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Worst United States Disasters
As with many countries, the United States has had their unfortunate disasters over the past 200+ years.  Listed below are the major disasters which occurred somewhere in the United States.

Disasters

Aircraft Avalanche Blizzards Droughts Earthquakes
Epidemics Fire/Explosion Floods/Dam Forest Fires Hurricanes
Mines Nuclear Oil Spills Shipwrecks Terrorists
Tornadoes Train Wrecks Miscellaneous Disasters  

 

Aircraft

1925
Sep 3, Caldwell OH: U.S. Shenandoah, a dirigible, separated into numerous pieces; 14 people killed.
1933
Apr 4, NJ: U.S. Akron, a dirigible, crashed; killed 73.
1937
May 6, Lakehurst NJ: The German Hindenburg, a zeppelin, exploded and  destroyed by fire at tower mooring; 36 killed.
1945
Jul 28, New York City NY: U.S. Army bomber B-25 crashed into the Empire State Building; 13 dead.
1956
Jun 30, Grand Canyon AZ:  A TWA Super Constellation and United Airlines DC-7 crashed into each other over the Painted Desert, Total of 128 passengers and crew from both aircraft died.
1960
Dec 16, New York City NY: United DC-8 and Trans World Super Constellation hit mid air and then crashed in two boroughs.  Total 134 killed in the air and on ground.
1970
Nov 14, Huntington, WV: Chartered Southern Airways DC-9 crashed and burned on final approach to Tri-State Airport.  Total of 75 dead, including the entire Marshall University football team.
1971
Sep 4, proximity Juneau AK: Alaskan Airlines Boeing 727 flew into the Chilkoot Mountains.  Total of 109 killed.
1972
Dec 30, Miami FL: Eastern Airlines Lockheed 1011 TriStar jumbo jet, Flight 401, went down in the Everglades. Total of 101 killed, 75 survived.
1978
Sep 25, San Diego CA: Pacific Southwest plane had a midair collision with a  Cessna. Total died 144, 135 on airliner, 2 in Cessna, and 7 on ground.
1979
May 25, Chicago IL: American Airlines DC-10 upon take off lost left engine and crashed.  Total killed was 272 people aboard and 3 on the ground.  The worst U.S. single plane air disaster to date.
1987
Aug 16, Romulus, MI Northwest Airlines McDonnell Douglas MD-80 shortly after takeoff collided into a highway.  Total killed 156 which includes 2 person on the ground.  Only survivor, a 4 year old girl.
1989
Jul 19, Sioux City IO: United Airlines DC-10 suffered emergency during landing, 296 persons onboard.  Total killed was 111, 172 injured and 13 people 13 escaped unharmed.
1996
May 11, Everglades FL: ValuJet DC-9 crashed into a swamp.  Total killed was 110.  Cause of fire was a cargo fire resulting from oxygen generators missing safety caps.
July 17, proximity Long Island NY: TWA Boeing 747-100, Flight 800, exploded over the waters of eastern Long Island. Total killed was all 230 aboard.
2001
Sep 11, New York City NY, Arlington VA, and Shanksville PA:  During the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Total dead and missing are 2,992: of which 2,749 in New York City, 184 at the Pentagon, 40 in Pennsylvania, plus the 19 hijackers.
Nov 12, Queens, N. Y.: American Airlines Airbus A-300 collided into residential neighborhood. Total killed were all 260 people aboard and 5 on the ground.

 

Avalanche
(Return to Top Of Page)

 
1910
Mar 1, Wellington WA: Two trains in Stevens Pass in the Cascade Range were knocked off the tracks and fell 150 feet into a canyon.  Total killed were 96.

 

Blizzards
(Return to Top Of Page)

