Adana Province, Turkey. A hydroelectric dam whose diversion tunnel seal was breached. 97 million cubic meters of water flooded the area downstream of the dam. The accident and flood killed 10 workers.
  • October 29, 2012: Hurricane Sandy caused a ConEdison power plant to explode, causing a blackout in most of midtown Manhattan. The blue light emitted from the arc made places as far as Brooklyn glow. No person was killed or injured.
  • July 6, 2013: Lac-Mégantic, Quebec Canada. Lac-Mégantic derailment. Forty-seven people were killed when there was a derailment of an oil shipment train. The oil shipment caught fire and exploded, destroying more than thirty buildings. It was the fourth-deadliest rail accident in Canadian history.
  • July 23, 2018: Laos dam collapse. Part of a hydroelectric dam system under construction collapsed in Champasak Province, Laos. The collapse lead to widespread destruction and homelessness. 40 people were confirmed dead, at least 98 more were missing, and 6,600 others were displaced.[14]
  • June 21, 2019: Philadelphia Refinery Explosion. An explosion at Philadelphia Energy Solutions' refinery destroyed the alkylation unit, where crude oil is converted to high octane gas, and led to the planned closure of the financially troubled plant. While the explosion and fire only led to a few minor injuries, it was catastrophic for the business.[15]

Food industry

Manufacturing industry

  • January 10, 1860: Pemberton Mill was a large factory in Lawrence, Massachusetts that collapsed without warning. An estimated 145 workers were killed and 166 injured.
  • March 20, 1905: Grover Shoe Factory disaster. A boiler explosion, building collapse and fire killed 58 people and injured 150 in Brockton, Massachusetts.
  • October 6, 1907: Standard Steel Car Company was a large pressed steel car company in Butler, Pennsylvania. A ladle containing 9,000 lbs. of molten steel exploded in the plant, killing 4 workers instantly, fatally wounding 20 others, and seriously injuring 10 more.[19]
  • March 25, 1911: Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City. This was a major industrial disaster in the US, causing the death of more than 100 garment workers who either died in the fire or jumped to their deaths. The fire led to legislation requiring improved factory safety standards and helped spur the growth of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, which fought for better working conditions for sweatshop workers in that industry.
  • May 27, 1983: Benton fireworks disaster. An explosion at an illegal fireworks operation on a farm near Benton, Tennessee killed eleven, injured one, and inflicted damage within a radius of several miles.[20]
  • November 23, 1984: MESIT factory collapse. A part of a factory in Uherské Hradiště, Czechoslovakia collapsed, killing 18 workers and injuring 43. The accident was kept secret by the communist regime, however, the news broke the iron curtain and made it to the western media.[21]
  • May 4, 1988: PEPCON disaster, Henderson, Nevada. A massive fire and explosions at a chemical plant killed two people and injured over 300.
  • May 10, 1993: Kader Toy Factory fire. A fire started in a poorly built factory in Thailand. Exit doors were locked and the stairwell collapsed. 188 workers were killed, mostly young women.
  • May 13, 2000: Enschede fireworks disaster. A fire and explosion at a fireworks depot in Enschede, Netherlands resulted in 24 deaths and another 947 were injured. About 1,500 homes were damaged or destroyed. The damage was estimated to be over US$300 million in insured losses.
  • November 3, 2004: Seest fireworks disaster. N. P. Johnsens Fyrværkerifabrik fireworks factory exploded in Seest, a suburb of Kolding, Denmark. One firefighter died; seven from the rescue team as well as 17 locals were injured. In total 2,107 buildings were damaged by the explosion, with the cost of the damage estimated at €100 million.
  • December 6, 2006: Falk Corporation Explosion. A gas leak triggered a large explosion and ensuing fire at a gear manufacturing facility in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Three were killed and 47 injured, with several of the buildings at the facility being leveled.
  • April 18, 2007: Qinghe Special Steel Corporation disaster. A ladle holding molten steel separated from the overhead iron rail, fell, tipped, and killed 32 workers, injuring another 6.
  • February 1, 2008: Istanbul fireworks explosion. An unlicensed fireworks factory exploded accidentally, leaving by some reports at least 22 people dead and at least 100 injured.
  • September 11, 2012: Karachi, Pakistan, 289 people died in a fire at the Ali Enterprises garment factory, which made ready-to-wear clothing for Western export.
  • November 24, 2012: Dhaka Tasreen Fashions fire. A seven-story factory fire outside of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, killed at least 112 people, 12 from jumping out of windows to escape the blaze.
  • April 24, 2013: 2013 Savar building collapse. An eight-story factory building collapsed on the outskirts of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, and killed 1129 people.[22] The building contained five garment factories that were manufacturing clothing for the western market.[23]

Mining industry

See Mining accident for more.

