Aircraft Crashes

Updated September 9, 2022 | Infoplease Staff

Find a list of the worst aircraft crashes in the world, including the Hindenburg disaster and the Sept 11, 2001, attacks. (See also Terrorist Attacks.)

Aug. 24, England: British dirigible AR-2 broke in two on trial trip near Hull; 62 died.

Sept. 3, Caldwell, Ohio: U.S. dirigible Shenandoah broke apart; 14 dead.
Oct. 5, Beauvais, France: British dirigible R 101 crashed, killing 47.
April 4, N.J.: U.S. dirigible Akron crashed; 73 died.
May 6, Lakehurst, N.J.: German zeppelin Hindenburg destroyed by fire at tower mooring; 36 killed.
July 28, New York City: U.S. Army bomber B-25 crashed into Empire State Building; 13 dead.
June 18, near Tokyo: Crash of U.S. Air Force C-124 Globemaster killed 129 servicemen.
June 30, Grand Canyon, Ariz.: TWA Super Constellation and United Airlines DC-7 collided over the Painted Desert, killing a total of 128 passengers and crew from both aircraft.
Dec. 16, New York City: United DC-8 and Trans World Super Constellation collided and crashed, killing 134 in air and on ground.
Feb. 15, nr. Brussels, Belgium: 72 on board and farmer on ground killed in crash of Sabena plane; U.S. figure skating team wiped out.
March 4, Douala, Cameroon: Trans-African DC-7 crashed on takeoff, killing all 111 people aboard.
June 3, Paris: Chartered Air France Boeing 707 crashed after takeoff at Orly Airport, killing 130.
June 22, Grande-Teree Island, Guadeloupe: Air France Boeing 707 crashed, killing all 113 aboard.
Nov. 29, Montreal: Trans-Canada Airlines DC-8F crashed after taking off. All 118 aboard died.
May 20, Cairo: Pakistan International Airways 707 crashed on landing at airport; 124 killed.
Jan. 24, Mont Blanc: Air India Boeing 707 crashed into a mountain in a fog; 117 dead.
Feb. 4, Tokyo: All-Nippon 727 jet crashed into Tokyo Bay as it approached airport, killing all 133 aboard.
March 5, near Gotemba City, Japan: BOAC Boeing 707 broke apart in flight and crashed into Mount Fuji; 124 dead.
Dec. 24, Binh Thai, South Vietnam: crash of military-chartered CL-44 into village killed 129.
April 20, Nicosia, Cyprus: Chartered Swiss Globe Britannia Turboprop crashed while landing, killing 126.
Feb. 15, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Dominican DC-9 plunged into Caribbean on takeoff; 102 dead.
July 3, near Barcelona, Spain: British charter Dan-Air Comet jet crashed into the sea while coming in for a landing at Barcelona; 112 dead.
July 5, Toronto: Air Canada DC-8 crashed on landing approach; 109 dead.
Nov. 14, Huntington, W.Va.: Chartered Southern Airways DC-9 crashed and burned on approach to Tri-State Airport; 75 dead, including entire Marshall University football team.
July 30, Morioka, Japan: Japanese Boeing 727 and F-86 fighter collided in midair; 162 died.
Sept. 4, near Juneau, Alaska: Alaskan Airlines Boeing 727 crashed into Chilkoot Mountains; 109 killed.
May 5, Palermo, Sicily: Alitalia DC-8 hit mountain, killing 115.
June 18, London: BEA Trident jetliner crashed after takeoff from Heathrow Airport. All 118 aboard were killed.
Aug. 14, East Berlin, East Germany: Soviet-built East German Ilyushin Il-62 plane crashed, killing 156.
Oct. 13, Moscow, Russia: Aeroflot Ilyushin IL-14 crashed during landing due to pilot fatigue and 176 people perish.
Dec. 3, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands: Spanish charter jet Convair 990-A jet carrying West German tourists crashed on takeoff; all 155 aboard killed.
Dec. 30, Miami, Fla.: Eastern Airlines Lockheed 1011 TriStar jumbo jet, Flight 401, crashed into Everglades; 101 killed, 75 survived.