1888
Jan 12, Dakota & Montana territories, MN, NE, KS, and TX: The famous "Schoolchildren's Blizzard” which killed 235 children on their way home from school.
March 11–14, East Coast US: The "Blizzard of 1888” saw as high as 5 feet of snow killed 400. Property damage was estimated at $20 million.
1949
Jan 2–4, NE, WY, SD, UT, CO, and NV: One of a series of winter storms between Jan 1 and Feb 22. which caused snow drifts as high as 30 feet, interesting since the snow fall was only 12-30 inches.  Wind speeds up to 72 mph was the cause of thousands of cattle and sheep dieing.
1950
Nov 25–27, eastern US: The "Storm of the Century”  saw hurricane force winds raging across 22 states.  Killed 383 people and the damages were estimated at $70 million.
1977
Jan 28–29, Buffalo NY: The "Blizzard of 1977” was a 7 inch new snow storm to an already base of 30–35 inch snow on the ground.  Adding the winds gusting to 70 mph, the drifts were as 30+ feet high. Total killed were 29.
1978
Feb 6–8, eastern US: The "Blizzard of 1978”  hit the East Coast, mostly in the Northeast.  Total killed were 54 and the snow caused $1 billion in damage.  Average new snowfall ranged from 2–4 feet, plus the approximate 1.5 feet already on the ground. 
1993
Mar 12–14, eastern US: The "Superstorm”  nearly stopped the entire eastern seaboard.  Total killed were 270.  The record snowfalls and high winds were the cause of $3-$6 billion in damages.
1996
Jan 6–8, eastern US:  Unusual heavy snow blanketed the Appalachians, the mid-Atlantic, and the Northeast. Total of 187 were killed and damages were approximately $3 billion.

 

Droughts
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1930s
Many states:  The longest drought of the 20th century.  The most severe years were 1930, 1934, 1936, 1939, and 1940. Dry regions stretched solidly from NY and PA across the Great Plains to the CA coast.  This was the great “dust bowl” which covered approximately 50 million acres in the south-central plains during the winter of 1935–1936.
1955
Aug 31–Sep 7, Los Angeles CA:  Temperatures reached 100°-plus for 8-days straight, resulting in killing 946.
1972
Jul 14–26, New York City NY:  An unusual heat wave lasting 14 days killed 891 people.
1980
Jun–Sep, central and eastern US:  During an unusual summer heat wave and drought, an estimated 10,000 people were killed and damages reached $20 billion.
1988
Summer, central and eastern US:  Abnormal heat wave and drought killed an estimated 5,000–10,000 people, and damages were approximately $40 billion.
1995
Jul 12–17, Chicago IL:  Record heat wave killed 739 people.
1996
Fall 1995–summer 1996, TX & OK: s Throughout the southern plains region a drought caused approximately $4 billion in agricultural losses and no deaths.
1998
Summer, southern US:  Extreme drought and heat wave swept TX, OK and to the east coast, NC and SC.  Total of 200 killed and approximately $6-$9 billion in damages.
1999
Summer, eastern US:  The worst drought on record for MD, DE, NJ, and RI.  The record head killed 502 people nationwide.
2000
Spring–summer, southern US:  A heat wave and drought killed 140 people and damages were approximately $4 billion.

 

Earthquakes
(Return to Top Of Page)

1811
Dec 16, Mississippi Valley - New Madrid MO:  A violent earthquake reversed the course of the Mississippi River.  The aftershocks and tremors continued into 1812, from the original three earthquakes which were 8.6, 8.4 and 8.8 on the Richter scale.  This is the largest series of earthquakes known to have occurred in North America.
1886
Aug 31, Charleston SC:  An earthquake of 7.7 on the Richter scale killed 60 people and generated extensive damage throughout the city.
1906
Apr 18, San Francisco CA:  A combination earthquake and multiple fires throughout the city devastated more than 4 square miles while killing 500+.
1933
Mar 10, Long Beach CA:  A freak earthquake killed 117.
1964
Mar 28, Alaska:  A devastating 9.2 on the Richter scale hit 80 miles east of Anchorage, thus being the most violent single earthquake in North America.  Total killed were 117 and the tsunami of 50 feet tall traveled 8,445 miles away at a speed of 450 mph.
1989
Oct 17, proximity San Francisco Bay CA:  An earthquake of 7.1 on the Richter scale killed 67 and injured over 3,000.  Total of 100,000+ buildings were damaged or destroyed and damages estimated in billions of dollars.
1993
Aug 8, Guam (US Territory):  A violent earthquake of 8.1 on the Richter scale caused severe damage to many structures, approximately $300 million, no deaths recorded.
1994
Jan 17, San Fernando Valley CA:  With damages estimated in the $13-$20 billion range, this earthquake was a 6.6 on the Richter scale and killed 61 people and injured 8,000+.

