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Top 10 Recent American Industrial Disasters
Share This- Published June 1, 2010 by VanOwensBody - 164 Comments

World attention is right now focused on the Gulf Coast of the United States, where one of the worst industrial disasters of all time is slowing playing itself out. The Deepwater Horizon oil platform explosion and sinking killed 11 workers, but it is the massive environmental disaster caused by the leaking of hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico that is making it probably the worst industrial environmental disaster in US history. Industrial disasters are a unique post-industrial age creation of man. Industrial disasters have killed untold thousands of people since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Many were avoidable, and needless disasters caused by callous disregard for human safety in an unending quest for money. Others were unforeseen and accidental. This list focuses on American industrial disasters since the post World War II era. But as we will see, recent industrial disasters such as the 2007 I-35 West Mississippi bridge collapse (13 killed, 145 injured), the 2006 Sago mine disaster (12 killed), 2010 Upper Big Branch mine explosion (29 killed), 2007 Crandall Canyon mine cave in (9 killed), 2008 Kingston Fossil Plant collapse (a huge environmental disaster caused by the largest coal slurry fly ash release in US

history), 2008 New York City crane collapse (7 killed) and now the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil platform explosion ( 11 killed) are nothing new. Similar disasters have played themselves out, here in the USA, over the last 65 years and, like the Deepwater Horizon disaster, there appears to be no end in sight to the death and destruction caused by these catastrophes. Let‘s take a look back at ten of the worst industrial disasters since 1945.

10
Silver Bridge Collapse
1967

This Silver Bridge was a suspension bridge built in 1928 and named for the color of its aluminum paint. The bridge connected Point Pleasant, West Virginia and Kanauga, Ohio, over the Ohio River. On December 15, 1967, the Silver Bridge collapsed while it was full of rush-hour traffic, resulting in the deaths of 46 people. Two of the victims were never found. Investigation of the wreckage pointed to the cause of the collapse being the failure of a single eye bar in a suspension chain, due to a small defect 0.1 inch (2.5 mm) deep. Analysis showed that the bridge was carrying much heavier loads than it had originally been designed for and had been poorly maintained. The collapsed bridge was replaced by the Silver Memorial Bridge, which was completed in 1969.

9
Centralia Mining Disaster
1947

In March 25, 1947, the Centralia No. 5 coal mine exploded near the town of Centralia, Illinois, killing 111 people. The explosion was caused when an under burdened explosive detonation ignited coal dust. At the time of the explosion, 142 men were in the mine; 111 miners were killed by burns and other injuries. Only 31 miners escaped. Following the disaster, John L. Lewis, president of the United Mine Workers, called a two-week national memorial work stoppage on 400,000 soft-coal miners. Lewis also blamed the then Secretary of the Interior, Julius Krug, for the men‘s deaths because he felt the Department of the Interior was not adequately enforcing new and stricter mine safety rules which had been enacted only a year earlier. Lewis called for Krug‘s resignation, but President Harry Truman, who regarded the mourning strike as a sham, rejected this demand. The disaster did force Congress to address mine safety. In August 1947, Congress passed a joint resolution calling on the Bureau of Mines to inspect coalmines and to report to state regulatory agencies any violations of the federal code. American folksinger Woody Guthrie wrote and recorded a song about the Centralia mine disaster entitled The Dying Miner.

8
Donora Smog
1948

The following year, 1948, a different type of industrial disaster struck the United States, this one invisible, but no less deadly than the explosion in Centralia in1947. The Donora Smog was an historic air inversion pall of smog that killed 20 and sickened 7,000 people in Donora, Pennsylvania, a mill town on the Monongahela River, 24 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. The smog first rolled into Donora on October 27, 1948. By the following day it was causing coughing and other signs of respiratory distress for many residents. Many of the illnesses and deaths were initially attributed to asthma. The smog continued until it rained on October 31, by which time 20 residents of Donora had died and approximately a third to one half of the town‘s population of 14,000 residents had been sickened. Even ten years after the incident, mortality rates in Donora were significantly higher than those in other communities nearby. Sulfur dioxide emissions from U.S. Steel‘s Donora Zinc Works and its American Steel & Wire plant were frequent occurrences in Donora. What made the 1948 event more severe was a temperature inversion, in which a mass of warm,

whose crowning achievement was the Clean Air Act of 1970. It was not until Sunday morning the 31st of October that a meeting occurred between the operators of the plants. whereupon the plants resumed normal operation.stagnant air was trapped in the valley. U. The Donora Smog is often credited for helping to trigger the clean-air movement in the United States.S. A study released in December 1948 showed that thousands more Donora residents could have been killed if the smog had lasted any longer than it had. fluorine and other poisonous gases that usually dispersed into the atmosphere were caught in the inversion and accumulated until the rain ended the weather pattern. The plants were shut down until the rain came. The sulfuric acid. acrid smog that hung over Donora for five days. yellowish. Steel never acknowledged responsibility for the incident. the pollutants in the air mixing with fog to form a thick. which required the United States Environmental Protection Agency to develop and enforce regulations to protect the general public from exposure to hazardous airborne contaminants. and the town officials. 7 Buffalo Creek Flood 1972 . nitrogen dioxide. calling it ―an act of God‖.

Dam #3 was approximately 260 feet above the town of Saunders when it failed.‖ Dam #3. in addition to forty-four mobile homes and 30 businesses. 125 were killed. which crested at over 30 feet high and ran down upon the residents of 16 coal-mining hamlets in Buffalo Creek Hollow. Dam #3 had been built on top of coal slurry sediment that had collected behind dams # 1 and #2. Pittston Coal referred to the accident as ―an Act of God. instead of on solid bedrock. 507 houses were destroyed. constructed of coarse mining refuse dumped into the Middle Fork of Buffalo Creek starting in 1968. In its legal filings.000 people. The water from Dam #3 then overwhelmed Dams #2 and #1. 6 Willow Island Disaster . The disaster also destroyed or damaged homes in six surrounding towns. 1972. and over 4.121 were injured. Out of a population of 5. West Virginia burst four days after having been declared ‗satisfactory‘ by a federal mine inspector. when the Pittston Coal Company‘s coal slurry impoundment dam #3. located on a hillside in Logan County. 1. The resulting flood unleashed approximately 132 million gallons of black wastewater. The flow created a wave of black coal ash muck. following heavy rains.000 were left homeless.The Buffalo Creek Flood was a disaster that occurred on February 26. failed first.

This scaffolding was different. It is thought to be the largest construction accident in American history. All fell to their deaths. as the third lift of concrete was being raised. On April 27th 1978 tower number 2 had reached a height of 166 feet Just after 10 AM. the cable hoisting that bucket of concrete went slack. The crane that was pulling it up fell toward the inside of the tower.1978 The Willow Island disaster was the collapse of a cooling tower under construction at a power station at Willow Island. It was bolted to the structure as it was being built. then in both directions. West Virginia. A layer of concrete was poured. The usual method of scaffold construction for building large cooling towers has the base of the scaffold built on the ground. on Thursday April 27th 1978. wooden forms and metal scaffolding fell into the hollow center of the tower. Concrete began to unwrap from the top of the tower. The disaster occurred when the Allegheny Power System was building a new power plant with two giant natural draft cooling towers. . then after the concrete forms were removed the scaffolding was raised and bolted onto the new section. with the top being built higher to keep up with the height of the tower. Fifty-one construction workers were on the scaffold at the time. Lift 28. first peeling counter-clockwise. 51 construction workers were killed. A jumble of concrete. started to collapse. Falling concrete caused the scaffolding to collapse. The previous day‘s concrete.

And as is almost always seems to be the case. contractors were rushing to speed construction 5 L’ Ambiance Plaza Collapse 1987 The second major construction project industrial disaster to make this list occurred nine years later. An elaborate concrete hoisting system was modified without proper engineering review. The L‘Ambiance Plaza was a 16-story residential project under construction in Bridgeport. 1987. Connecticut. short cuts and accidents that triggered the event. killing 28 construction workers. Bolts were missing and the existing bolts were of insufficient grade. restricting ability to escape. There was a school of thought that this accident highlighted the deficiencies of lift slab construction. like most disasters. This accident prompted a major nationwide .The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigation showed that. it was a series of errors. Scaffold was attached to concrete that hadn‘t had time to sufficiently cure. Failure was possibly due to high stresses placed on the floor slabs by the lift slab technique. Its partially erect frame completely collapsed on April 23. There was only one access ladder.

An ironworker who was installing wedges at the time. tenth. the slab fell on to the slab below it. looked up to see the slab over him ―cracking like ice breaking. In the west tower.5 seconds longer than it would have taken an object to free fall from that height. connected by an elevator. in 5 seconds. and eleventh floor package to temporarily hold them into position when they heard a loud metallic sound followed by rumbling. as well as a temporary moratorium of its use in Connecticut. tenth. 4 Imperial Sugar Refinery Explosion 2008 . making it the worst lift-slab construction accident. The shear walls were about five levels below the lifted slabs. which was unable to support this added weight and in turn fell. 63 ft by 112 ft each. and eleventh floor slab package was parked in stage IV directly under the twelfth floor and roof package. Two days of frantic rescue operations revealed that 28 construction workers died in the collapse. first the west tower and then the east tower.‖ Suddenly. the building was a little more than halfway completed. The workmen were tack welding wedges under the ninth. the ninth. At the time of collapse. only 2. L‘Ambiance Plaza was planned to be a sixteen-story building with thirteen apartment levels topping three parking levels. The entire structure collapsed. It consisted of two offset rectangular towers.federal investigation into this construction technique.

The ceiling was of wooden tongue and groove design. By February 14. It is believed that the factory‘s outdated construction materials and methods contributed to the severity of the blaze. The sugar refinery was a four-story structure on the bank of the Savannah River and was the second largest in the US. with efforts made to improve safety and reduce the risk of recurrence. Thirteen people were killed and 42 injured when a dust explosion occurred at a sugar refinery owned by Imperial Sugar.m. Most of the victims were seriously burned. At one time the facility refined 9% of the nation‘s sugar requirements. local time in what was initially believed to be a room where sugar was bagged by workers. Dust explosions had been an issue of concern amongst United States authorities since three fatal accidents in 2003. with ages ranging from 18 to 50. There were 112 employees on-site at the time. and creosote used throughout was known as ―fat lighter‖ because of the fire risk it posed. 2008 in Port Wentworth. As a result of the disaster new . However. The smoldering. 2008. Workers described the factory as antiquated.The explosion at the Imperial Sugar refinery was an industrial disaster that occurred on February 7. The explosion occurred at 7:00 p. with much of the machinery dating back more than 28 years. molten sugar in the silos was unlike anything most fire fighters had ever experienced. but say the site was kept in operation because it had good access to rail and shipping links for transport. the worst of the fire had been extinguished but the 100foot sugar storage silos remained alight despite attempts to put the fire out. a safety board had criticized this as inadequate. Georgia.

gasoline was forced in to a pressure release system called a blow down drum. The report identified numerous failings in equipment. although Imperial intends to rebuild. Due to operator error. The Texas City Refinery is the second-largest oil refinery in the state and the third largest in the United States. . 2005. staff management. The explosion occurred in a unit where light and heavy gasoline components were being separated. The pressure was too much and overwhelmed it. BP was charged with violating federal environment crime laws and has been subject to lawsuits from the victim‘s families. risk management. while the local economy has slumped because the factory remains offline. Later. resulting in liquids spilling out and accumulating on the ground.safety legislation has been proposed. Texas. 3 Texas City Refinery Explosion 2005 On March 23. a fire and explosion occurred at BP‘s Texas City Refinery in Texas City. which created a highly flammable and combustible vapor cloud. The hydrocarbon vapor cloud was then ignited by a nearby contractor‘s pickup truck. an $87 million fine was imposed by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration. killing 15 workers and injuring more than 170 others. which claimed that BP had failed to implement safety improvements following the disaster. and octane was being added.