  • December 12, 1866: Oaks Colliery Explosion in Barnsley, West Riding of Yorkshire, United Kingdom. Caused by the explosion of firedamp. It was the worst mining accident in England, with a death toll of 361.
  • February 16, 1883: Diamond mine disaster, Diamond, Illinois, United States. 74 people died, including 6 children.
  • March 10, 1906: Courrières mine disaster, Courrières, France. 1,099 people died, including children, in the worst mine accident in Europe.
  • December 6, 1907: Monongah mining disaster, Monongah, West Virginia. 362 people officially died. The worst industrial accident in American history.
  • October 14, 1913: Senghenydd Colliery Disaster, the worst mining accident in the United Kingdom. 439 workers died.
  • December 15, 1914: The Mitsubishi Hōjō mine disaster, Kyushu, Japan. A gas explosion at the Hōjō (Hojyo) coal mine killed 687. It was the worst mining accident in Japan.[24]
  • April 26, 1942: Benxihu Colliery disaster, Benxi, Liaoning, China. 1,549 workers died, making this the worst coal mine accident ever in the world.
  • October 23, 1958: Springhill mining disaster, Springhill, Nova Scotia, Canada. A "bump," or underground earthquake caused by a collapse, killed 75 miners. The other 99 miners were rescued by a recovery effort. Previous disasters had occurred at the same mine in 1891 and 1956.
  • January 21, 1960: Coalbrook mining disaster at the Clydesdale Colliery near Sasolburg, Orange Free State, South Africa. 435 miners died.[25] It was the worst mining accident in South Africa.[26]
  • May 9, 1960: Laobaidong mining disaster. A methane gas explosion in the Laobaidong coal mine at Datong in the Shanxi province of China killed 684.[27]
  • November 9, 1963: Mitsui Miike Coal Mine disaster. An explosion caused by the ignition of coal dust at the Miike coal mine in Kyushu, Japan. 458 people were killed by the explosion or by carbon monoxide poisoning. 839 others were injured.[28]
  • May 28, 1965: Dhanbad coal mine disaster, Jharkhand, India. Over 300 miners killed.
  • October 21, 1966: Aberfan disaster, Aberfan, Wales. A catastrophic collapse of a colliery spoil-tip killed 116 children and 28 adults.
  • June 6, 1972: Wankie coal mine disaster, Rhodesia (present-day Zimbabwe). 426 people were killed, making it the country's worst-ever mining disaster.
  • July 19, 1985: Val di Stava dam collapse, Stava, near Tesero, Italy. Two tailings dams, used for sedimenting the mud from the nearby Prestavel mine, failed. This resulted in one of Italy's worst disasters, killing 268 people, destroying 63 buildings and demolishing eight bridges.
  • May 9, 1992: Westray mine disaster, Plymouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. A methane explosion killed all 26 miners. Canada's deadliest mining disaster since 1958.
  • May 9, 1993: Nambija mine disaster, Nambija, Ecuador. Approximately 300 people were killed in a landslide.
  • January 30, 2000: Baia Mare cyanide spill, Baia Mare, Romania. The accident, called the worst environmental disaster in Europe since Chernobyl, was a release of 100,000 tons of cyanide-contaminated water into the rivers Someş, Tisza and Danube by the Aurul mining company due to a reservoir breach. Although no human fatalities were reported, the leak killed up to 80 percent of aquatic life in some of the affected rivers.
  • April 5, 2010: Upper Big Branch Mine disaster, West Virginia, United States. An explosion occurred in Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch coal mine. Twenty-nine out of 31 miners at the site were killed.[29]
  • November 19, 2010: Pike River Mine disaster, New Zealand. At 3:45 pm, the coal mine exploded. Twenty-nine men underground died immediately, or shortly afterwards, from the blast or from the toxic atmosphere. Two men in the stone drift, some distance from the mine workings, managed to escape. (Extract from Royal Commission of Inquiry Report on Pike River.)
  • May 13, 2014: Soma mine disaster, Manisa Province, Turkey. An explosion occurred two kilometers below the surface, starting a fire, which caused the mine's elevator to stop working. This trapped several hundred miners, many of whom died of carbon monoxide poisoning. 787 workers were present during the disaster, and 301 of them died during the disaster.
  • August 4, 2014: Mount Polley mine disaster, near Likely, British Columbia. A partial breach of the copper and gold mine tailings pond released 10 million cubic meters of water and 4.5 million cubic meters of slurry. There were no casualties.[30]
  • November 5, 2015: Mariana dam disaster, Minas Gerais, Brazil. An iron ore tailings dam suffered a catastrophic failure. The resultant flooding destroyed the village of Bento Rodrigues and killed 19 people.[31]
  • January 25, 2019: Brumadinho dam disaster, Minas Gerais, Brazil. An iron ore tailings dam suffered a catastrophic failure. At least 233 people died.[32]
  • June 27, 2019: Kolwezi copper and cobalt mine collapse, Lualaba province, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The mine was being worked by illegal artisanal miners, 43 of whom were killed.[33][34]