 

Epidemics
(Return to Top Of Page)

1793
Philadelphia PA: Yellow fever is to blame for the 4,000+ residents dieing.
1832
Jul–Aug, New York City NY:  A cholera epidemic killed 3,000+ people.
Oct, New Orleans LA:  Cholera killed 4,340 people.
1848
New York City NY:  Cholera killed 5,000+ people.
1853
New Orleans LA:  Yellow fever killed 7,790 people.
1867
New Orleans LA:  Yellow fever killed 3,093 people.
1878
Southern States:  Yellow fever killed more than 13,000 people throughout the lower Mississippi Valley.
1916
Nationwide:  Polio epidemic was the worst in American history, 7,000+ deaths and 27,363 cases were reported.
1918
Mar–Nov, nationwide:  Spanish influenza killed 500,000+ people, worst single U.S. epidemic.
1949
Nationwide:  Polio outbreak which killed 2,720 and 42,173 cases were reported.
1952
Nationwide: Polio outbreak which killed 3,300; and 57,628 cases reported.
1981-To Date:
AIDS, total estimated U.S. AIDS cases: 886,575; total estimated AIDS deaths: 501,669. Year 2003 was total world AIDS deaths of 20 million.
 

Fires & Explosions
(Return to Top Of Page)

1835
Dec 16, New York City NY:  Various buildings 530 were destroyed by fire.
1871
Oct 8, Chicago IL:  The famous “Chicago Fire” killed 250 people and destroyed 17,450 buildings, approximate damage estimated at $196 million.
1872
Nov 9, Boston MA:  Massive fire destroyed 800 buildings; approximate damage estimated at $75 million.
1876
Dec 5, New York City NY:  Brooklyn Theater fire killed 300+.
1900
May 1, Scofield UT:  Coal Mine explosion of blasting powder killed 200.
1900
Jun 30, Hoboken NJ:  The piers surrounding the North German Lloyd Steamship line burned, killed 326.
1903
Dec 30, Chicago IL:  The Iroquois Theatre fire killed 602.
1904
Feb 7, Baltimore MD:  Downtown Baltimore was a blaze, with 1,500+ buildings destroyed and damages over $150 million.  No casualties.
1907
Dec 6, Monongah WV:  Explosion within a coal mine killed 362.
Dec 19, Jacobs Creek PA: Explosion within a coal mine killed 239.
1908
Jan 13, Boyertown PA:  The Rhoads Opera House fire killed 170 people.
Mar 4, Collinwood OH:  The Collinwood school fire killed 176. (This fire was the reason fire codes for schools were revised.
1909
Nov 13, Cherry IL:  Coal mine explosion killed 259.
1911
Mar 25, New York City NY:  The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire killed 145.
1913
Oct 22, Dawson NM:  Coal mine explosion killed 263.
1917
Apr 10, Eddystone PA:  An munitions plant explosion killed 133.
1930
Apr 21, Columbus OH:   The Ohio State Penitentiary fire killed 320 convicts.
1937
Mar 18, New London TX:   An explosion destroyed a schoolhouse and killed 294.
1942
Nov 28, Boston MA:  The Coconut Grove nightclub fire killed 491.
1944
Jul 6, Hartford CT:   The Ringling Brothers Circus fire and stampede in the main tent killed 168 and injured 487.
Jul 17, Port Chicago CA:  An ammunition ship exploded and killed 322.
Oct 20, Cleveland OH:   Liquid-gas tanks exploded and killed 130.
1946
Dec 7, Atlanta GA:  The Winecoff Hotel fire killed 119.
1947
Apr 16–18, Texas City TX:  Fire and subsequent explosions on the French freighter Grandcamp, which was carrying a cargo of ammonium nitrate, nearly eliminated the entire city.  Total killed were 516 and 3,000+ injured.
1954
May 26, proximity Quonset Point RI:  The aircraft carrier Bennington explosion and fire killed 103 crewmen.
1958
Dec 1, Chicago IL:   The Our Lady of Angels, a Roman Catholic grade school, fire killed 90 students and 3 nuns.
1969
Jan 14, Pearl Harbor HA:  The nuclear aircraft carrier Enterprise exploded and killed 27 dead, 82 injured.
1977
May 28, Southgate KY:  The Beverly Hills Supper Club fire killed 167.
1986
Dec 31, San Juan, PR (US Territory):   The Dupont Plaza Hotel fire killed 96.
1989
Oct 23, Pasadena TX:  Explosion and fires raged through the Phillips Petroleum Co. plastics manufacturing plant and killed 22, injured 80+ people.
1990
Mar 25, New York City NY:  The Happy Land Social Club, in the Bronx, arson fire killed 87.
2003
Feb 20, West Warwick RI:  During a pyrotechnics display at a rock concert, the nightclub, The Station, engulfed in fire and killed 100 and injured 150+.