James Baker III. material verification. slips-trips-and-falls. ―process safety‖ (i. hazard analysis. BP also decided against replacing the antiquated blow down system with a more modern (and expensive) system that would not have allowed the excess gasoline to flow out and onto the ground and would have prevented the explosion. 2007.e. BP confused improving trends in occupational safety statistics for a general improvement in all types of safety. process upset reporting. 2 Texas City Disaster 1947 . maintenance and inspection and general health and safety assessments. The principal finding was that BP management had not distinguished between ―occupational safety‖ (i. etc. The Baker panel report was released on January 16.) vs.).e. equipment maintenance. design for safety.working culture at the site. An independent panel to investigate the safety culture and management systems at BP North America was set up and led by former US Secretary of State. driving safety. etc.

The crews attempted to save the ship and failing that. 1947. the High Flyer blew up killing at least two more people and increasing the damage to the port and other ships. Attempts to control the fire failed.The BP refinery explosion was hardly the worst industrial disaster to strike this town or state. Texas. an indication of runaway chemical reactions.300 tons of ammonium nitrate and the resulting chain reaction of fires and explosions killed at least 581 people. . The SS High Flyer was another ship in the harbor at the time. The Grandcamp explosion destroyed the Monsanto Chemical Company plant and resulted in ignition of refineries and chemical tanks on the waterfront.800 tons of sulfur. smoke was spotted in the cargo hold of the Grandcamp. a fire started on board the French-registered vessel SS Grandcamp in the Port of Texas City. But the disaster was not over. People felt the shock 250 miles away in Louisiana. The first explosion ignited ammonium nitrate cargo in the High Flyer. The fire detonated approximately 2. who believed they were a safe distance away. The ammonium nitrate in the two ships and in the adjacent warehouse was fertilizer on its way to farmers in Europe. Spectators noted that the water around the ship was already boiling from the heat. The tremendous blast sent a 15-foot wave that was detectable over nearly 100 miles of the Texas shoreline. tried to move it out of the harbor but about fifteen hours after the explosions aboard the Grandcamp. on April 16. The force of the explosion was so great that sightseeing airplanes flying nearby had their wings shorn off. Only three weeks after the Centralia Mining Disaster. the fire had attracted a crowd of spectators along the shoreline. At 09:12. Meanwhile. the Captain ordered his men to steam the hold. about 600 feet away from the SS Grandcamp. Shortly before 9:00 AM. The year 1947 was a very bad year for industrial disasters. the ammonium nitrate inside the vessel detonated. a firefighting method where steam is piped in to put out fires in the hope of preserving the cargo. The cargo hold and deck began to bulge as the forces increased inside. The entire volunteer fire department of Texas City was killed in the initial explosion. Around 08:10. The High Flyer contained an additional 961 tons of ammonium nitrate and 1.

The official death toll was 581. A 2-ton anchor of Grandcamp was hurled 1. A remaining 113 people were classified as missing. including visiting seamen. The problem was. the vermiculite was contaminated with asbestos and this had . It now rests in a memorial park 1 Montana Vermiculite Contamination 1999 to Present Vermiculite. non-census laborers and their families.000 people were injured.000 homeless. The seaport was destroyed – the property damage was estimated at $100 million. with 1.784 admitted to twenty-one area hospitals. had been mined since 1919 and sold under the brand name Zonolite. an ore found in the area of Libby Montana in 1881. More than 500 homes were destroyed and hundreds damaged. Of the dead 63 were never identified.62 miles and found in a 10-foot crater. for no identifiable parts were ever found. Witnesses compared the scene to the devastation at Nagasaki. Over 5. Vermiculite is a mineral that was used mostly as an insulator in homes and is also an additive in potting soil (the bright sparkly stuff you see mixed in with the brown and black soil). There is some speculation that there may have been hundreds more killed but uncounted. and an untold number of travelers. leaving 2.The Texas City Disaster is generally considered the worst industrial accident in American history.

As it turns out. Grace and Company‘s purchase of the Zonolite mine in 1963. Finding cases of asbestosis (which requires repeated. . mines. But in Libby. and shipping out by rail car to scores of other processing plants and manufacturers who used the vermiculite as a raw material in their products. the people in the town of Libby. and the employees of other manufacturers who used the vermiculite. people were becoming ill and dying of asbestosis and mesothelioma (diseases caused only by asbestos exposure) who never stepped foot inside the mine or plant. R. Even knowing the deadly effects of the asbestos in their vermiculite. One study comparing the Montana and US mortality rates against those in Libby from 1979-1998 found there was a 20-40% increase in malignant and non-malignant respiratory death for the Libby inhabitants. WR Grace continued to exposure their workers. No one can say how many were killed by asbestos exposure from the vermiculite shipped out of Libby to other parts of the country. the Seattle Post-Intellingencer published a series of articles documenting extensive deaths and illness from the asbestos contaminated vermiculite at the mine. the mine owners knew that the vermiculite ore that came out of the Libby mine was contaminated with a form of asbestos called tremolite – an especially deadly form of asbestos. These deaths and illnesses from asbestos exposure were not simply workers but also people living in the town of Libby.been widely known by the company for many years. and perhaps bring the asbestos dust home to their family members on their clothing. It is unknown how many have died of asbestos-related disease. until the asbestos-contaminated vermiculite disaster in Libby Montana came to light. and had no relative who ever worked there. long term exposures to asbestos over many years) in people with no known industrial exposure was unheard of. They also knew there was no way they could remove the asbestos contamination from the vermiculite ore they were mining and processing in Libby. This was very unusual as most victims of asbestos exposure actually work with the material in plants. or ships. people who had never worked a day at the plant. even prior to W. In 1999.

this was a mammoth industrial scale disaster played out one nuclear detonation at a time. On May 8.8 megatons of TNT explosive and . in the atmosphere. Bonus Above Ground Nuclear Testing 1951-1962 Though not a single event like the others. over a twelve-year period. The government alleged that Grace conspired to hide from employees and the town residents the asbestos dangers and that it knowingly released asbestos into the environment. accounted for a total yield of 153. at the Nevada Proving Grounds. Grace & Co. What is known is that the detonation of nuclear weapons. history. and the accused employees not guilty on all counts. 2009. may never be known. A full 17% of Libby residents who were tested were found to have pleural abnormalities.R. The full human impact of the approximately 200 above ground nuclear weapons tests conducted in the western USA.The EPA estimates more than 274 area deaths were caused by asbestos-related diseases.S. In February 2005 the Federal Government began a criminal conspiracy prosecution of WR Grace and of seven current and former Grace employees. ending what was called the biggest environmental-crime prosecution in U. a jury found W. which may be related to exposure to asbestos.

1955.large amounts of radioactive fall out over a huge portion of the United States (and the world). residents born after 1951.‖ In a report by the National Cancer Institute. A 1979 study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that – ―A significant excess of leukemia deaths occurred in children up to 14 years of age living in Utah between 1959 and 1967. . The study. and was most pronounced in those residing in counties receiving high fallout. This excess was concentrated in the cohort of children born between 1951 and 1958. to produce 10.S. it was determined that ninety atmospheric tests at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) deposited high levels of radioactive iodine-131 across a large portion of the contiguous United States. they determined. When fallout from all tests. of people exposed has been medically very difficult. coupled with findings from previous government investigations.000 cases of thyroid cancer. 1953. Certainly a large percentage of the radioactive fall out that Americans were exposed to came from US above ground nuclear weapons testing. trials at the Nevada Test Site spread substantial amounts of radioactivity across broad swaths of the country.000 cancer deaths in U. tests were atmospheric (that is.S. according to data from an unreleased federal study. Radioactive fallout from Cold War nuclear weapons tests across the globe probably caused at least 15.000 to 75. especially in the years 1952. and the exact consequences. Estimating exact numbers. Until November 1962. Between 16 July 1945 and 23 September 1992. suggests that 20. the United States maintained a program of vigorous nuclear testing. and 1957— doses large enough. in order to prevent the dispersion of nuclear fallout. released in 1997. The U. The study shows that fallout from scores of U.S. the vast majority of the U.S. program of atmospheric nuclear testing exposed a huge portion of the US population to the hazards of fallout. above-ground). After the acceptance of the Partial Test Ban Treaty all testing was regulated underground.000 non-fatal cancers — and possibly many more — also can be tied to fallout from aboveground weapons tests.

domestic and foreign.. no U..S. Top 10 Accidental Discoveries 9 Extraordinary Human Abilities 10 Little Known Relatives of Famous Animals 10 Unusual Scientific Scales Top 10 Misconceptions About Linux Top 10 Mysteries of Outer Space Lovemaking Techniques For Couples How To Get Maximum Pleasure During Lovemaking The Continued Rape of a Child Actor Scientists Find God! Ignoring God's Warning Signs Adult Games . is taken together.       Print Facebook Reddit StumbleUpon More Top 10 Lists. resident born after 1951 escaped exposure.

2010 at 8:50 am wow.000 sickened. 2010 at 9:05 am true indeed – the only problem is that London isn't in America 6. 100. 3. 5. We got big companies wanting to fill thier pockets a little more by subpar building materials and workers safety treatment. 4carlingkid June 1st. as advanced as we claim to be. 2010 at 8:50 am agreed. 4000 dead. 2010 at 8:57 am Donora Smog isn't much compared the the great london smog or 'Pea Souper' of 1952. 2010 at 2:48 am This just goes to show. If we want to progress we must get those companies to be held accountable for thier greed and lack . 2xristaravas June 1st. 6sheenakc June 1st. crazy read… interesting though! 2. bad times. 5jfrater June 1st. 2010 at 8:55 am Cool list 4.Science & Nature Share This (Email to a friend or submit to your favorite sites) This list has 164 comments [Add Comment] 1. as a country. 3Team BANANA June 1st. 1Marc June 1st. we are years away from being a ―utopian‖ nation.