Other industrial disasters

  • March 11, 1864: The Great Sheffield Flood. The Dale Dyke Dam, at Bradfield, South Yorkshire, collapsed when its reservoir was being filled for the first time. At least 240 people died, and 5000 properties were flooded.[35] Historian Peter Machan said: "In terms of Victorian England it was the greatest disaster in terms of loss of life, apart from maritime disasters".[36]
  • January 20, 1909: Chicago Crib Disaster. During the construction of a water intake tunnel for the city of Chicago, a fire broke out on a temporary water crib used to access an intermediate point along the tunnel. The fire began in the dynamite magazine and burned the wooden dormitory that housed the tunnel workers. 46 workers survived the fire by jumping into the lake and climbing onto ice floes or the spoil heap near the crib. 29 men were burned beyond recognition, and approximately 60 men died. Most of the remainder drowned or froze to death in the lake and were not recovered.[37][38][39]
  • September 21, 1921: Oppau explosion, Germany. Occurred when a tower silo storing 4,500 tonnes of a mixture of ammonium sulfate and ammonium nitrate fertilizer exploded at a BASF plant in Oppau, now part of Ludwigshafen, Germany, killing 500–600 people and injuring about 2,000 more.
  • 1927–1932: Hawks Nest Tunnel Disaster, near Gauley Bridge, West Virginia, United States. Over several years, 476 workers died from silicosis.
  • 1932–1968: The Minamata disaster was caused by the dumping of mercury compounds in Minamata Bay, Japan. The Chisso Corporation, a fertilizer and later petrochemical company, was found responsible for polluting the bay for 37 years. It is estimated that over 3,000 people suffered various deformities, severe mercury poisoning symptoms or death from what became known as Minamata disease.
  • April 16, 1947: Texas City disaster, Texas. At 9:15 am an explosion occurred aboard a docked ship named the Grandcamp. The explosion, and subsequent fires and explosions, is referred to as the worst industrial disaster in America. A minimum of 578 people lost their lives and another 3,500 were injured as the blast shattered windows from as far away as 25 mi (40 km). Large steel pieces were thrown more than a mile from the dock. The origin of the explosion was fire in the cargo on board the ship. Detonation of 3,200 tons of ammonium nitrate fertilizer aboard the Grandcamp led to further explosions and fires. The fertilizer shipment was to aid the struggling farmers of Europe recovering from World War II.
  • July 28, 1948: A chemical tank wagon explosion within the BASF's Ludwigshafen, Germany site caused 207 fatalities. 3,818 were injured, and 3,122 buildings were significantly affected.
  • January 9, 1959: In the midst of heavy rains, a failure of the small Vega de Tera dam at about 01:00 a.m. killed 144 of 532 inhabitants in downriver Ribadelago (Zamora, Spain) some minutes later. The dam was new (1956) but poorly built as usual in that period, when the Francoist regime was prioritizing economic development over construction quality. The town was partially destroyed and never recovered; afterwards, the survivors were moved out of the floodable area to a newly built nearby town (Ribadelago Nuevo, "New Ribadelago.") See Catástrofe de Ribadelago (in Spanish.)
  • February 3, 1971: The Thiokol-Woodbine Explosion at a Thiokol chemical plant in Georgia (United States) killed 29 people and seriously injured 50.
  • June 1, 1974: Flixborough disaster, England. An explosion at a chemical plant near the village of Flixborough killed 28 people and seriously injured another 36.
  • 1972–1976: Dioxin spills at Times Beach, Missouri, causing the evacuation and disincorporation of the 2,000-strong town starting 1983. It was the largest civilian exposure to dioxin in the United States' history.
  • July 10, 1976: Seveso disaster, in Seveso, Italy, in a small chemical manufacturing plant of ICMESA. Due to the release of dioxins into the atmosphere and throughout a large section of the Lombard Plain, 3,000 pets and farm animals died and, later, 70,000 animals were slaughtered to prevent dioxins from entering the food chain. In addition, 193 people in the affected areas suffered from chloracne and other symptoms. The disaster lead to the Seveso Directive, which was issued by the European Community and imposed much harsher industrial regulations.
  • April 27, 1978: Willow Island disaster. A cooling tower for a power plant under construction in Willow Island, West Virginia collapsed, killing 51 construction workers. The cause was attributed to placing loads on recently poured concrete before it had cured sufficiently to withstand the loads. It is thought to be the largest construction accident in United States history.[40]
  • October 12, 1978: Spyros disaster. The Greek tanker Spyros exploded at Jurong Shipyard in Singapore on October 12, 1978. It killed 76 people, and remains the worst accident, in terms of lives lost, in Singapore's post-war history. It is also Singapore's worst industrial accident