 

Floods / Dam Collapses
(Return to Top Of Page)

1889
May 31, Johnstown PA:   The South Fork Dam collapsed and killed 2,200+.
1928
Mar 12, Bardsdale, Castaic Junction, El Rio, Fillmore, Montalvo, Newhall, Piru, Santa Paula, Saticoy, Ventura, CA:  The St. Francis Dam collapsed and killed 450+.
1969
Jan 18–26, southern CA:  Numerous floods and mudslides from heavy rains killed 100 and caused widespread property damage.  Additional damage occurred with the Feb 23-26 rain which killed 18 more people. 
1972
Feb 26, Man WV:  A slag-pile dam collapsed under pressure of torrential rains and flooded 17-mile valley, killing 118.
Jun 9–10, Rapid City SD:  A flash flood killed 237 and caused damages of $160 million.
1976
Aug 1, Loveland CO:  The flash flood along Route 34 in Big Thompson Canyon killed 139.
1993
Jun–Aug, IL, IO, KA, KY, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI:  Mississippi River and tributaries flooded after two months of heavy rains, killing 50, left  70,000 homeless and damages of approximately $12 billion.
1997
Dec 1996–Jan 1997, CA, OR, WA, ID, NV, MT:  Severe floods for snowmelt and heavy rains killed 36 and damaged approximately $2–3 billion.
Mar, AR, MO, MS, TN, IL, IN, KY, OH, WV:   Floods and tornadoes accounted for the killing of 67 people and damages totaled $1 billion.
Apr, ND, SD, MN.:  The Red River swelled 13 feet above flood level causing floods at Grand Forks, ND and killed 11.

 

Forest Fires
(Return to Top Of Page)

1871
Oct 8–14, Peshtigo WI:  Over 3.8 million acres burned in nation's worst forest fire, killed 1,500.
1889
Jun 6, Seattle WA:  A forest fire destroyed 64 acres of the city, killing 2, and damages of $15 million.
1894
Sep 1, MN:  A series of forest fires engulfed 160,000+ acres, destroying 6 towns, killing 600.
1902
Sep, WA and OR:  The Yacoult fire destroyed 1 million acres and killed 38.
1910
Aug 10, ID and MT Series of fires burned 3 million acres of woods killing 85.
1918
Oct 13–15, MN and WI:  A massive forest fire struck several towns in both states killing 1,000 and causing $1 million in damages.
1947
Oct 25–27, ME:  A 205,678 acre forest fire engulfed part of Bar Harbor and damaged Acadia National Park, killing 16.
1956
Nov 25, CA:  The Cleveland National Forest fire destroyed 40,000 acres and killed 11.
1970
Sept 26, Laguna CA:  A brush fire burned 175,425 acres and damaged 382 structures.
1988
Aug–Sep, western US:  Numerous forest fires destroyed 1.2+ million acres in Yellowstone National Park and Alaska woodlands.
1990
Jun, Santa Barbara CA: Over 4,900 acres and 641 structures destroyed in the Painted Cave fire.
1991
Oct 20–23, Oakland–Berkeley CA: over 3,000 homes and apartments, killed 24 and damage was estimated at $1.5 billion for the brush fire.
1994
Jul 2–11, South Canyon CO:  Only 2,000 acres were a blaze, but 14 firefighters died. 
2000
Apr–May, northern NM: National Park Service set a control fire, but raged out of control destroying 47,000 acres, 235 structures and forcing evacuation of more than 20,000 people.
Summer, AK, CA, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR, TX, UT, WA, and WY: as of Multi state fires devastated nearly 6.5 million acres. 
Spring–Summer, AK, ID, MT, NM, NV, and OR:  These forest fires comprise the most destructive fires in US history, burning approximately 7.2 million acres. 
2002
Jun–early Jul, mainly western US:  The Hayman fire in Pike National Forest destroyed 600 structures, 137,760 acres and making it the worst wildfire in Colorado history.  Simultaneously the 85,000-acre Rodeo fire, which had already been declared the worst in Arizona's history eventually merged with the Chediski fire, therefore, 400 more structures were lost and an additional 468,638 acres.
2003
Oct 25–29, southern CA:  15For two weeks, 15 firs burned, primarily in San Diego County, Ventura County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County. These fire burnt more than 800,000 acres, killed 24 and destroyed 3,640 homes.   The largest fire in California's history was the Cedar Fire in San Diego, it burned 200,000 acres.
2004
Jul–Aug, AK: The worst Alaska fire, burned more than 5 million acres.