11WhiteDragon June 1st. 9. Souless ceos and execs should be jailed and given the death penalty for the murders they so easily wrote off as ―an act of God. Along with his hair. 8James June 1st. 2010 at 2:55 am Oh i see. Pennsylvania where the mine caught fire and is still burning today…don't think anybody died though. It seems that man always ends up fucking himself. . 2010 at 10:27 am American Idiot!!! bombs away is your punishment!!! 11. Great list. 2010 at 10:44 am Wow. 7sheenakc June 1st. 2010 at 10:58 am Yikes. 10enemy June 1st. 2010 at 3:08 am Brilliant list.‖ Sorry just my opinion. Your one those anti-american. 2010 at 9:57 am Anything built by Donald Trump. 12timothyjames June 1st.of human compassion. 10. Especially his casinos. i‘ve never had the pleasure of meeting a real live id10t! Thanks. anti-semites aren‘t you? Oh! How cute! Here can you take my picture with this guy. 8. I never heard of #2…but I have heard a different story…in Centralia. That's an uncanny coincidence! 12. i‘m putting this pic on my facebook page under people who should have been miscarried. 7. 9Akashtorturedmind June 1st.

chair(wo)men. 2010 at 12:07 pm can we have a worldwide industrial disasters list please… . 18Bazza June 1st. 16Carmen June 1st. 16. Now I just think it‘s bizarre that two towns of the same name had such terrible mining accidents.13. 2010 at 4:38 am I just realized that my post is also about Centralia in Pennsylvania too. JFrat please remove the trash that troll wrote on his comment below your first one. but it would be cool if the list was also made for the global disasters. CEOs or senior managers were killed in any of these? 18. 17astraya June 1st. 14DonDon June 1st. 13cparker June 1st. 2010 at 11:21 am Very interesting list. not only USA 15. 2010 at 11:54 am How many shareholders. 2010 at 11:23 am very good list!!! heard about some of these. 17. It was the inspiration for the setting of the Silent Hill movie. 2010 at 4:26 am I‘ve read that the the fire in the mines of Centralia are still burning and it‘s basically a ghost town now. board members. 15Carmen June 1st. 14.

2010 at 12:36 pm That Texas City one is just insane! Why didn't they start moving ships out right after the first one blew? Of course these are just a few and with how companies are run now. allow some of these things to happen just to gain profit. I find it so hard to believe that people would. 22oouchan June 1st. 24. 19ames801 June 1st. 23. there will be more…. 2010 at 12:33 pm Oh.. 2010 at 12:34 pm bazza—that is a great idea. exactly. 2010 at 12:08 pm Interesting list. 2010 at 5:38 am to be honest how many women at all were killed in any of these ? cant be a helluva lot of women miners and seamen (lol) . knowingly. Very sad how these things happen… 21oliveralbq June 1st. dang. what. 24missmozell June 1st. Scary. 23bluesman87 June 1st. 20Simone Nicoleredz Figeroux June 1st.! I actually remembered number 3… 21. is stopping you from writing one? 22.which is very sad.19. 20. 2010 at 12:42 pm .

The true toll in lives will never be told. An accident is an accident. Which ever way you look at it. we will find ourself going down a spiraling staircase that has no end but two different outcomes. 2010 at 1:08 pm That can be argued. falls. Is this some kind of government conspiracy or just dumb luck? Though you might not mean government conspiracies or murder at all. Perhaps it was a lack of concentration and a pebble poorly placed in the wrong spot at the wrong time? The man may have prevented this if he had paid more attention and that would be the cause or the pebble could have been the cause of this misfortune. 26. 2010 at 12:52 pm I would have considered including any American coal seam fires. 27bucketheadrocks June 1st. That fertilizer is some damn deadly stuff. "but it could have been caused by something". and I've heard stories about Texas City that are horrific. 2010 at 1:19 pm . 2010 at 12:57 pm I would include the contamination of Newtown Creek in Brooklyn. because apparantly many people were simply vaporized. 27. 29bucketheadrocks June 1st. 2010 at 1:17 pm Interesting but I thought 3 mile island would of made the grade.I live on the Texas Gulf Coast. Tragic. really. New York. 28. no one is correct. 28Moganite June 1st. and dies. 25. but with no immediate deaths. 29. 26bernard June 1st. A man is walking along side a cliff and he trips. 25Halifax June 1st. they aren't sexy enough to be newsworthy.

a miserable grasp at something uncatchable. I may not like America very much for what it is but I do not condemn everyone in it. out of the billions out there. Regardless of your reason. in fact. 31monjoriser June 1st. or as matter of fact. many atmospheric nuclear tests as well. this "utopia" will be nothing more than a dream. 2010 at 1:53 pm after them-self contaminating the whole earth atmosphere……. the Tsar Bomba. You are the "idiot" sir. We are nothing better than parasites who happened to land on the unlucky Earth. 2010 at 2:09 pm IN FACT the USSR conducted many. with fallout that stretched across the globe. 30bucketheadrocks June 1st. which detonated the largest nuclear device ever built. 2010 at 1:27 pm I don't think anyone should die for simply being "American". and with far less concern for the effects of global fallout. The difference between anyone and Americans is that we just simply think differently and that can be said about any country. anyone. a bomb of roughly 50 megatons. It was the USSR. death does not solve anything. I understand where you are coming from but that is like asking the air to become gold. 30.What you are asking is that we all hold hands and become unified so no more people have to die. What you said is disgusting and an embarassment to all human out there. . now they impose sanction on any country that remotely says "nuclear" even for non military application America is really a weird school of human intelligence 32. Humans are driven to deplete and destroy everything around them as long as it gives them gratification. Your lust for watching other Americans suffer makes you no better than them!! You lousy hipocrite 31. 32Randall June 1st. As long as there is ONE person willing to do harm. How do you think Communism became so wanted? They promised freedom and equality to all but look what happened to them! One person got greedy and the whole system failed.

As for sanctions imposed on states trying to "go nuclear," what is a better option to you? A world with a small handful of nuclear states—or a world where EVERYONE has the bomb? I'll take the first choice any day. 33.

33FO
June 1st, 2010 at 7:14 am

This place is going downhill. Most of the comments here are wretched and the list quality gets worse by the day. Perfect anti US list, appearing the day after Memorial Day. You‘re such a sly one. 34.

34Randall
June 1st, 2010 at 2:20 pm

I'm not going to comment on the possible bias of the list writer in composing a list of only AMERICAN industrial disasters… but I do take umbrage with the Bonus choice, as it implies that this was solely an American vice (indeed, it doesn't even mention the countless atmospheric tests conducted by the Soviet Union, Britain, France, or China– which still has not signed the Limited Test Ban Treaty to this day–and the failure to even MENTION the tests by these other states is, to say the least, rather disingenuous). Atmospheric testing was, in fact, a horror perpetrated by not just the US, but by the aforementioned countries as well. And as I pointed out to another poster, it was in fact the USSR which evinced a more callous disregard for global contamination via fallout, up to and including the detonation of the largest nuclear device ever exploded—the Tsar Bomba, which was roughly 50 megatons. The fallout from this bomb was spread around the world. Laying "blame" in this context solely on the US is tantamount to rewriting history. Not to mention the fact that these tests can hardly be said to be "industrial accidents." Rather, the choice of including them smacks of an agenda on the list writer's part, to lay guilt and culpability for the Cold War singularly at the feet of the US, and to place all health risks and damage there. Sorry, but the truth is otherwise. While often nothing more than sabre rattling, SOME nuclear testing was essential and necessary,

and, as I've already pointed out, these tests were NOT conducted only by the United States. 35.

35vanowensbody
June 1st, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Hi there everyone – VanOwens Body here – thanks for all the great comments about my list. I hope you liked it and found it interesting. I'd be glad to work on a similar list for industrial disasters in all countries. The usual suspects would be on the list (the Bhopal India cyanide release, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion), but I could try to find some lesser known industrial disasters to include in the list also. Thanks to Listverse for publishing my second list (my first was Top 10 Modern Night Club Fires). 36.

36vanowensbody
June 1st, 2010 at 2:27 pm

I did not include Three Mile Island because though it was an important American industrial accident, no one was killed. No one we know of anyway. (and I live less than 30 miles away from the plant!!). 37.

37vanowensbody
June 1st, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Some very brave people (can you imagine going on board a burning ship filled with ammonium nitrate right after another ship with ammonium nitrate had just exploded?) did try to move the second ship out of the harbor but were unable to do so. The ship may have been too damaged to move, the harbor may have been blocked by wreckage from the first blast, but for whatever reason, they could not move the second ship and it too detonated in the harbor. 38.

38vanowensbody
June 1st, 2010 at 2:30 pm

I have been to Centralia and it is really a strange experience. Almost no buildings, sidewalks that have nothing around them, empty streets, and if you know where to look – smoke coming out of the ground! It is almost a ghost town. But not quite – a few elderly people still live there. When they die, I think the state will bulldoze what ever buildings are left, and close off the town for good. 39.

39vanowensbody
June 1st, 2010 at 2:33 pm

An interesting side note to the Deepwater Horizons oil platform explosion – there were many BP executives on board the platform when it exploded. Why? They were there to award a safety citation to the operators of the platform for going several years without a work injury. True story. None of the BP executives were killed in the blast though several were injured. 40.

40Spence
June 1st, 2010 at 2:38 pm

it's a song lyric, you retard 41.

41Spence
June 1st, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Centralia is in Pennsylvania, not Illinois. Learn some geography. 42.

42vanowensbody
June 1st, 2010 at 2:39 pm

BP made short-sighted cost saving decisions that led to the Deepwater Horizon oil platform explosion, just like they did at the Texas City refinery explosion. BP elected to use an inferior casing for the drill which at least partially contributed to the pipe break and explosion, and decided against spending extra money on a "sonic switch" which is a second back up device used to seal the well and stop it from leaking oil after an accident breaks the pipe from the well head. BP apparently fails to learn from their own deadly mistakes.

43.

43Scratch
June 1st, 2010 at 7:42 am

There couldn't be two cities in the same country with the exact same name, could there? No, that would be impossible. 44.

44spence's mom
June 1st, 2010 at 2:53 pm

the 'bombs away is your punishment' comment isnt in the lyrics retard, by the way your adopted 45.

45whtknt
June 1st, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Song lyric or not, the commentary is inappropriate and rude. I strongly suspect that was the intent and that "enemy" is a forum troll. 46.

46oouchan
June 1st, 2010 at 3:12 pm

I was talking about the second ship, but I thought it wasn't damaged. I was under the impression they didn't have the man power to bother but were focusing on stopping the flames of the first one. 47.