Jan. 22, Kano, Nigeria: 171 Nigerian Muslims returning from Mecca and 5 crewmen died in crash.
Feb. 21, Sinai: civilian Libyan Arab Airlines Boeing 727 shot down by Israeli fighters after it had strayed off course; 108 died, 5 survived. Officials claimed that the pilot had ignored fighters' warnings to land.
April 10, Hochwald, Switzerland: British airliner carrying tourists to Swiss fair crashed in blizzard; 106 dead.
July 11, Paris: Boeing 707 of Varig Airlines, en route to Rio de Janeiro, crashed near airport, killing 122 of 134 passengers.
March 3, Paris: Turkish DC-10 jumbo jet crashed in forest shortly after takeoff; all 346 killed.
Dec. 4, Colombo, Sri Lanka: Dutch DC-8 carrying Muslims to Mecca killed all 191 when it crashed on landing approach.
April 4, nr. Saigon, Vietnam: Air Force Galaxy C-5A crashed after takeoff, killing 172, mostly Vietnamese children.
Aug. 3, Agadir, Morocco: chartered Boeing 707, returning Moroccan workers home after vacation in France, plunged into mountainside; all 188 killed.
Sept. 10, Zagreb, Yugoslavia: midair collision between British Airways Trident and Yugoslav charter DC-9 fatal to all 176 people aboard.
Sept. 19, Karatepe, Turkey: Turkish Airlines 727 crashes into mountainous terrain killing 154 people.
March 27, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands: Pan American and KLM Boeing 747s collided on runway. All 249 on KLM plane and 333 of 394 aboard Pan Am jet killed. Total of 582 is highest for any type of aviation disaster.
Jan. 1, Bombay: Air India 747 with 213 aboard exploded and plunged into sea minutes after takeoff.
Sept. 25, San Diego, Calif.: Pacific Southwest plane collided in midair with Cessna. All 135 on airliner, 2 in Cessna, and 7 on ground killed for total of 144.
Nov. 15, Colombo, Sri Lanka: chartered Icelandic Airlines DC-8, carrying 249 Muslim pilgrims from Mecca, crashed in thunderstorm during landing approach; 183 killed.
May 25, Chicago: American Airlines DC-10 lost left engine upon takeoff and crashed seconds later, killing all 272 people aboard and 3 on the ground in worst U.S. air disaster.
Nov. 26, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: Pakistan International Airlines 707 carrying pilgrims returning from Mecca crashed on takeoff; all 156 aboard killed.
Nov. 28, Mt. Erebus, Antarctica: Air New Zealand DC-10 crashed on sightseeing flight; 257 killed.
Aug. 19, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: all 301 aboard Saudi Arabian jet killed when burning plane made safe landing but passengers were unable to escape.
Dec. 1, Ajaccio, Corsica: Yugoslav DC-9 Super 80 carrying tourists crashed into mountain on landing approach, killing all 178 aboard.
June 28, near Cuenca, Ecuador: Ecuadorian jetliner crashed in mountains, killing 119.
Aug. 30, nr. island of Sakhalin off Siberia: Korean Air Lines Boeing 747 shot down by Soviet fighter after it strayed off course into Soviet airspace. All 269 aboard killed. Secret Soviet documents released in Oct. 1992 reveal that the plane was flying a straight course for two hours with its navigational lights on and did not take evasive action. Crew was unaware of its location and never saw the Soviet fighter that downed them. The Soviet fighter did not give a warning by firing tracer bullets as originally claimed.
Nov. 27, Madrid: Colombian Avianca Boeing 747 crashed near Mejorada del Campó Airport, killing 181 people aboard. Eleven people survived.
June 23, Atlantic Ocean: Air India 747 exploded over the ocean killing 329. The probable cause was a Sikh terrorist bomb.
Aug. 12, Japan: Japan Air Lines Boeing 747 crashed into a mountain, killing 520 of the 524 aboard. Highest death toll in a single-plane crash in aviation history.
Dec. 12, Gander, Newfoundland: a chartered Arrow Air DC-8 bringing American soldiers home for Christmas crashed on takeoff. All 256 aboard died.