 

Hurricanes
(Return to Top Of Page)

1776
Sep 2–9, NC to Nova Scotia:  Approximately 4,170 US and Canadian people died in this freak hurricane, called the “Hurricane of Independence.”
1856
Aug 11, Last Island LA:  Total of 400 killed.
1893
Aug 28, Savannah GA, Charleston SC, Sea Islands SC:  Over 1,000 people died.
1900
Sep 8, Galveston TX:  Between 6,000–8,000 were killed from the hurricane and the tidal surge.  Named the “Galveston Hurricane,” this is considered the deadliest in US history.
1909
Sep 10–21, LA and MS:  Total killed was 350.
1915
Aug 5–23, Galveston TX, and New Orleans LA: Total of 275 killed.
1919
Sep 2–15, FL keys, LA, and southern TX:  Over 600 people killed, included people lost on ships at sea. 
 
1926
Sep 11–22, southeast FL and AL: Total killed was 243.
1928
Sep 6–20, Lake Okeechobee, southeast FL: Total of 1,836 killed, thus making this the second-deadliest US hurricane on record.
1935
Aug 29–Sept. 10, FL Keys:  Named the “Labor Day Hurricane,” this disaster claimed the lives of 408 persons.
1938
Sep 10–22, Long Island NY, and southern New England:  Total of 600 people died in what was called the “New England Hurricane.”
1944
Sep 9–16, NC to New England:  Total of 390 killed, 46 were on land, 344 ocean deaths.
1947
Sep 4–21, southeast FL, LA, MS, AL: Total of 51 killed.
1954
Aug 25–31, NC to New England:  Killed 60 in Long Island / New England area and was called the “Carol.”
Oct 5–18, SC to NY:  This hurricane was called “Hazel” and it killed 95 in US and 78 in Canada.
1955
Aug 7–21, NC to New England:  Named “Diane,” this hurricane destroyed over $8.3 million and killed 184.
1957
Jun 25–28, southwest LA and northern TX:  Almost completely destroying Cameron LA, “Audrey” killed 390.
1960
Aug 29–Sep 13, FL to New England:  This destructive hurricane called “Donna” killed 50 US citizens and several others.
1961
Sep 3–15, TX:  Raging through Texas gulf cities, “Carla” killed 46.
1965
Aug 27–Sep 12, southern FL and LA:  Killing 75 and destroying more than $1.4 billion, “Betsy” was a devastating two week ordeal.
1969
Aug 14–22, MS, LA, AL, VA, and WV:  The hurricane called  “Camille” killed 256 and damages of approximately $6.9 billion.
1972
Jun 14–23, northwest FL to NY:  With damages over $8.6 billion, “Agnes” killed 117 (50 in PA). The worst natural disaster ever in PA history.
1979
Aug 25–Sep 7, Caribbean to New England:  Killing 5 US citizens, this disaster rained terror throughout the Caribbean, killing 1,200 in the Dominican Republic.
Aug 29–Sep 15, AL and MS:  Nearly wiping out Mobile AL, “Frederic” created $4.9 billion in damages.
1980
Aug 3–10, Caribbean to TX Gulf:  Killing 28 US citizens, “Allen” also killed 200+ in Caribbean.
1983
Aug 15–21, Galveston and Houston TX: Killing 21 and causing $3.4 billion in damages, “Alicia” was a devastating hurricane. 
 
1985
Oct 6–Nov 1:  Killing 63 and damaging $2.4 billion in property, “Juan” attacked the  Southeast and mainly LA.  Thankfully this was only a category 1 hurricane.
 
1989
Sep 10–22, Caribbean Sea, SC, and NC:  Killing 86, “Hugo” damaged over $9.7 billion and is the second most expensive hurricane in US history.
1991
Oct 30–Nov 1, Eastern Atlantic seaboard: This un-named hurricane has been nicknamed the “perfect storm” caused extensive erosion and flooding along the Atlantic seaboard and created 39-foot waves.
1992
Aug 22–26, Bahamas, southern FL and LA:  The most costly U.S. hurricane, “Andrew” killed 26, destroyed 100,000+ homes and damages estimated at $34.9 billion.
1994
Nov 8–21, Caribbean and southern FL:  Killing 8 US citizens, “Gordon” also killed an estimated 1,122 in Haiti.
1995
Nov 29, FL panhandle and AL:  Killing 9 and damaging over $3.5 billion, this storm was part of the hurricane called “Opal.”
1996
Sep 5, NC and VA:  Killing 37 people, "Fran” caused $3.6 billion in damages.
1999
Sep 14–18, Bahamas to New England:  Killing 57 people, “Floyd” was a devastating hurricane coupled with the unusual flooding caused $4.6 billion in damages.
2001
Jun 8–15, Gulf Coast to southern New England:  A tropical storm called  “Allison” killed 41 and realized damages of $5 billion.
 