47General Tits Von Chodehoffen
June 1st, 2010 at 3:20 pm

How the hell are you going to open a list about American industrial disasters with some shit caused by a BRITISH company. Secondly, Randall is totally right about the list writer's agenda. Thirdly, it's actually fucking disgusting how bad some people hate on America for no reason. 48.

48General Tits Von Chodehoffen
June 1st, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Countless people hate diff countries. 51psychosurfer June 1st. 51. 2010 at 8:30 am Wait a minute skippy. making it very clean for its size (even heard one of the ―cleanest‖). 53. 527raul7 June 1st. San Juanico 1984. They actually sent military personnel after the blasts with minimum protectiin. 53Arsnl June 1st. So its fallout was really reduced. 6000 injured: http://en. 2010 at 3:36 pm LoL. Ps: id mention the studies made by the french regarding nuclear fallout effects on human beings. Get over yourself and move on you drama queen. Mexico. true that.wikipedia. Ive googled your statement that the fallout was detected all over the world but i just couldnt find any sources. 2010 at 3:38 pm His limited intelligence. The ivan bomb had a lead tamper instead of uranium. 2010 at 8:47 am Well i hate russian for spreading communism all over eastern europe.So true 49. australia is very far.org/wiki/San_Juanico_Disaster 52. 507raul7 June 1st. If you dont know. And doesnt everybody know that not just the us did athmospheric testing? 50. . 600 dead. 2010 at 3:37 pm You just forgot the worst AMERICAN Industrial disaster. 49Arsnl June 1st. But i did find the castle bravo incident with fallout detected even in australia. So you are also rewriting history with ―more callous statement‖.

57Chaka June 1st. 2010 at 3:54 pm yes.54. 56General Tits Von Chodehoffen June 1st. for me this list highlights that the American people do have the power to keep industries accountable for their mistakes. bunk workplace safety can. 2010 at 8:51 am Maybe in the same place? 55. 2010 at 3:56 pm there's at least 3 – there's one in WA. 54Arsnl June 1st. Many other countries could sweep these things under the rug. 2010 at 8:57 am I'm not sure about the list writer's possible bias. However. You however are a hating ass dildo who likes a weak ass soccer team. 55Chaka June 1st. Fuck you! 57. too! 58. 58Scratch June 1st. Pebbles can't be helped. but American transparency makes it so that the world has the intimate details of these disasters. but there is a difference between walking along a cliff with an unfortunatelyplaced pebble on the ledge and entering a worksite in which corners have been cut to save $$. 2010 at 3:56 pm Not wanting people to hate my country does not make me a drama queen. *edit* not the country's imperfections necessarily as much as the imperfections in regulation and in the policies of certain corporations. 56. completely disregarding the safety of the workers and/or the population around it. I think it takes strength for a country to acknowledge its imperfections and make the effort to correct them. .

the mere fact that you can readily find fallout data for Castle Bravo or any other US test proves nothing. 60Arsnl June 1st. do you deliver such a huge bomb. 2010 at 4:00 pm Don't call me "skippy. You'll lose every time. Period. whereas the USSR kept a tight rein on the results of its tests. since we don't like each one bit… but in doing so. France. 60. apparently. and China. However. MY point was that the USSR conducted MANY atmospheric tests–nearly as many as the US–as did Britain. So what? It was still a 50+ megaton yield bomb which sent ionized particles into the atmosphere in quantities never seen before from any other nuclear test. 59Randall June 1st. you're making a pathetic attempt to attack me here. This was deemed much too large (how. arsnl. after all. MOREOVER. the US had surrendered much of this data LONG ago. It was simply WRONG for the list writer to imply that the US alone is to be held accountable for atmospheric nuclear testing. FURTHER—the largest reason WHY the the sleeve of the bomb was lead instead of uranium was NOT to protect anyone from fallout. and sent gamma radiation across a swath of area which was never accurately determined but was surely huge. no doubt for purposes of your own. But that was NOT the point of what I was saying. you've fallen flat on your face yet again. intelligence services in the West and in various Asian countries had been able to make determinations on the fallout from Soviet testing. and don't EVER assume I don't know what I'm talking about. I am NOT "rewriting history" with my statements. let alone air drop it without killing the crew that delivers it?) and one of the steps taken to reduce yield was in replacing a uranium sleeve with a lead one. Pakistan. IN FACT. and now. Not to mention India. 2010 at 9:06 am . the Tsar Bomba could have been made a great deal worse than it was. and Russia continues to do so." asshole. North Korea.59. YES. but simply to help reduce the yield of the bomb. NO. The design of the Tsar Bomba optimally allowed for a yield of 100+ megatons. arsnl.

62peekajew June 1st. IL. How much of a douche can you be to assume that they took only one factor into consideration. So just grow up why dont you. 63peekajew June 1st. PA. I dont see russians squirming that they dont feel my love. Of course there would be a HUGE fallout problem if there would have used uranium. 61.Im not seeing the french starting to cry oh why oh why do americans hate us or think we‘re surrender monkeys. 2010 at 4:18 pm The castle bravo test was in Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands which are not that far from Australia. 2010 at 4:19 pm because they happened in America? 64. Learn some geography. 2010 at 9:22 am So american secret services released australian information? Am i the only one that see a glitch in that? Do you really think that scientists all over the world detected significant amounts of fallout traces but didnt declare it at all? How do you know what sakharov was planning when he designed that bomb. 64Arsnl June 1st. 2010 at 4:14 pm he's talking about the mine disaster in Centralia. not the constantly burning mine in the ghost town of Centralia. 61peekajew June 1st. Do you want the world to wake up in the morning and sing songs for you americans? Here‘s an advice: why dont you settle your own hate problems (racism etc) and then ask for the world to love you. 62. Fallout that would have affected mainly SOVIET territory. Now you are an expert in nuclear physics? . 63.

We always had problems with them (their rulers their policies their army) btw do u find it normal for an iraki to hate the american govt. 67. 68Arsnl June 1st. Begining with the tsars they were the same. Dont assume you know everything about me just from one idea i post here. 69oouchan June 1st. 67peekajew June 1st.such hate. 66. 2010 at 4:28 pm it's from the song "Holiday" by Green Day 68. You have become quite hateful of late as I have seen from your posts. I was just making a point. . Tits did just that. Ps: technically russia never actually changed it policy. Tell that to my ex that was russian. He assumed people ACTUALLY hate america and they wake up in the morning just hoping they can annoy an american. Personally i dont hate them. Its wrong and im bored by all those complaints. 2010 at 9:40 am @oouchan. 66oouchan June 1st. 69. 2010 at 4:28 pm Wow…. 2010 at 4:49 pm Well i hate russian for spreading communism all over eastern europe. That is pretty far for me. 65Arsnl June 1st. by the way) or those from other countries for what they have done to others.65. I don't hate those from Russia for what they have done to my family (and I'm from Russia. 2010 at 9:24 am Peekajaw: yes you are right but they detected traces even in europe. I find it absolutely normal and perfectly understandable.

China. 2010 at 10:42 am @oouchan: ok i see you need me to make CLEAR phrases. 73Arsnl June 1st. You posted HATE. 71oliveralbq June 1st. I was pointing out YOUR hate in that statement which you seem oblivious to. Well im cool with peter the great. 73. That's not fair to the rest of us. I find it very confusing though when some russian is telling me how wonderful is its army. or Iraq. But thats all. and the world outside of the US is a bowl of cherries. From what is someone reading your post supposed to think? Not everyone is a hater. it's not acceptable. 2010 at 5:39 pm . It was the rulers decision and it did it with the russian (or soviet) army. Sad. I take a bit of my time to explain why he‘s bs-ing me. As for a anyone hating anyone. Moving on: you need to explain to that iraki that yes he should hate the american govt . etc. but true. 72mjf June 1st. I hate all the russian govts/rulers that ever existed. 2010 at 10:05 am I think most of these people's hatred is misplaced. Not everyone hates the USA. 71. . 70. A majority of us Americans don't even trust our own government. People decide to hate Americans for what the government does. Hating a government is entirely different. I am perfectly aware of the fact that some borsch eating old lady from Novgorod had nothing to do with spreading communism or with russia‘s will to always expand its territory. but I don't hate/dislike the people.from that I am to believe you are all hunkydory with Russians? Give me some credit.So…. 2010 at 5:30 pm well played. raul……… 72. I dont hate russians. I think its my right to hate that army and those rulers. I dislike my own government strongly and I feel the same way about several other governments. 70fknairii June 1st. However. Russia. .

you can guess how I see you. I ask it of EVERYBODY…not just from other countries…everyone should learn some temperament. to be exact. Hopefully with enough voices we can make some changes. And while you‘re at it why dont you explain to those americans that you need to accept the idea of constructing a mosque near ground zero. 74oouchan June 1st. 2010 at 6:04 pm What's wrong with asking for a clear answer? You obviously weren't clear or otherwise.. Some people should stop thinking they are so damn important. 75. That you musnt hate muslims in general. since you (most graciously) explained your comment.you have made several and since that is all I have to work with.. I also do not like the governments including the USA's. it's the government and loudmouth idiots who think they are important and they come from ALL countries. Im aware that not everyone is a hater but you cant ask for love if you live in a troubled country.One comment…. I frequently ask others to not hate the people but to go after the government for it. 75whatevs June 1st. However. . As for being important…again. 2010 at 6:24 pm 80 percent. Why not? I most certainly can ask for that as well as ask it from my own country. it's not as bad. In a country that has still hatred problems towards its minorities and immigrants. I also work on my own government. 74. Im aware that not everyone is a hater but you cant ask for love if you live in a troubled country.for the PS part…. you wouldn't need to explain. ….but he shouldnt hate the people that voted for that govt. That was the point of my comment. Ps: and others should stop thinking that they know how one person is after just one comment. Very sad and very true.

I was saying i can find you a lot of examples of . ―As for being important…again. Yes you can say nobody has to ask you. 77stefanie June 1st. 787raul7 June 1st. it‘s the government and loudmouth idiots who think they are important and they come from ALL countries.‖ Can we please stop the utopian conversations. I ask it of EVERYBODY…not just from other countries…everyone should learn some temperament. 2010 at 6:55 pm probably about the same as the number of men who have died in childbirth (lol). you just do it. 2010 at 7:05 pm . Its perfectly normal. ―. I didnt say that. I dont see the point of it. Its just a big loss of energy. (thats why i said he‘s a drama queen).‖ That was actually related to the ―why do people hate americans‖. but then i can ask you: does it improve anything in your life if you judge a person just after 3 or 4 comments. But i can tell you the latest scandal related to black/latino/muslim discrimination. Its not at all crippling. 78. 2010 at 11:46 am There is nothing wrong in asking for a clearer answer. I do see the ―You have become quite hateful of late as I have seen from your posts.‖ as a form of judging a person without a real bassis. 76Arsnl June 1st. or when was the last time the police stopped him to check his papers because he kind of looked like an american? The worse thing that could have happened was that some waiter was a bit rude with him in Paris or some other minor inconvinience. When was the last time tits didnt get a job because he was american.lets call it. For me its a stupid thing to worry about. If something is impossible we should stop discusing it. they can be stopped by the police for a quick check up) not just their vacation. ‖ that is all I have to work with. And this is serious because it actually affects people‘s lives (they have to search a lot more to find a job. you can guess how I see you‖ well nobody actually asked you to see me in any way or to analyse me. 77.76. ―national hatred‖.

