Worst Industrial Accidents in History

Updated September 9, 2022 | Infoplease Staff

The following table includes information about the worst industrial disasters in history.

Year Day Incident Location Fatalities
2013 04/24 Rana Plaza, a building containing several factories, collapses Savar, Bangladesh more than 1,100
1984 12/02 42 tons of lethal methyl isocyanate
leak from the Union Carbide pesticide plant
Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India 2,259 (immediately)
An estimated 25,000 are believed to have died since from the exposure
1942 04/26 A coal dust and gas explosion in a mine Benxihu Colliery, Benxi Liaoning, China 1,549
1986 04/26 Explosion during an unauthorized test at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant Pripyat, Ukraine 50 due to radiation
3,940 due to radiation induced cancer and leukemia
1947 04/16 Fire near 2,300 tons of ammonium nitrate on S.S. Grandcamp causes explosion Port of Texas City, Texas, USA 581
1921 9/21 Explosion at fertilizer silo at a BASF plant Oppau, Germany 500-600 dead, 2000 injured
1984 11/19 Explosions at a Liquid Petroleum Gas tank farm San Juanico, Mexico 500 dead, thousands injured
1906 03/10 Coal dust explosion Courrieres, France 1,099
1976 07/10 ICMESA, a chemical manufacturing plant, releases dioxins (TCDD) Seveso, Italy 3,300 farm animals
80,000 animals are later slaughtered, around 200 people suffer symptoms of exposure
2015 08/12 Explosions at a storage station in the Port of Tianjin Binhai, Tianjin, China 173
1944 7/17 Munitions stores explode at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine Port Chicago, California, USA 320
2018 7/23 A hydroelectric dam collapses during construction, causing massive flooding Champasak Province, Laos 40 dead, 100 missing, 6,600 displaced

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