  • February 24, 1984: Occurred on the night in Cubatao, Brazil around 23:30 a gasoline pipeline exploded in the favela of Vila Sao Jose killing more than 100 people, the tragedy turned the eyes of the world to Cubatao and laid bare another problem: industrial pollution, since the 70s, gave the city the nickname "Death Valley".
  • December 3, 1984: The Bhopal disaster in India is one of the largest industrial disasters on record. A runaway reaction in a tank containing poisonous methyl isocyanate caused the pressure relief system to vent large amounts to the atmosphere at a Union Carbide India Limited plant. Estimates of the death toll range from 3700 to 16,000. The disaster caused the region's human and animal populations severe health problems to the present.
  • November 1, 1986: The Sandoz disaster in Schweizerhalle, Switzerland released tons of toxic agrochemicals into the Rhine.
  • June 28, 1988: Auburn, Indiana. Improper mixing of chemicals at Bastian Plating Company killed four workers in the worst confined-space industrial accident in U.S. history; a fifth victim died two days later.[41]
  • October 23, 1989: Phillips Disaster. An explosion and fire killed 23 and injured 314 in Pasadena, Texas and registered 3.5 on the Richter magnitude scale.
  • July 5, 1990: An explosion and fire occurred at the Arco Chemical Company complex in Channelview, Texas. 17 people were killed. Five were permanent employees and the remaining 12 were contract labor employees. An area approximately the size of a city block was completely destroyed; no one in the area survived the explosion.[42]
  • May 1, 1991: Sterlington, Louisiana. An explosion at the IMC-operated Angus Chemical nitro-paraffin plant in Sterlington, Louisiana killed eight workers and injured 120 other people. There was severe damage to the surrounding community. The blasts were heard more than eight miles away.
  • April 19, 2000: Pingxiang, Jiangxi, China. An oxygen generator exploded at a steel factory killed at least 19.[43]
  • September 21, 2001: Toulouse, France. An explosion at the AZF fertilizer factory killed 29, injured 2,500, and caused extensive structural damage to nearby neighbourhoods.
  • October 19, 2009: Ottawa, Canada. A boiler explosion at the Cliff Central Heating and Cooling Plant killed one person, and three others suffered injuries.[44]
  • October 4, 2010: Alumina plant accident. Ajka, Kolontár, Devecser and several other settlements, Hungary. The dam of Magyar Aluminium's red mud reservoir broke and the escaping highly toxic and alkaline (~pH 13) sludge flooded several settlements. There were nine victims, including a young girl, and hundreds of injuries (mostly chemical burns).
  • January 20, 2012: Burns Lake, British Columbia, Canada. At a wood mill two workers were killed and 20 others injured in a fire and explosion. A combustible dust environment led to the explosion and fire.[45]
  • November 8, 2012: Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. Two people died and 19 were injured in an industrial processing plant belonging to Neptune Technologies & Bioressources, a manufacturer of health care products.[46]
  • April 17, 2013: Fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas. An explosion occurred at the West Fertilizer Company storage and distribution facility in West, Texas, 18 miles (29 km) north of Waco, while emergency services personnel were responding to a fire at the facility. At least 14 people were killed, more than 160 were injured and more than 150 buildings damaged or destroyed.
  • June 20, 2013: Coteau-du-Lac, Quebec, Canada. Two women were killed in a fireworks warehouse explosion.[47]
  • July 31–August 1, 2014: 2014 Kaohsiung gas explosions. From the underground-installed gas pipelines of a petrochemical factory, a large-scale leakage (which had been occurring for more than three hours) led to a series of gas explosions in the streets of Kaohsiung, Taiwan at the midnight between the two days. Thirty-two people were killed and 321 others were injured.
  • August 12, 2015: Binhai, Tianjin, China. Two explosions within 30 seconds of each other occurred at a container storage station at the Port of Tianjin in the Binhai New Area of Tianjin, China[48] 173 people died as a result.[49]
  • August 23, 2016: Chittagong, Bangladesh. An incident of gas leakage happened at a fertilizer company in port city of Chittagong. The fertilizer company belongs to Chittagong Urea Fertiliser Limited (CUFL) located near the shore of Karnaphuli River. No deaths were reported but 25 people had fallen ill due to toxic ammonia inhalation.[50] The investigation team found that tank was maintained by unskilled workers instead of skilled engineers which resulted in leakage.[51]
  • September 10, 2016: Gazipur, Bangladesh. A boiler explosion in a packaging industry in the town of Tongi, Gazipur, led to the death of 23 workers. The explosion was so powerful that it made part of the four story building collapse. The explosion also triggered a fire which spread to surrounding areas.[52]
  • May 9, 2018: Patel Milmet Dam failure. An embankment dam in Nakuru County, Kenya, burst during heavy rains, killing at least 48 people.[53]