How do you know what he is? He could fall into any of those categories and here you are telling me I'm the one anaylizing you but you are quick to point the finger at someone else. I'm not going to go farther with this as it's pointless now I see. Its tests were carried out below a mountain range in the remote Chagai areas of Balochistan.wow. 79. 2010 at 7:07 pm Well … what can one say … 81. Why? It's not really that impossible if we try. I'm willing. 2010 at 7:13 pm Can we please stop the utopian conversations. You have some problem with him it seems. As for judging…we all do it all the time…. As for your comments to General Tits…. 2010 at 12:06 pm Btw forgot: what part of russia did you come from and i apologise for replying to myself. are you? Guess not. It works in all forms not just what color your skin is and where you are from. Jaime! Didn't mean to go and hijack the thread* 82. The mobile version of LV doesnt allow more that one reply in a reply (i cant reply to a reply to a reply) 80. 81oouchan June 1st.as you just did.Pakistan did not conduct atmospheric nuclear testing. All I did was point out your HATE in your original comment above and I get obliviousness from you. 2010 at 7:14 pm . *Sorry. 807raul7 June 1st. 79Arsnl June 1st. Try being a woman and getting discriminated against. 82Mike June 1st.

87timothyjames June 1st. 84zappa June 1st. 2010 at 7:27 pm Van OwensBody – is this a warren zevon reference perhaps.You're overreacting. 2010 at 7:28 pm Yeah I thought it would have too. This one was too. Chill the fuck out man and try to think logically. Keep these great lists coming. good on ya if it is!!!!! 85. I've heard cancer rates in nearby towns tripled (or something like that) in the years afterward. AGAIN. 86timothyjames June 1st. but I didn't know about any of the night club fires. 2010 at 7:16 pm Jeeze. Yeah everyone else did tests but this was an AMERICAN list so that was an AMERICAN bonus entry. Cheers – Mike 84. Cheers – Mike 83. Chill out man you are raving like a hormonal lady.not just jump to knee-jerk and unconsidered rants. Just ease off the rants and thing about what people are actually saying. Even if no one was killed. don't get me wrong. 2010 at 7:36 pm . 86. 2010 at 7:31 pm Your first list was fantastic. A bit of advice: You are generally very entertaining but not always that accurate or on point. 85timothyjames June 1st. Randall. 83Mike June 1st. 87. Good posts in general though mate. as above mate but an entertaining enough read.

I found the inclusion of. how about you explain to me how I was "inaccurate. as I've been corrected. Just because he wrote about American disasters does not make him an America hater. on the other hand. too bad.wikipedia. nor was it an "unconsidered" rant. Fuck you. 2010 at 7:39 pm Hey Mike. 89. moron. and just plain wrong. probably agenda-driven. That's it. . 88John June 1st. 2010 at 7:38 pm I totally had my money on this for the bonus: http://en. so just take LV for what it is: a place for excellent. It was a well-written. and the singling out of. You.I would like to point out that the author of the list did not seem to have any strong personal agenda. did not actually conduct an *above* ground test. Think that one up all by yourself. American nuclear testing to be at the least a flawed bit of reasoning and at the worst a kind of propagandizing. In fact. Lastly. Not thinking logically? Hardly. Hmm? Just where was my inaccuracy? Care to enlighten us? Apparently I missed on one point–Pakistan. You don't agree.. 89Randall June 1st. Leave your own political paranoia at the door." and B) explain how one is supposed to otherwise judge a list which singles out American nuclear testing but makes no mention of any other nation's.. butthead?) This was not knee-jerk. I presented clear logic for WHY this was disingenuous. 88. offer nothing but bullshit insults in return. The least you could do is present the reasons WHY you don't agree. interesting lists. Does this mean he has strong feelings against clubs? Of course not. His first list was about night club fires. Okay? Thinking logically? Your little missive here shows clearly that you have no grasp of the concept.org/wiki/Boston_Molasses_Disa." Mike. informative list that just happened to be focused on American disasters. A) explain just how atmospheric nuclear tests qualify as "industrial disasters. of the poorest quality to boot (hormonal lady… nice. Don't be stupid. It isn't fair to remove the US from lists unless it's something good.

and the fire you‘re trying to snuff out is at 1100 and climbing… You have no right to comment : ) 93. 2010 at 7:44 pm And you can stop being so fucking sanctimonious. 2010 at 7:47 pm How on earth did a list about American industrial disasters turn into a forum for some to vent their anti-Americanism? 92. "…a country that still has hatred problems towards its minorities and immigrants. 94vanowensbody June 1st. 2010 at 8:14 pm Yes. 93vanowensbody June 1st.90. A genius in rock n roll like Zappa. it's somewhere in Europe—where every nation I know of runs the gamut from mildly to notorious and viciously hostile to immigrants and often to other races." And just what little fairyland do you hail from that DOESN'T have these VERY SAME PROBLEMS? As we know. 91James June 1st. here‘s some real info on how american refineries work. 90Randall June 1st. asshole. 91. 92plum June 1st. this refinery installed double block and bleed valves to help shut off flow in case of fires. 94. if ever that word could be applied to rock n roll artists. We have psv. fv and about a dozen other processes for stopping flow. 2010 at 12:51 pm Ok chillins. very much so. . when carbon steel melts round 1200 deg F. I dare anyone here to judge refinery personel and how hard we work to be safe and keep the products in the pipes and tanks. 2010 at 8:25 pm Thank you. cv. Love Warren's music. I‘m sitting in one right now and I pulled up a huge report called ―lessons and learnings‖ from this TX fire.

97. 95.Except for the Texas City explosion of 1947 (which is generally considered to be the worst US industrial disaster of all time). Gulf of Oil Spill: #1. It just as easilly could have been British or French industrial disasters. 2010 at 8:29 pm I considered the great Boston Molasses Flood. 96mnt71 June 1st. I did the same thing with my previous list – focusing on just night club fires rather than all building fires. I would be glad to do a similar list and include the entire world.I selected American industrial disasters simply to focus the list. 2010 at 8:29 pm Only the bonus compares to what's happening in the Gulf of Mexico. This is our Chernobyl. 2010 at 2:08 pm . who caused it? Damn BP again 98. 98MachooPurO June 1st. 2010 at 8:40 pm this needs some updateing. 96. Too bad we have so many disasters to chose from. Goodness knows other countries can have industrial disasters – such as the tragedy in San Juanico Mexico. or chosen not to use. As I said. 2010 at 8:54 pm Ahem You Give the "RECENT" word a whole new meaning most of the disasters were from half a century ago 99. but I found someone had used it in another list on industrial disasters. I tried to make a list of US industrial disasters that other lists had overlooked. 99Arsnl June 1st. 97adam June 1st. 95vanowensbody June 1st.

I never asked for people to have/or to not have a certain feeling regarding my country (or the continent i come from) so i dont get where you want to get with your comment.@oouchan: im really sorry for forgetting about women ). but i really wasnt trying to make a COMPLETE (looks like ive learnt something from randall. I really cant find any data related to that subject. I NEVER said i live in fairytown. And he replied to that in a delightful manner. So ill say probably not. Ps dude take a vacation. Freshen up and come back when you‘ll be more edgy. ―He could fall into any of those categories ―. My bad. The use of capital letters) list of all the possible types of discriminations that can exist. 2010 at 2:24 pm Randall where did you find your information about INDIA. 101Arsnl June 1st. @randall: my oh my. 101. I can actually say they DIDNT carry that type of testing. I know my faults so thats why i dont point fingers. Well you probably. . I called him names. 2010 at 9:19 pm Why do you accuse Randall of being inaccurate then? That's a pretty unfounded accusation right there. 100. I mean today you were sitting duck. Well i dont care of all the possible discriminations he might be susceptible of. There is a subtle difference between judging and calling names I just dont appreciate someone calling me ―hateful‖ without a funny little insult on the side. What the hell is wrong with you today randall? You get you data wrong. They dont have the needed uninhabited surface to test. He just addressed that ―national hatred‖ and i replied to that (afterwards i said well this type of thing has no real significance. Ok i think you said its over now. Im dissapointed at you. when you‘ll have new material. You are not funny. I didnt judge him. I just said ―move on‖and i called him a drama queen. I didnt judge tits. About N Korea. you miss the point. 100andrestm June 1st. You are not fun at all today.

. The only thig we really ever have much too much of. Not because of the nature itself. Well guess what morons? The world doesn't revolve around overrated Europe either. Or let's see the racial breakdown of every fucking government in the developed world. They say the world doesn't revolve around America. 105PuroresuPride18 June 1st. a disaster is the destruction of the nature. " Fuck you. Have you been hibernating for the past 50 years or what the hell is the matter with you? Let's see how many other developed countries have a president of African lineage. im not that stoned. that sustains us and our future. 104R-u-serious June 1st. 2010 at 10:55 pm These people are hypocrites. is ppl. 2010 at 3:14 pm i seldom write comments. 2010 at 10:07 pm I didn't read all the comments but did anyone mention the inexcusable exclusion of the great Boston molasses explosion? It's been in so many other lists but it really seems to fit this one. 105. but i see hat you still count ―disasters‖ by ppl killed. 2010 at 9:33 pm "why dont you settle your own hate problems (racism etc) and then ask for the world to love you.102. 102andrestm June 1st. 103eric! June 1st. Ppl are really insignificant for everyone and everything except their cose relatives and friends. but I think it's still worthy. but it is the planet and its natural system. 104. 103. Granted you can argue the industrial-ness of molasses.

Speaking of Industrial Disasters – why was Enron not mentioned? It may not have killed workersd immediately – but statistics show that up to 100+ people (some sources quote higher numbers) have suicided after losing everything as a result of Enron's financial collapse.good luck with that Centralia. 107David June 2nd. 2010 at 12:15 am #10 was the Mothman's fault. 2010 at 12:17 am I still say that the Moth Man was responsible for the Silver Bridge collapsing.– . 111General Tits Von Chodehoffen June 2nd. For serious.106. 110.– . 2010 at 12:09 am lol. 110Mimz June 2nd. facebook 108. 107. 2010 at 12:54 am R-u-a-dick? Yes! . Australia is a similar coal-seam fire which has been burning underground for an estimated 7. 106epanterias June 1st. 2010 at 11:51 pm The coal-fire stories in the comments above ARE correct – they started as a result of the disaster detailed in #2 – they have been burning ever since – and will probably continue to do so ad infinitum defying all efforts to extinguish it: Burning Hill. 2010 at 12:12 am Then why are you still going to this website? 109. O_O 111. 108bucketheadrocks June 2nd.– .000 years – . 109trebek June 2nd.

