Throughout history, humans have always been prone to accidents. Here we list the top 10 most expensive accidents in human history. The greatest cost of accidents is injury and death. Human life is beyond monetary value. But property losses can also be devastating and crippling to a business. What are the 10 most expensive accidents in world history, in terms of property loss and measured in dollars? Take a look.
- 10. Sinking of The Titanic, 1912 ($150 Million).
- 9. Tanker Truck Explodes on Wiehltal Bridge, 2004 ($358 Million).
- 8. Chatsworth Train Collision, 2008 ($500 Million).
- 7. B-2 Bomber Crash, 2008 ($1.4 Billion).
- 6. Exxon Valdez oil spill, 1989 ($2.5 Billion).
- 5. Piper Alpha Oil Rig, 1988 ($3.4 Billion).
- 4. Space Shuttle Challenger Explosion, 1986 ($5.5 Billion).
- 3. Prestige Oil Spill, 2002 ($12 Billion).
- 2. Space Shuttle Columbia Explosion, 2003 ($13 Billion).
- 1. Chernobyl, 1986 ($200 Billion).
10. Sinking of The Titanic, 1912 ($150 Million).
Titanic is probably the most famous accident in the history. The Titanic sank on its maiden voyage from Southampton, UK to New York City, US, after colliding with an iceberg, on April 15, 1912. The sinking of Titanic caused the deaths of more than 1,500 people in one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in modern history. It is considered one of the most luxurious ocean carrier ever made. The Titanic cost $7 million to build. That’s $150 million in today’s dollars.
9. Tanker Truck Explodes on Wiehltal Bridge, 2004 ($358 Million).
On August 26, 2004, A tanker truck hauling 32,000 liters of fuel collides with a car on the Wiehltal Bridge in Germany. The truck crashes through the guardrail and falls 90 feet off the A4 Autobahn. The resulting explosion destroys the bridge. Temporary repairs cost $40 million and the cost to replace the bridge is estimated at $318 Million. This was by far the most expensive accident in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany.
8. Chatsworth Train Collision, 2008 ($500 Million).
The Chatsworth train collision occurred on September 12, 2008, when a Union Pacific freight train and a Metrolink commuter train collided head-on in the Chatsworth district of Los Angeles, California. It was one of the worst train crashes in California history, 25 people were killed. This incident occurred because the Metrolink train ignored a red signal while the conductor was busy receiving messaging. This fatal error made Mitrolink loss of about $500 million.
7. B-2 Bomber Crash, 2008 ($1.4 Billion).
One of the most expensive aviation accident ever. On 23 February 2008, B-2 Stealth bomber crashed on the runway shortly after takeoff from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. Investigators concluded that there is a mistake in the computer data system control. Suddenly the aircraft off the track, so It slip and hit the B-2. Miraculously the pilot survived. This was 1 of only 21 ever built and was the most expensive aviation accident in history.
6. Exxon Valdez oil spill, 1989 ($2.5 Billion).
The Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred in Prince William Sound, Alaska, on March 24, 1989. One of the giant tanker, Exxon Valdez sank and spilled 11 million gallons of oil and pollute the waters and spreaded until the Gulf of Alaska. It is considered to be one of the most devastating human-caused environmental disasters. Losses incurred very fantastic.The cleanup cost Exxon $2.5 billion.
5. Piper Alpha Oil Rig, 1988 ($3.4 Billion).
The Piper Alpha disaster off the coast of Aberdeen is the world’sdeadliest ever oil rig accident. At that time Piper Alpha Oil is the largest oil producer in the world because it can produce 317,000 barrels of oil per day. On July 6, 1988, as part of routine maintenance, technicians removed and checked safety valves which were essential in preventing dangerous build-up of liquid gas. There were 100 identical safety valves which were checked. Unfortunately, the technician made a mistake and forgot to replace one of them. At 10 pm on the same day, a technician began pressing the button to move the liquid and most expensive gas pumps in the world, and started that terrible accident. Within 2 hours, the 300 foot platform was engulfed in flames. It eventually collapsed, killing 167 workers and resulting in $3.4 Billion in damages.
4. Space Shuttle Challenger Explosion, 1986 ($5.5 Billion).
The Space Shuttle Challenger explosion occurred on January 28, 1986, when Space Shuttle Challenger (mission STS-51-L) broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, leading to the deaths of its seven crew members. The explosion occured because of a defect in O-ring. It failed to close one of the joints, which allows the outside air pressure in the gas causes the external tank for liquid hydrogen spill that caused a big disaster. The cost of replacing the Space Shuttle was $2 billion ($4.5 billion in today’s dollars). Cost of investigation, problem correction, and replacement of equipment lost $ 450 million cost 1986-1987 ($ 1 billion today).
3. Prestige Oil Spill, 2002 ($12 Billion).
The Prestige oil spill was an oil spill off the coast of Galicia caused by the sinking of an oil tanker. On November 13th, 2002, Prestige Oil Tanker ship carried 77,000 tonnes of fuel oil. One of twelve tankers sunk during a storm in Galicia, Spain. The Spanish, Portugese and French governments all refuse to let the damaged ship harbor. The tanker ultimately splits in half and dumps 20 million gallons of oil into the sea. According to a report by the Council of Pontevedra Economist, the total cost of cleaning up is around $ 12 billion.
2. Space Shuttle Columbia Explosion, 2003 ($13 Billion).
The Space Shuttle Columbia was the first space worthy shuttle in NASA’s orbital fleet. Columbia was destroyed in re-entry over Texas on February 1, 2003, by an explosion resulting from a hole in its wing that took place during launch 16 days earlier. All aboard are lost. Total cost of accidents (does not include replacement of a round-trip transportation) estimated 13 billion dollars according to the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronotika Sciences.
1. Chernobyl, 1986 ($200 Billion).
On April 26th, 1986, the world witnessed the most expensive accident in history. The Chernobyl disaster, widely considered to have been the worst nuclear power plant accident in history, and is one of the level 7 event (the maximum classification) on the International Nuclear Event Scale. The accident was officially attributed to power plant operators who violated plant procedures and were ignorant of the safety requirements needed.
Chernobyl accident was considered the greatest socio-economic catastrophe recorded history. 50% part of Ukraine is influenced and contaminated. 200,000 people should be evacuated and transferred, while 1.7 million people directly affected by the disaster. The death victims attributed to Chernobyl, including those who died from cancer after years and years, about 125,000. Nobody knows exactly how much the world’s worst nuclear accident cost. $200 billion is considered a fairly conservative figure including cleaning, transmigration, and the compensation of victims. The cost of a new steel shelter for the Chernobyl nuclear plant will cost $2 billion alone.
Deliberate actions such as war or terrorism and natural disasters do not qualify as accidents and therefore are not included in this list.