May 9, Poland: Polish airliner Ilyushin 62M, on charter flight to N.Y., crashed after takeoff from Warsaw, killing 183.
Aug. 16, Romulus, Mich.: Northwest Airlines McDonnell Douglas MD-80 crashed into a highway shortly after takeoff from Detroit Metropolitan Airport, killing 156 (including 2 on the ground). Girl, 4, only survivor.
Nov. 26, south of Mauritius: South African Airways Boeing 747 went down in rough seas; 160 died.
Nov. 29, Burma: Korean Air Boeing 747 jetliner exploded from bomb planted by North Korean agents and crashed into sea, killing all 115 aboard.
July 3, Persian Gulf: U.S. Navy cruiser Vincennes shot down Iran Air Airbus A-300 after mistaking it for an attacking jet fighter; 290 killed.
Aug. 28, Ramstein Air Force Base, West Germany: 3 jets from Italian Air Force acrobatic team collided in midair during air show and crashed, killing 70 people, including the pilots and spectators on the ground.
Dec. 21, Lockerbie, Scotland: N.Y.-bound Pan-Am Boeing 747 exploded in flight from a terrorist bomb and crashed into Scottish village, killing all 259 aboard and 11 on the ground. See Terrorist Attacks.
June 7, Paramaribo, Suriname: a Surinam Airways DC-8 carrying 174 passengers crashed into the jungle while making a third attempt to land in a thick fog, killing 168 aboard.
July 19, Sioux City, Iowa: United Airlines DC-10 crashed during an emergency landing. Out of a total of 296 aboard, 111 were killed, 172 were injured, and 13 escaped unharmed.
May 26, nr. Bangkok, Thailand: Austrian Lauda Air Boeing 767, en route to Vienna, crashed into jungle hilltop shortly after takeoff from Bangkok airport, killing all 223 aboard. Thailand's worst air disaster.
July 11, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: Canadian-chartered DC-8 carrying pilgrims returning to Nigeria crashed after takeoff, killing 261 people.
Jan. 3, Irkutsk, Russia: Russian Tupolev-154 crashes after taking off, killing all 124 people.
April 14, northern Iraq: two American F-15C fighter aircraft mistook two U.S. Army blackhawk helicopters for Russian-made Iraqi MI-24 helicopters and shot them down over no-fly zone, killing all 26 on board.
April 26, Nagoya, Japan: China Airlines Airbus A-300 from Taiwan crash-landed and exploded on the tarmac. Only 7 of the 271 passengers aboard survived.
June 6, Xian, China: China Northwest Airlines Tupolev-154 crashed 10 minutes after takeoff, killing all 160 aboard.
Sept. 8, nr. Aliquippa, Pa.: USAir Boeing 737 crashed into a ravine shortly before it was supposed to land at Pittsburgh International Airport. All 132 aboard were killed.
Dec. 20, nr. Cali, Colombia: 160 people killed when American Airlines Boeing 757 crashed in Andean Mountains.
Jan. 8, Kinshasa, Zaire: Russian-built Antonov-32 cargo plane crashed after takeoff from Kinshasa into the center of the city, killing over 350 people and injuring at least 470.
Feb. 6, off coast of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic: a Birgenair Boeing 757 en route to Germany, chartered by Dominican Alas Nacionales. crashed into Atlantic Ocean after takeoff, killing 189.
Feb. 29, near Arequipa, Peru: Faucett Airline Boeing 737 crashed into mountain as it prepared to land. All 117 passengers and crew were killed.
May 11, Everglades, Fla.: ValuJet DC-9 went down in swamp, killing 110. Cargo fire caused by oxygen generators missing safety caps.
July 17, off coast of Long Island, N.Y.: TWA Boeing 747-100, Flight 800, bound for Paris from N.Y., exploded over waters of eastern L.I. and crashed into Atlantic Ocean, killing all 230 aboard.
Aug. 29, Svalbard, Norway: A Tu-154, taking miners and their families to a Russian mining settlement on Spitsbergen, crashed into a mountaintop, killing a 141 on board, including 29 children.