I take no offense in reading this list. Yes. 2010 at 1:28 am What a coincidence. 2010 at 3:08 am You know it is getting harder and harder to like Listverse. but humans are the damn most important thing on the planet. 114. Lay off the bong and come back to reality. The author stated it was list of American disasters.85 billion years Approximate age of human life on earth – 200. I've been working on a project all day about industrial disasters…wish I had seen this earlier! 113. Reading these comments one would think that only bad things happen in America or are caused by America. I am fine with that. 115. 115Jerry June 2nd. It is just the blatant ignorance of the critics. 113wordmongler June 2nd. 000 years Approximately fairly recent – 50 years. I feel sorry for you if you do not recognise that. 2010 at 2:40 am Get a haircut hippie.nor is the electricity that powers both. America is not perfect but neither are we the cause of all the worlds problems. 2010 at 2:18 am Approximate age of earth – 13. 112Jules June 2nd. Even though his premise for making the list is an industrial accident by a British company. Your computer is not free…your internet is not free…. . What is annoying are the "enlightened ones" that share their wisdom of the evils of American. 7 billion years Approximate age of life on earth – 3. Get off it people…grow up. Give or take the odd year.112. Its not that I as an American cannot take criticism. 114iakhovas June 2nd. we are as a species overpopulated and need to preserve our ecosystems.

118Mrs. military action and social issues in the states. Long story short. .during the cold war russia and america nucked themselves? . Because without the ingenuity and hard work of American companies and (in the case of the internet) the American military you just might not have the ability and in some cases the right to sit at your computer and bitch. . the colours don't run!" crap is annoying as hell. Yes. . foreign aid for impoverished nations and wellmeaning attempts at mediation. 116Minx June 1st. I'm tired of people using anything and everything as an opportunity to make sweeping generalizations about the US. . the majority of American citizens are great people. . but the sheer hatred some people have for the country and its citizens is completely unfounded. including technological advances.bitching aside. the "America number one. In fact. . I don't always agree with your country's cultural and political policies. political criticism is fine. . 2010 at 9:29 pm . . . Americans HAVE contributed a lot to the world. . . 117weeg June 2nd. That being said. . GOD BLESS THE USA! 116. I could probably write a novel outlining my criticisms regarding foreign policy. Moreover. .erm. 117. but hating America simply for being America is just plain ridiculous. they (meaning the government and military.And you can thank America for all three.repeatedly. . Antichrist June 2nd. 2010 at 4:30 am #10 is from the mothman 118. not the civilians) have done a lot of things that are worthy of criticism and yes.so . .for years? . 2010 at 5:21 am As a Canadian. .

Its a perfect system . 2010 at 8:56 am I hate everyone equally . it is definately the case that many of the people who hate america because its america. there was more of a differentiation. 120. this is an increasingly dangerous way to go about things. it seems lately that most of the people who would engage in hating x because its x. and how we could possibly get them to work in the mines and cargo vessels etc . im just saying that we should think of the children . 120bluesman87 June 2nd. also see no slight in hating democrats because theyre democrats or hating a conservative idea. But the real enemy is not the US people (or any people ) nor is it the US Goverment (or any goverment) its those assholes who waste comment space bitching about the list being too american . 2010 at 6:42 am too many people muddle those together. because it was argued by republicans.they should be hating the US Goverment ( the same way i distrust and detest all goverments) .119. seem to think that their reason for hating x is rooted in the same philosophies that sparks their political criticism (or the ideologies behind it. 121bluesman87 June 2nd. No-one feels left out and nobody feels targeted . You want politics go some where else (unless the list is about politics) . I mean if any die we can just make more right ? Theres tons of them already too… 121. i'm sure. 119oliveralbq June 2nd. further. And i dont think it disgusting how some people hate America .Ignorant yes but disgusting is the wrong word ( i think its disgusting the way people hate the "Double Down") watch the news and you cant blame them with all the war and shit being stuffed down their throats evryday via the mass media .. -they should their own fucking list! . 2010 at 8:29 am Dont get me wrong im not saying men work harder or that women dont have their own risks and danger to contend with . aside from just being ridiculous. years ago. Other wise in all honesty those wankers who always complain about the list should just simply shut the fuck up and go away Or even -now stay with me here this part gets tricky . anyway).

Happy day. Its because all of us.7 bil is age of universe moron ….. 123bluesman87 June 2nd. 124. 126Trapper June 2nd. biology etc etc etc brought all the things we enjoy today. Im asking you Jerry to give us a break and listen to your own advice.so u saying earth is the first thing came after big bang how catholic is that 125. And you know that is? Because it WASNT just you. All the knowledge predating Apple or Microsoft didnt just fall in your lap. 2010 at 10:37 am i agree with timothyjames if anything i think you just get off on Destruction and Fire!!!!!! 123. 122bluesman87 June 2nd. 2010 at 8:10 am . physics. So just give US a break. Grow up. The world doesnt ask you for that. 2010 at 10:39 am sounds like they should also teach you guys how to run fast because in the situation you described i wouldnt be doing anything else…. Why do you think you are so important? Why do you think everybody should care and should be thankful to you? Dont you think you are a wee bit egocentristic? Im not hearing obama saying people of the world be grateful for what WE have given to you. Ps did the usa sneeze? 126. Evolutions in mathematics. And its not all american or asian or european or african of australian. I dont want all americans to give us a break.122. 125Arsnl June 2nd. When was the last time a german said to you dude be thankful for einstein? Or when was the last time a brit said dude be thankful for newton? Or an indian: be thankful for rahmanujan? No. 124MachooPurO June 2nd. chemistry. 2010 at 4:00 am Another patriot. 2010 at 10:51 am 13.

I have a lot of sympathy for Americans who have had no part in the awful things corporations from their nation have done. It‘s not their fault. 2010 at 5:01 pm WRONG. . which you're apparently too dull-witted to take note of) and B) It was not a practice that was solely American in any way. MY POINT was that including the bonus item was WRONG because A) it did not qualify as an "industrial disaster" (since you're so keen on pointing out the nature of the list. Perhaps hard for YOU to understand… because this distinction requires intelligence. 127. Not that hard to understand eh? 128.Union Carbide. Think again–if thinking is something you're actually capable of— because you're sorry attempt at "logic" here fails utterly. I'll in turn point out to you the TITLE of the fucking list. 128Randall June 2nd. but the list writer made the tacit implication–by omission—that it WAS. I have a lot less sympathy for Americans who whine about how it‘s so unfair when it gets quite reasonably pointed out that some of the corporations from their country act like scum. simple eh? America was not singled out as the sole proprietor of above ground testing but AS AN AMERICAN SPECIFIC LIST ONLY AMERICA WAS INCLUDED. shape or form. 127Steve'o June 2nd. moron. THE POINT is not that the LIST ITSELF was wrong in focusing on American accidents… that was a neutral issue in itself. Should have been on the list. Bhopal. 2010 at 4:46 pm American List = American Disasters American List = American Bonus Item See. and they shouldn‘t be blamed.

child. when they assess our contribution to the world. 129Steve'o June 2nd. when people judge America. the writer did not make a tacit implication by omission. 2010 at 6:54 pm Not sure what you're trying to imply with that. thank us. should he also detail every other sovereign's misdeeds of industrial fuckups? No because it is a US list. 130." it's a "hey. It's a little to late to start a fight over the use of that word. 2010 at 6:40 pm Look Randy (I can call you Randy now right? We are mates now right?). don't be so fucking harsh. are you dim-witted or do you just pretend to be so as to annoy people? – Here. he's not saying anyone should thank America. Of course he would not mention other countries testing in a list detailing US disasters. Your problem with the list is that he did not mention other countries but why should he? This is a US list. Your beef is misguided. Be reasonable here with very small points. don't you think? . you are correct this is not an industrial disaster. but that's not the point. 2010 at 11:48 am Jesus Christ. they often focus on the questionable things our government or corporations have done and give unfairly little weight to the TONS of good things we have done for human civilization. What he's saying is. 131andrestm June 2nd. It's not a "hey. 130andrestm June 2nd. Your point B above is utter rubbish. The word "American" has been used to refer to things from the US for centuries. The point is that your rant about other countries testing above ground is entire arbitrary and completely irrelevant." Is that too hard to comprehend or are you just misinterpreting what he's saying at your goddamn convenience? 131. that is something you manufactured in your head. we've done more good things than bad.129. His inclusion of bombs in this list is incorrect but aside from this it is reasonable that his misguided inclusion still be American. You are being unnecessarily argumentative on what is effectively and very small point man.

132murpheyslawyer June 2nd. you are wrong. That is NOT my name. blathered on for an hour or two and have realised that you are wrong. 133Steve'o June 2nd. It is actually you that is missing the point here. It is just saying that it happened in America. Stop talking shit pal. Anything more is just shit manufactured in your head. No considerable amount of rubbish you spout can hide this. The issue is you view the bonus item as a criticism of America. Quite simply Randy you overreacted. 2010 at 9:57 pm AND STOP calling me "Randy. It's that simple. This is where all you considerable bullshit and bluster falls over Randy. 2010 at 8:09 pm Stop dissing America. which it is not. don't like what I've had to say. 2010 at 8:42 pm No Randy. transparent attempt to belittle me by the use of such a name. all he said was that they happened in America.132. 133. 134. That is not my issue with you. He did not say any of these items are Americanisms. It's futile… so knock it the fuck off. . they pull cutesy little tactics like this out of their ass to try to counter me. He is not saying it does not occur elsewhere or implying anything further. nor is it witty or clever of you to try this bullshit. Others have tried it before. We all agree that the bomb testing should not be classified as a disaster. we know you are envious. shallow." shithead. and it's been clearly noted that they only pull such shit when they have no argument. They simply don't like me. and have nothing to say. and in their frustration and lack of brains. All he meant was that these were disasters that OCCURRED in AMERICA. 134Randall June 2nd.