2003
Sep 18, NC and VA:  Killing 50, “Isabel” caused $3.7+ billion in damages.
2004
Aug 13–Sep 26, FL AL, and southern US:  During a 6 week period, four major hurricanes hit Florida.
Aug 13, “Charley,” a category 4 hurricane killed 34
Sep 5, “Frances” killed 38.
Sep 16, “Ivan” killed 52 in the US, 66 in the Caribbean.
Sep 26, “Jeanne” killed 28.
Total US damages from the 4 hurricanes are very speculative, some experts say it could be as high as $40 billion.

 

Mine
(Return to Top Of Page)

1907
Dec 6, Monongah, WV:  An explosion within a coal mine killed 362.

 

 

Nuclear Power Plant Accidents
(Return to Top Of Page)

1979
Mar 28, Three Mile Island, proximity Harrisburg PA:  Over heating and partial meltdown of the uranium core of one of two reactors was blamed on a loss of coolants.  Some radioactive gases and water were released.

 

Oil Spills
(Return to Top Of Page)

1976
Dec 15, Buzzards Bay MA:  The 7.7 million gallons of fuel oil tanker Argo Merchant ran aground and broke apart southeast of Nantucket Island dispersing the entire cargo into the ocean.
1989
Mar 24, Prince William Sound AK:  The 10+ million gallons oil from the tanker Exxon Valdez spilled into the ocean after hitting an undersea reef and thus creating the worst oil spill in U.S. history.
1990
Jun 8, off Galveston TX:   Spilling  5.1 million gallons of oil, the tanker Mega Borg, suffered an explosion and fire in their pump room, thus causing this disaster approximately 60 miles from shore. 
 
1993
Aug 10, Tampa Bay FL:  The barge Bouchard B155, the freighter Balsa 37, and the barge Ocean 255 collided and the Bouchard spilled approximately 336,000 gallons of No. 6 fuel oil into Tampa Bay.
2000
Nov 28, Mississippi River south of New Orleans LA:  Near Port Sulphur, LA and oil tanker Westchester lost power and ran aground spilling 567,000 gallons of crude oil into lower Mississippi.  This was the second largest disaster in U.S. waters since Exxon Valdez in March 1989.

 

Shipwrecks Since 1850
(Major Shipwrecks occurring near US Coastlines)

(Return to Top Of Page)

1865
Apr 27, "Sultana":   During a boiler explosion on this Mississippi River steamboat 1,547 were killed.  This disaster occurred near Memphis.
1898
Feb 15, "Maine":   This incident led to the outbreak of the Spanish-American War in April 1898. It all started when the US battleship Maine was destroyed in Havana harbor by an explosion that killed 260.
Nov 26, City of Portland:  Near Cape Cod this ship went down killing 157.
1904
Jun 15, "General Slocum":  Killing 1,021, this excursion steamer burned in East River, NY.
1914
May 29, "Empress of Ireland":  Because of a collision in St. Lawrence River; this shipwreck took the lives of 1,024.
1915
Jul 24, "Eastland":  While heading down the Chicago River, this Great Lakes excursion steamer overturned killing 812.
1928
Nov. 12, "Vestris":  During a gale off the coast of VA, this British steamer sank killing 110.
1934
Sep 8, "Morro Castle":  Near Asbury Park, NJ, a caused the death of 34.
1939
May 23, "Squalus":  Off the coast of Hampton Beach, NH this submarine sank killing 26.
1956
Jul 25, "Andrea Doria":  Killing 52, this Italian liner collided with Swedish liner Stockholm near Nantucket Island, MA.
1963
Apr 10, "Thresher":  In the North Atlantic, this atomic-powered US submarine sank killing 129.
1975
Nov 10, "Edmund Fitzgerald":  Sinking off the eastern coastline of Lake Superior this cargo vessel carrying 26,000 long tons of iron ore pellets sank killing 29.
1976
Oct 20, "George Prince":  Near Luling, LA, a Mississippi River ferry collided by a Norwegian tanker Frosta killing 77.

