May 2002 Disasters

Updated September 9, 2022 | Infoplease Staff
  • May, southern India: Brutal heat wave, particularly in Andhra Pradesh State, left more than 600 dead nationwide.
  • May 2–5, southern W. Va. and southwest Va.: Storm system moving through Appalachian region dumped some 6 in. of rain in 4 just hours, causing major landslides and flooding. At least a dozen people died and nearly 2,000 homes and businesses were destroyed. The same region also suffered devastating floods in May and July of 2001.
  • May 3, Meghna River, southern Bangladesh: Overloaded ferry, Salahuddin 2, capsized in an storm about 100 mi south of Dhaka. Officials estimated that as many as 300 people may have drowned.
  • May 4, Kano, Nigeria: EAS Airline BAC 1–11 bound for Lagos ploughed into a poor, densely populated suburb of Kano shortly after takeoff, killing 148. The dead included all 76 people aboard the plane and dozens more on the ground.
  • May 7, Dalian Bay, northeast China: China Northern Airlines jet crashed into the bay shortly after the captain reported a fire in the cabin. The plane, which was an MD-82, had departed from Beijing with 103 passengers and 9 crew aboard; none survived.
  • May 25, Muamba, Mozambique: 192 people died and 169 more were injured when the passenger cars of a train rolled for several miles at top speed into the freight cars from which it had been disconnected because of mechanical problems. The accident occurred on the main rail line between Maputo, the capital, and Ressano Garcia, a popular weekend spot on the border of South Africa.
  • May 25, nr. Pescadores (islands) off western Taiwan: China Airlines Boeing 747, bound for Hong Kong with 225 people aboard, broke apart in midair and plunged into the sea 20 minutes after takeoff from Taipei. There were no survivors.
  • May 26, Webbers Falls, Okla.: A 500-foot section of a bridge along Interstate 40 collapsed, plunging ten cars and trucks into the Arkansas River below and leaving 14 people dead. The collapse occurred after a towboat slammed into the bridge.

See also Major Earthquakes Around the World 2002

See also Recent Volcanic Activity

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