. So has any white fucking president been greeted with universal joy? At least the vast majority of Americans have no problem with their president being black.org/wiki/Hamlet_chicken_proce. 2010 at 4:47 am Oh. 2010 at 11:04 pm Yeah but you secretly like being called Randy. It very nearly wiped it out. please." Just out of curiosity. don't you Randy? 137. 136jaake June 2nd.. The US IN FACT was a bulwark against that grave mistake. world civilization—to its knees only 60-70 years ago.wikipedia.. don't give me that crap.135. 138Toledoman June 3rd. At least we ELECTED one. That's a pretty fucking big difference from any other developed nation. 2010 at 3:18 am The list was for America 139. or put structures in place after the war to ensures such a threat would not reoccur again? Or something else? Not being argumentative here just interested in what you meant. 135Tom June 2nd. 2010 at 3:17 am How about the Imperial Foods fire in North Carolina http://en. what do you mean by this? Do you mean that the US saved the Allied War effort. 136. 137Toledoman June 3rd. 138. 2010 at 10:28 pm "Europe nearly brought western civilization—and actually. 139andrestm June 3rd.

140boredsexratary June 3rd. ‖America itself is a disaster‖ 143. 140." it is simply childish and invalid. The chemical clean-up took fourteen years. I am rarely wrong. 2010 at 1:27 pm 'In the first place. ' . 2010 at 8:24 am Two others that should be noted were the New London. and the Dioxin contamination of Times Beach. 143June June 3rd.Don't tell me that we haven't made great progress with respect to race issues. and I almost never "miss the point. There was no filth in there and sure was no profanity. 2010 at 3:37 am Hey jamie just found that youve deleted the first comment. 2010 at 5:57 am Gawd. And don't even try to convince me that the US is any more racist than any comparable nation. It's a fight you're simply going to lose. because that would be BULLSHIT. Eventually the entire town was obliterated. i was expressing my self within the limits of the freedom of speech sphere. anyways ill say it again. 141tsunamicharly June 3rd. 142. everybody is so goddamn bitch on here lately! Great list by the way! I liked the night club one too. 141." YOUR point has not been "missed. 142Skrillah June 3rd. And if neither of those is your point then I don't see why you're wasting your time replying to my comments. Texas school explosion that killed 295 grammer school students and faculty members in 1937. Missouri that resulted in the evacuation of an entire town in 1983.

Mike. . 147psychosurfer June 3rd. 2010 at 1:30 pm I suggest. On another note – brilliant list. I think everyone should take a chill pill and not get so damn stressed out about a freakin' LIST. I clearly listened the explosions. 2010 at 1:35 pm Wow Randy – ever heard of thinking before you type? Your argument is as baseless as anything my baby brother comes up with off the top of his head – its as bad as trolling. So stop whining Randy." 145. 2010 at 1:37 pm Is anyone actually moderating the comments on this list? Some of the comments here are brash and quite frankly abusive towards each other and other commenters. 145Luka June 3rd. that you indicate clearly how ANY of the above "proved me wrong. not to mention the writer of the list. steve-o. though I note that one of the entries is word for word from wiki? 146. 146Luka June 3rd. the word has been misused for centuries as you stated (although "centuries" may be an exaggeration). 2010 at 2:37 pm There´s no fight. 144.You have just been proved wrong by every single person that replied to your original statement. Raul and Arsnl. I was 9 yo when that happened and lived 10 miles away from the site. 147. it was a nightmare. I´m just pointing out the worst American industrial disaster in terms of victims just as I mentioned. I look forward to one about industrial disasters happening in other parts of the world as well. 144Randall June 3rd. June." Simply contradicting me or criticizing me personally does not qualify as "proviing me wrong.

San Juanico is in Mexico. but that is NOT conventional in the English-speaking world. because that's not the way it is. of land extending from Alaska to the Antarctic ocean. Including a disaster that was outside of the United States will only CONFUSE and MISLEAD people into either thinking that Mexico is now part of the US or that the author doesn't know his geography. km. This is a list about AMERICAN disasters. Hispanics may well use the label "America" to talk about 42 million sq. 148eveiLL June 3rd. It scared the bejeezus out of me at the time-I was 10 miles away. you're simply going to LOSE that fight. 150phUckingNut June 3rd. Pal. One label is as good as the other. but don't go around thinking that you're right and everyone else is wrong. 150. 149. 2010 at 7:01 pm I dont understand your english sir! too advanced for me . It's a fight against the establishment. for most people on the planet. 2010 at 3:44 pm How about the PEPCON explosion in 1988 in Nevada? It may not have carried a huge death toll. as MOST PEOPLE VISITING THIS WEB SITE will immediately assume and understand upon seeing that word.148. Give that one up. A disaster in Mexico is not an "American" disaster for most of us. This is not a list about Mexican disasters. but the scale of the explosion was pretty impressive. And your position is not any more correct or privileged than those that use the word "American" to refer to the United States. "American" doesn't encompass things that happen in Mexico. 2010 at 4:46 pm See? You're doing it again. You may question English convention as much as you want. 149andrestm June 3rd. AMERICAN meaning from the United States. Bear in mind that continents are artificial labels that we use to refer to a piece of land.

get someone to check your English. inaccurate. I wasted too much time here. 2010 at 5:28 pm By the way. It´s ridiculously sad how you can´t see that it´s just this kind of incredibly stupid arguments what makes people around the world get the wrong idea that every citizen in the US is just as self-centered and puerile as you are showing out to be. and disappointing as your previous one. The last sentence of your first paragraph is so manifestly pretentious that you assume you can tell me how I should "go around thinking". pretentious. if the author had included disasters in America outside of the US nobody (well maybe you) would state something like "hey pal you said American disasters. As I said before I´m not fighting you or "the establishment" (sic). I'm not even going to bother reading your next reply. ignorant. so the confusion and misleading would only exist in your manifest callowness and limited comprehension/intellect. if you do go through with the idea of writing a list of "American" things from the Americas. And do read a little more about the term. it's pretty clear to me you have no fucking idea what you're talking about. upsetting. I'm open to different interpretations). 151psychosurfer June 4th.151. Anyway. which I assume will be just as pathetic. while your second paragraph is not only contradictory but bare and idiotic. stubborn. Brazil is not in America". Have a nice day but think twice before trying to start an arid debate with such feeble assertions. 152. 152andrestm June 4th. 2010 at 3:58 pm Ok. I don´t give a rat´s ass if your ignorance and laziness avoid you from acquainting that the term is misused just because it´s "NOT conventional in the English-speaking world" or if you assume that 600 million people are wrong. but you turned out to be a volatile. so next time you don't look so "manifestly pretentious" and your "manifest callowness" doesn't blindfold you. I thought you were a reasonable man and we would discuss the usage of the term "American" (because. A handful of above-average insults are not going to mask the fact that it isn't your first language. first of all I´m not your "pal". . unlike you.

but you end saying "I thought we could discuss the usage of the word American". 153. Oh no. 153psychosurfer June 4th. I´m also looking forward to someday start a debate with you over the word Football. though. but I remind you that you started this. So after analyzing your antagonistic behavior and conclusions. I never said that English is my first language or even try to "masquerade" that fact. Why are you so mad? Why does it enrage you that I use accents? How and why did you notice? (and what for?) You are right in saying t that the two ways to use the word are perfectly acceptable depending on the context AND the language. well I can take the lazy tag away from you. Hope I never encounter you ever again in my life. 2010 at 6:42 pm Lol. . It is of course as wrong as it is tempting to draw any conclusions about American industrial prowess from it. you are also right in saying that you´re not going to take me out of my little bubble (neither am I). I´m sure we´ll have a blast 154. then you state "AMERICAN being from the United States" but end saying that you are "open to different interpretations". I gather that what you really want is to cry out loud how much you hate my pretentious little ass. first you say that it´s "too late to start a fight over the use of that word". A list of American engineering marvels couldn't be long enough to do the theme justice.hostile. then you talk about my "mumbo-jumbo" when you just spent 1000+ words fighting over something I couldn´t care less for. pal. 2010 at 7:38 pm Excellent list. and I´m sorry that you took it personal. but I think it´s that assumption along with so many others as absurd that confuse and enrage you. well… that´s your problem. I'm not interested in whatever bullshit you have in store for me. Meanwhile I´m positive that I will send you the first list I write for spell-check. Good bye. If you bother (and now I know you will) to read all this pointless thing all over again. short-sighted little prick who thinks he knows more than he does. 154The Sanity Inspector June 4th.

Reagan was at best a foolish dupe or at worst a cynical aide to industrial manslaughter. 2010 at 4:05 pm Great List VanOwensBody and thank you. I lived in Libby Mt from 1967 to 1971 as a child. 157. I remember it: workers burned to death because the emergency exits were chained shut–to cut down on theft of the chicken. Grace to be head of his program that was supposed to free industry from unnecessary rules and regulations.‖ When anyone talks to me about how great Reagan was the Grace Commission is what I think of. Libby Montana is a beautiful place near Glacier National Park. I‘ve used Libby as a teaching aid for years. 155The Sanity Inspector June 4th. He worked at the processing plant and would be covered with white dust.‖. 158. 2010 at 7:55 pm That one was a labor relations morality piece. Unfortunately it will forever now be just known for death and deception. 156. I'm an environmental science teacher at a high school in New York State.155. Mt. and prepared to welcome us into the galactic federation. To a large extent it reduced or eliminated liability for companies and health protection for workers. The working group was the ―Grace Commission. 157Rmarshall76 June 5th. That was the asbestos. We would play at the house of my brother's god father. Reagan appointed Mr. straight out of a Woody Guthrie song. They changed their minds when they discovered that we were shooting off the nukes on our own planet. 158Beast Of Gevaudan June 5th. . 2010 at 7:56 pm The late Isaac Asimov had a short story about space aliens who detected our nuclear tests. and was a great place to be a little boy. 2010 at 5:18 pm This list just goes to show how ignorant and stupid mankind can be. 156The Sanity Inspector June 4th. Big Sky Films has put out a very good documentary about the disaster called ―Libby.

My dad spent time there. including his brain. 161segues June 9th. and . which very quickly spread to every part of his body.000 people exposed. definitely agree that the Bhopal Union Carbide disaster should be on the list – an American company responsible for leaking toxic gas and causing the deaths of 15. Also. It took a long time. Off and on. 500. but in the mid 80's he was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. 2010 at 8:22 am Could possibly add the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire 1911. and just on a personal knowledge aftermath situation…during the late 50's and early 60's the company my dad worked for did a lot of work in the area commonly called "area 51" and the area where the nuclear testing had been done. I wonder if there were any cancer cases before the industrial age? I guess we'll never know because even if there were they'd be diagnosed as something else. 2010 at 2:08 am does anyone remember the great pornstar stampede in '69. 141 textile worked burned to death due to managers locking fire escape doors (to prevent workers from taking cigarette breaks). No one can say for sure they were the result of the fathers exposure to the radiation.The above ground nuclear testing part is very disturbing. spread out over 4 years. 2010 at 8:28 pm Re: the bonus item. what a sticky mess that was 160. probably 6 to 9 months. 159. and stored and abandoned chemicals that continue to poison groundwater. during which time his wife became pregnant with a son who was born with some horrendous birth defects.000 locals. 161. New York City. 159Joel June 9th. One of my dad's best friends spent more than a year there. too. but the fact that he (the man) became ill with a particularly agressive cancer of the blood just a few years afterward does seem suspicious. 160prawnburger June 9th.