Nov. 12, nr. New Delhi, India: shortly after takeoff, Saudi Arabian Airlines Boeing 747 collided in midair with Kazak Airlines Ilyushin 76 approaching the New Delhi airport. All 349 passengers and crew were killed; the world's worst midair collision.
Aug. 6, Guam: Korean Air Boeing 747-300 from Seoul crashed into jungle near Agana International Airport, killing 228 people; 26 survived.
Sept. 26, nr. northern Indonesia: Indonesian Garuda Airlines A-300 Airbus jetliner crashed while approaching Medan Airport, Sumatra, killing all 234 people aboard.
Feb. 2, Mindanao, Philippines: Cebu Pacific Air DC-9 crashed into a mountain; 104 dead.
Feb. 3, Mt. Cermis, Italy: low-flying U.S. Marine surveillance jet on training flight accidentally cut ski-lift cable-car line, causing all 20 people aboard to fall some 260 ft to their deaths.
Feb. 16, Taipei, Taiwan: China Airlines Airbus A-300 jumbo jet crashed while trying to land in fog at Chiang Kai-shek International Airport, killing all 196 aboard and at least 6 people on the ground.
Sept. 2, off Nova Scotia, Canada: Swissair flight from N.Y. to Geneva crashed off Canadian coast, killing all 229 aboard. 136 Americans were on the McDonnell Douglas MD-11.
Oct. 31, southeast of Nantucket Island: EgyptAir Boeing 767-300 on flight from N.Y. to Cairo crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, killing all 217 aboard.
Jan. 30, off the Ivory Coast: Kenya Airways Airbus A-310, carrying 179 passengers and crew, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean after takeoff from Abidjan. Ten people survived.
July 25, Gonesse, France: Air France Concorde jet en route to N.Y. crashed into a hotel after taking off from Charles de Gaulle airport near Paris; all 109 aboard and 4 on the ground were killed; first Concorde jet to crash since the plane went into commercial service in 1976.
Aug. 23, off Bahrain: Gulf Air Airbus A-320 on a flight from Cairo crashed into the Persian Gulf, killing all 143 aboard.
July 4, Irkutsk, Russia: Russian Tupolev-154 crashed on its third approach to the runway for a refueling stop, killing all 145 people.
Sept. 11, New York City, Arlington, Va., and Shanksville, Pa.: For the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, see Terrorist Attacks.
Oct. 8, Milan, Italy: Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) MD-87 jet bound for Copenhagen hit a Cessna aircraft during takeoff in a heavy fog at Milan's Linate airport. All 104 passengers and 6 crew aboard the airliner, as well as the four people in the smaller plane and four airport workers, were killed in what is one of Italy's worst air disasters
Nov. 12, Queens, N.Y.: American Airlines Airbus A-300, bound for the Dominican Republic, crashed into residential neighborhood minutes after taking off from JFK International Airport. All 260 people aboard and 5 on the ground were killed.
Feb. 12, western Iran: Iranian airliner en route from Teheran to Khorramabad crashed into a mountain while trying to land, killing all 118 aboard. Overcast or foggy conditions may have contributed to the crash.
April 15, nr. Pusan, South Korea: Air China Boeing 767 en route from Beijing crashed into a forested hillside near airport, killing at least 115 people. Miraculously, 38 passengers survived. Poor weather conditions were blamed for the crash.
May 4, Kano, Nigeria: EAS Airline BAC 1-11 bound for Lagos plowed into a poor, densely populated suburb of Kano shortly after takeoff, killing 148. Dead included all 76 aboard and dozens on the ground.
May 7, Dalian Bay, northeast China: China Northern Airlines MD-82 jet crashed into the bay shortly after captain reported a fire in the cabin. Out of 103 passengers and 9 crew aboard, none survived.
May 25, nr. Pescadores off western Taiwan: China Airlines Boeing 747, bound for Hong Kong with 225 people aboard, broke apart in midair and plunged into sea 20 minutes after takeoff from Taipei. There were no survivors.
July 27, nr. Lviv, Ukraine: Russian-built Sukhoi-27 fighter jet crashed while performing an acrobatic maneuver during an air show. 83 people were killed, including 23 children; the 2 pilots ejected to safety. It is the worst air show disaster in history.