See also


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  2. "Frequently Asked Questions About the Spill". Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council. Retrieved September 21, 2008.
  3. "Exxon Valdez: Ten years on". BBC News. 1999-03-18. Retrieved 2010-05-24.
  4. Williamson, David (December 18, 2003). "Exxon Valdez oil spill effects lasting far longer than expected, scientists say". UNC/News. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved March 9, 2008.
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  6. "Witness To Middletown Explosion: 'There Are Bodies Everywhere'". The Hartford Courant. 7 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
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  8. "Mourners Grieve At Funerals For Connecticut Workers Who Died In Power Plant Explosion". Hartford Courant. 13 February 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2010.
  9. "Gas blast at Conn. power plant kills at least 5". Associated Press. 7 February 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-02-10. Retrieved 2011-01-04.
  10. "Gulf oil spill now largest offshore spill in U.S. history as BP continues plug effort". USA Today. 2010-05-27. Retrieved 2010-05-27.
  11. "LPG Tanks Fire Extinguished at Chiba Refinery (5th Update) | Cosmo Energy Holdings Co.,Ltd". Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  12. "Japan earthquake causes oil refinery inferno". 11 March 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  13. "Japan: Earthquake triggers oil refinery fire". Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  14. "Death toll reaches 36 in Laos dam collapse, 98 missing". Business Standard India. 13 August 2018. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  15. "Philadelphia refinery goes bankrupt after fire". CNN Business. 22 July 2019. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  16. "Washburn 'A' Mill Explosion". Library: History Topics. Minnesota Historical Society. Retrieved 2010-03-16.
  17. Fire Investigation Summary: Grain Elevator Explosion – Haysville, Kansas, June 8, 1998 (PDF), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Fire Investigations Department, 1999, archived from the original (PDF) on December 4, 2008
  18. "3 women dead after snow-laden roof caves near Montreal". Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  19. "Butler, PA Steel Mill Explosion, Oct 1907 | GenDisasters ... Genealogy in Tragedy, Disasters, Fires, Floods". Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  20. "Fireworks suspect charged with deaths". The Spokesman-Review. May 30, 1983. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
  21. News in Brief: Factory Deaths In The Times of London, 27 November 1984
  22. "Savar collapse death toll reaches 1,126 – Click Ittefaq". Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  23. "Rana Plaza death toll now at 1,126". Retrieved 2 September 2017.
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  26. "More than 400 miners are killed in an underground collapse at Coalbrook mine". South African History Online. 17 January 2013. Retrieved 6 July 2019.
  27. "5 of China's Worst Industrial Disasters". Time. Retrieved 6 July 2019.
  28. "Chapter - 5 The Miike coal-mine explosion". Retrieved 6 July 2019.
  29. Urbina, Ian (April 9, 2010). "No Survivors Found After West Virginia Mine Disaster". The New York Times.
  30. Strategy, Environment and Climate Change (15 August 2014). "Mount Polley tailings pond situation update - Friday, Aug. 15". Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  31. Carneiro, Julia Dias (6 May 2016). "Brazil dam burst: Six months on, the marks left by sea of sludge". Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  32. Phillips, Dom (26 January 2019). "Brazil dam collapse: 10 bodies found and hundreds missing". The Observer. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  33. "Copper mine collapse kills dozens in DR Congo". 28 June 2019. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  34. "DR Congo mine collapse death toll rises to 43". Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  35. Wright, Oliver (11 March 2014). "The forgotten flood that deluged a city". Retrieved 1 July 2019.
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