 

Terrorist Attacks
(within the United States)
(Return to Top Of Page)

1920
Sep 16, New York City NY:  On Wall Street opposite House of Morgan a TNT bomb was planted in unattended horse-drawn wagon, killed 35.  Crime was never solved, but Bolshevist or anarchist terrorists believed responsible.
1975
Jan 24, New York City NY:  Fraunces Tavern was the site of bomb explosion killing 4 and injuring 50+.  The Puerto Rican nationalist group (FALN) claimed responsibility.
 
1993
Feb 26, New York City NY:  World Trade Center explosion killed 6 and injuring 1,040+ others.  Militant Islamist Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and 9 others were convicted of conspiracy charges.  In 1998, Ramzi Yousef, accused of masterminding the bombing, was convicted. The Islamic Al-Qaeda involvement was suspected.
1995
Apr 19, Oklahoma City OK:  Federal office building was the site of a car bomb which collapsed walls and floors.  Total killed was 168, and 220+ buildings were damage. Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols convicted.
2001
Sep 11, New York City NY, Arlington VA, and Shanksville PA.:  Two commercial jets crash into the twin towers of World Trade Center; while two more hijacked jets were crashing into the Pentagon and a rural area of PA.  Total estimated killed, 2,992, 2,749 in New York City, 184 at the Pentagon, 40 in PA., and 19 hijackers.  The Islamic Al-Qaeda terrorist group blamed.

 

Tornadoes within U.S.
(Return to Top Of Page)

1840
May 6, Natchez MS:  Killing 317and injuring over 1,000, this tornado hit the heart of the city.
1880
Apr 18, Marshfield MO:  An unusual series of 24 tornadoes destroyed the city and killed 99.
1884
Feb 19, MS, AL, NC, SC, TN, KY, IN:  More than 60 tornadoes killed approximately 800.
1890
Mar 27, Louisville KY:  Killing 76, a twister hit the city.
1896
May 27, eastern MO and southern IL:  St Louis, MO, was most seriously hit when the series of 18 tornadoes raged the countryside killing 255.
1899
Jun 12, New Richmond WI:  Striking the city, this tornado killed 117.
1902
May 18, Goliad TX: A ravage tornado was responsible for killing 114.
1903
Jun 1, Gainesville / Holland GA:  A major twister was responsible for killing 98.
1905
May 10, Snyder OK: A major tornado killed 97.
1908
Apr 24–25, LA, MS, AL, GA:  A series of 18 tornadoes caused 310 deaths, 143 of these casualties was done by 1 tornado that went from Amite, LA., to Purvis, MS.
Apr 24, Natchez MS:  A major twister hit the city and killed 91.
1913
Mar 23, eastern NE and western IO:  A group of 8 tornadoes killed 181, all this occurred on Easter Sunday.
1917
May 26, Mattoon IL:  A fierce tornado ravaged the city killing 101.
1920
Apr 20, Starkville MS; Waco AL:  This tornado was responsible for killing 88.
1924
Jun 28, Lorain / Sandusky Ohio:  These two cities saw a tornado damage and kill 85.
1925
Mar 18, MO, IL, IN:  Total killed was 689 and 2,000+ injured in the “Tri-State Tornado” which was the most violent single twister in U.S. history. Damage was estimated at $16.5 million.
1927
May 9, Poplar Bluff MO:  Killing 98 this twister ravaged the city.
Sep 29, St. Louis MO:  Lasting five-minutes, this tornado destroyed a path through the city and killed 79.
1932
Mar 21–22, AL, MS, GA, TN:  A series of 33 tornadoes killed 334, 268 in Alabama.
1936
Apr 5–6, Tupelo MS and Gainesville GA: A series of 17 tornadoes killed 216 in MS, and 203 in GA.
1944
Jun 23, WV, PA, MD: A series of 4 tornadoes killed 153.
1947
Apr 9, Woodward OK:  Tornado hit the town killed 181.
1952
Mar 21–22, AR and TN:  A series of 28 tornadoes killed 204.
1953
May 11, Waco TX:  One tornado killed 114.
Jun 8, Flint MI:  One tornado killed 116.
Jun 9, Worcester MA:  One tornado killed 90.
1955
May 25, Udall KS:  Tornado hitting the city killed 80.
1965
Apr 11–12, IO, IL, IN, OH, MI, and WI:  A series of tornadoes killed 256.
1967
April 21, northern Ill., also Mo., Iowa, lower Mich.: series of 52 tornadoes caused 58 deaths.
1971
Feb 21, MS, LA, AR, TN:  A series of 10 tornadoes killed 121.
1974
Apr 3–4, East, South, and Midwest:  Within 16 hours a series of 148 twisters, “Super Tornado Outbreak,” killed 330 and injured 5,484 in 13 states.
1979
Apr 10, northern TX and southern OK:  A series of 11 tornadoes killed 59.
1984
Mar 28, NC and SC:  A series of 22 tornadoes killed 57.
1985
May 31, PA and OH:  A series of 27 tornadoes killed 756 and damage was estimated at $450 million.
1990
Aug 28, northern IL:  One tornado hit the southwest suburbs of Chicago,  killing 29 and injuring 300+.
1992
Nov 21–23, southeast TX to Mid-Atlantic and Ohio Valley:  A series of 94 tornadoes killed 26 deaths and damages were estimated at $291 million.
1994
Mar 27, AL, GA, and NC:  A series of tornadoes killed 42, 320 injured and approximately $107 million in damage.
1997
May 27, central TX:  A series of tornadoes, killed 29 and damaged approximately $20 million.
1999
Jan 17–22, TN. and AR: A series of tornadoes killed 17 and damages were approximately $1.3 billion.
May 3, OK and KS:  One tornado, estimated to be a mile wide at times killed 44 and injured 748+ others in Okla.  Another tornado in KS killed 5 and injured 150+.  Total damages estimated at $1+ billion.
2000
Feb 14, southwest GA:  A series of  5 tornadoes killed 19 people and injured  100+.
2002
Nov 9–11, central and southeast US:   A series of 70+ tornadoes killed 36, from 9 different states.
2003
May 1–10, southern and mid western US:  Over 400 tornadoes in 10 days killed 42.