Feb. 19, nr. Shahdad, Iran: Iranian military airplane, Ilyushin Il-76MD, carrying members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, crashed in the Sirach Mountains, killing all 276 on board, making this Iran's worst air disaster.
March 6, Tamanrasset, Algeria: An Algerian Boeing 737 crashed after takeoff from Tamanrasset, killing 102 people.
July 8, Port Sudan, Sudan: a Sudan Airways airplane, a Boeing 737, experienced technical difficulties shortly after takeoff and crashed while attempting to return to the Port Sudan airport. One child survived and 116 passengers and crew perished.
Dec. 25, Cotonou, Benin: a chartered Boeing 727 jet bound for Beirut, Lebanon, crashed after hitting a building on takeoff, killing at least 140 people.
Aug. 24, Moscow, Russia: two Russian planes, both departing from Moscow's airport, crashed within minutes of each other, killing a total of 89 people. Explosives were found on both flights.
Feb. 3, Kabul, Afghanistan: Afghan Kam Air, Boeing 737, bound to Kabul crashed in the mountains, killing 105.
Aug. 14, Athens, Greece: a Helios Airways, Boeing 737, en route from Cyprus to Athens lost cabin pressure and crashed when it ran out of fuel, killing all 121 on board.
Aug. 16, western Venezuela: a chartered West Caribbean Airways, MD-82, en route from Panama to Martinique, crashed in remote western Venezuela, killing all 160 on board.
Sept. 5, Medan, Indonesia: Mandala Airlines, Boeing 737, crashed soon after takeoff, killing 102 on board and 47 on the ground; 13 passengers survived.
Oct. 22, Lagos, Nigeria: after take-off from Lagos, a Nigerian Bellview Airlines Boeing 737-200 enroute to Abuja crashed, killing all 117.
Dec. 6, Tehran, Iran: Iranian military plane, a Lockheed C-130, crashed during an emergency landing the Tehran airport, hit an apartment building, and killed at least 115.
Dec. 10, Port Harcourt, Nigeria: Nigerian Sosoliso Airlines plane carrying 110 crashed during landing, killing 106.
Dec. 19, Miami, Fla.: Chalk's Ocean Airways, Grumman G73 seaplane, headed to the Bahamas, crashed into the ocean off Miami, killing all 20 on-board.
May 3, Sochi, Russia: an Armavia (Armenian airline), Airbus A-320, crashed in the Black Sea en route to Sochi, killing all 113 aboard.
July 9, Siberia, Russia: a Russian airline S7 Airbus A-310 slid off the end of the runway just after landing in Irkutsk, killing 122 people.
July 10, Multan, Pakistan: a Pakistan International Airlines Fokker F-27 turboprop crashed minutes after take off, killing all 45 on board.
Aug. 22, Donetsk, Ukraine: a Pulkovo (Russian) airliner, TU 154, flying from the Black Sea resort town of Anapa to St. Petersburg , reported a fire on board and crashed in stormy weather, killing all 170, including 45 children, on board.
Aug. 27, Lexington, Ky.: Comair Flight 5191, a Bombardier commuter jet, crashed after attempting to take off on the wrong runway, killing 49.
Jan. 1, Indonesia: Adam Air Flight KI-574, flying from Java to Manado, crashed in stormy weather and strong winds, killing all of the 102 people on board.
March 7, Yogyakarta, Indonesia: A Garuda Indonesia Airlines plane overshot the runway and crashed, killing 22 of the 140 people on board.
May 5, Doula, Cameroon: A Kenya-bound Kenya Airways plane took off in stormy weather and crashed moments later, killing all 114 people on board.
July 17, Sao Paulo, Brazil: An Airbus skidded off the runway at Congonhas Airport in rainy weather and crashed, killing at least 176 people. It was the worst aviation accident in Brazil's history, and the second in less than 10 months.
Sept. 16, Phuket, Bangkok: A McDonnell Douglas MD-82 plane, which took off from Bangkok, skids off the runway and bursts into flames during heavy rain in Phuket. At least 88 people are killed.
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