 

Train Wrecks
(Train Wrecks prior to 1825 had few casualties, train speed were very slow.)
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1831
June 17, proximity Charleston SC:  America's first passenger locomotive, The Best Friend of Charleston, had a boiler explode an injured the fireman and the engineer.
1833
Nov 8, proximity Heightstown NJ:  The world's first train wreck and first passenger fatalities recorded when a 24-passenger Camden & Amboy train derailed killing 2.
1853
May 6, Norwalk CN:  This was the first major drawbridge accident in US when a New Haven Railroad train ran through an open drawbridge killing 46.
1856
Jul 17, Camp Hill proximity Ft. Washington PA:  Approximately 50–60 people were killed when two Northern Penn trains collided head-on.
1876
Dec 29, Ashtabula OH:  The bridge collapsed while the Lake Shore train was crossing the Ashtabula River, killed 92.
1887
Aug 10, proximity Chatsworth IL:  A burning railroad trestle collapsed when the Toledo, Peoria & Western train was crossing, killed 81 and injuried 372.
1904
Aug 7, Eden CO:  A flash flood destroyed a bride and derailed the train, killing 96.
1910
Mar 1, Wellington WA:  Because of an avalanche, two trains were knocked off their tracks into canyon killing 96.
1918
Jul 9, Nashville TN:  A 2-train collision killed 101.
Nov 1, New York City NY:  A subway train in the Malbone St. tunnel in Brooklyn derailed killing 92.
1943
Dec 16, proximity Rennert NC:  Two Atlantic Coast Line trains crashed and derailed, killing 72.
1950
Nov 22, Richmond Hill NY:  A Long Island Railroad commuter train collided into rear of another train killing 79.
1951
Feb 6, Woodbridge NJ:  A Pennsylvania Railroad commuter train fell through a temporary overpass killing 85.
1993
Sep 22, proximity Mobile AL:  An Amtrak train, Sunset Limited, derailed on a bridge and fell into the Big Bayou Canot, killing 47.

 

Miscellaneous Disasters
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1981
Jul 18, Kansas City MO:  At a Hyatt Regency Hotel a suspended walkway collapsed killing 113 dead and injuring 186.
1982
Sep 29–Oct 1:  Extra-Strength Tylenol capsules laced with cyanide killed 7 in the Chicago area.  Over 31million bottles of Tylenol were eventually taken off the market, however the murderer was never caught.
1991
Nov 29, proximity Coalinga CA:  During a severe dust storm, a massive traffic accident involved 104 vehicles on Interstate 5, killing 17.
1993
Apr 19, Waco TX:  Federal agents and members of Christian Branch Davidian cult created a 51-day standoff.  Ultimately, about 80 Branch Davidians were killed when their compound burned to the ground in a suspicious blaze.
 

 


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