[Read me first | Top of page. Breast cancer. They were diagnosed as cancer. 2010 at 6:49 pm West Virginia has its share of disasters it seems. 164jbrav55 September 3rd. I know some sad/funny industrial accidents from much earlier. comments] Name (or nickname) . Its a shame. of course. but they're not appropriate here. Colon cancer. I could get into why cancers get started but I won't…for two reasons: 1 – it would take up way too much space and 2 – no one knows all of the reasons (radiation does not account for all cases.he died within months. Everyone knows the story of the fate of the cast and crew of the movie Ghingis Khan. Somewhere it could be seen or palpated. or the symptoms followed a particular course of action. 162Texaswhimp June 17th. but it has caused it's share of incidental loss of life. Not all of them. the area is very scenic Have your say. 2010 at 3:36 am Of course there were cancer cases before the industrial revolution. I went to Libby for a baseball tournament in 2000 after the asbestos contamination was well documented. 163segues June 24th. 163. like the others. for very few cases) 164. but the most obvious ones. This can't be truly classified as an industrial accident.. 2010 at 7:29 pm In 1990 the Lyondell Refinery exploded in Channelview Texas killing 17 with hundreds of injuries. too.. 162. in fact. I was scared to breath.

Email (will not be published) Notify me of follow-up comments via email. you are going to really love our book: the Ultimate Book of Top 10 Lists. Order it now from our affiliates: Barnes and Noble | Amazon Search Listverse Search Latest Lists Field Code Changed 13 Bizarre Music Videos For Halloween WTF Images of Famous People Bizarre Accidents More Quotes By Atheists . Notify me of new posts via email. Submit Login | Register a user account Ultimate Book of Top 10 Lists If you love Listverse.

org .. ArtemisFox: How about A Little Piece of Heaven by Avenged Sevenfold? It's just such a bizarrecreepyfunny song and the video has Zbehet Nata: no tool video??? how can that be? they have enough bizarre videos to fill up a list Anthony: Somewhere in there i was supposed to say this should have been a 15 item list. Latest Comments         cqsteve: Very quick on the uptake there Arsnl. Benjamin Espina: Very surprised not to see Tool as well but Death Blooms is pretty good..endgame. Jay: I cover the one about walking under ladders... very quick. I wish I had that one. Black cats I can take or Bushy: Ain't no atheists on a sinking ship . View All Lists.Creatures With Saberteeth Misconceptions We Want To Believe 7 Ways To Indulge In the Seven Deadly Sins New Site Launch Competition More Ridiculous Movie Clichés View a Random List.you'll be singing a different tune on all of your deathbeds no Anthony: I mean i get the whole 13 items because its all spooky and lalala. But yeah any Tool video could Oil Spills Chronology of Industrial Disasters compiled by George Draffan www.

Chevron and Mobil split their oil revenues with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company.027 Chinese mine workers were killed--an average of about 16 deaths a day. Shell.au/~greenlft/1998/338/338p23b. killing 9 and injuring more than 40. instantly killing more than 500 people and severely burning hundreds more.htm Killed 188 women and injured over 400. This list also does not include an estimated 90 percent of cancers which may be environmentally induced (that is. 2004 2001 Scotland France plastic factory fertilizer factory 1998 1998 France Nigeria fertilizer factory oil pipeline 1993 Thailand toy factory 1989 1986 USA Alaska Ukraine oil tanker nuclear Exxon Valdez tanker spills 11 million gallons of crude oil into Price William Sound. The fire spread and engulfed the nearby villages of Moosqar and Oghara. September 21 explosion at Azote de France (AZF) agricultural chemicals factory near Toulouse.unsw. killing farmers and villagers sleeping in their homes. In the U.edu. (AP/CBS News. Elf-Aquitaine. 2005).000 deaths occur each year due to routine industrial accidents. alone.000. Industrial Inferno : The Story of the Thai Toy Factory Fire (Mehring Books. 2004).000 serious injuries due to unsafe consumer products. Year 2004 Location China Industry coal Description Gas explosion in Daping coal mine in Henan province killed 56 people and left dozens more missing and 148 were trapped (AP/USAToday.This is a list of major industrial disasters. The list also does not include wars over petroleum and other natural resources. In 2004.S. it is estimated that 10.000 deaths occur due to occupational disease. Explosion at Azote de France (AZF) fertilizer factory near Toulouse. AGIP. or deaths and destruction due to accidents at weapons plants or armories. Oct 20.sistm. 6. from industrial products and by-products). Pipeline at Jesse Nigeria exploded. ICL Plastics plc's Stockline Plastics plant in Glasgow explodes. Chernobyl nuclear power station in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic chemical explosion at the station's fourth reactor and an .http://jinx. 1997). and 30. July 14. another 100.000 deaths and 20. 31 people dead. The list does not include deaths and destruction due to dangerous workplaces and unsafe products.com. at least 650 people hospitalized. Up to 2000 people had been lining up with buckets and bottles to scoop up oil. Peter Symonds.

Explosion at ICMESA chemical plant on the outskirts of Meda. the land was covered over and sold to the Niagara Falls city school board for $1. Italy.242 residents were evacuated after dioxin found in soil.000. spilling 7. Three Mile Island nuclear power plant.000.htm#Contents 1984 India Bhopal toxics Explosion at Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal India released cloud of methyl isocyanate. "Seveso" disaster. comprising about 3.http://www. 1982 USA Missouri chemical waste 1979 1978 1977 USA Pennsylvania France USA New York nuclear oil tanker chemical waste Hooker Chemical Company used uncompleted canal for dumping by-products. Over 140.unu. in The Long Road to Recovery: Community Responses to Industrial Disaster.6 million gallons of No.edu/unupress/unupbooks/uu21le/uu21le00. 265.000-8. a small town about 20 kilometres north of Milan. Amoco Cadiz tanker runs aground off the coast of France.5 per cent of the fuel stored in the reactor core. especially affected were Seveso. Explosion and fire killed 78 men at the Consol No 9 mines at Farmington. releasing a toxic cloud containing TCDD dioxin. Desio. killing at least 2. Once the canal was filled with waste. 6 fuel oil. and Cesano Maderno. (David R.More on Bhopal disaster. 1976 1976 USA Massachusetts Italy oil spill chemical factory Argo Merchant runs aground on the Nantucket Shoals off Cape Cod (Massachusetts USA). Official reports put the immediate death toll at 31. Mitchell (United Nations University Press. but it is widely believed that many more died in the first hours and weeks after the explosion. 1996). Dam failure at Buffalo mine in Saunders kills 125.00 and a school and subdivision of homes was on top. The Ukrainian government has estimated the number of deaths among clean-up workers alone as 7. West Virginia.000 people evacuated within a 15 mile area. 1972 Sunshine mine at Kellogg. The chemicals were detected leaking out of the site in 1977 and residents were eventually evacuated.6 million barrels of crude oil.000 and injured 50.354 tons of soil and other dioxin-contaminated material from Times Beach and 26 other sites in eastern Missouri had been incinerated. Marples.uncontrolled graphite fire that followed led to the release of more than 450 radionuclides. In 1982. Meda. Times Beach's 2. edited by James K. spilling 1. In 1996-97. 1972 1972 1968 USA Idaho USA West Virginia USA West Virginia coal mine coal mine coal mine .

1 mine in Dawson kills 120. Explosion at Layland No. Explosion at Mather No. Explosion at Hastings mine kills 121. the SS Grandcamp. 2 mine in West Frankfort kills 119. Fire at Granite Mountain mine in Butte kills 163. Explosion at Orient No. 2 mine in Castle Gate kills 172. Explosion at No. Japan. Explosion at Eccles No. Accident at Chelyabinsk (Mayak) nuclear complex near Kyshtym (series of accidents since it was built in the 1940s)http://www.1967 Russia toxics Accident at Chelyabinsk (Mayak) nuclear complex near Kyshtym (series of accidents since it was built in the 1940s)http://www. Explosion at Benwood mine kills 119. carrying ammonium nitrate fertilizer. New York. Explosion at Stag Canon No. 1951 1947 USA Illinois USA Texas coal mine fertilizer ships On April 16.logtv.html Fire at Windscale (Sellafield) plant where plutonium for bombs was processed.com/chelya/default. 1947 1928 1924 1924 1923 1917 1917 1917 1915 1914 1913 1911 USA Illinois USA Pennsylvania USA West Virginia USA Utah USA New Mexico USA Montana USA Colorado USA Montana USA West Virginia USA West Virginia USA New Mexico USA New York coal mine coal mine coal mine coal mine coal mine coal mine coal mine coal mine coal mine coal mine coal mine sweatshop Fire in the Asch Building in lower Manhattan. The disaster kills almost 576 and injuring several thousand. Explosion at Stag Canon No.html 1957 1957 England Russia nuclear toxics 1956 Japan Minamata chemical waste Minamata disease officially recognized. Butte coal mine fire mine killed 63. Explosion at No. The explosion was felt 75 miles away in Port Arthur. Mercury poisoning that developed in people who ate contaminated seafood taken from Minamata Bay and adjacent coastal waters in the period after World War II when methyl mercury was dumped into the sea as an unwanted by-product of acetaldehyde processing at the Chisso industrial plant in Minamata. killed 146 . 5 mine in Centralia kills 111. and created a 15-foot tidal wave.com/chelya/default. 6 mine kills 181. exploded in the Texas City harbor. 2 mine in Dawson kills 263. 1 mine kills 195. followed the next morning by the explosion of the SS High Flyer. 3 mine kills 115.logtv. 5 & No.

Explosion at Bright Hope mine at Winterpock kills 69. 11 mine in Krebs kills 100. Explosion at Virginia City mine kills 112. 4 Mine near Scofield. 200 killed at Winter Quarters No. a comprehensive list of mining disasters is at http://www. Explosion at Laurel mine in Pocahontas kills 112. Explosion at No. 716 mining accidents in the United States killed 15. Only mine disasters killing more than 100 people are listed here. mostly young female immigrants from Europe who were trapped in the building. Utah.183 people. 1 mine kills 169. Explosion at Rachel and Agnes mine in Marianna kills 154.http://www.of the 500 employees of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company. Explosion at Rolling Mill mine at Johnstown kils112. Fairmont Coal mine at Monongah exploded killing 362 men and boys.edu/trianglefire 1911 1909 1908 1907 USA Alabama USA Illinois USA Pennsylvania USA West Virginia coal mine coal mine coal mine coal mine Explosion at Banner mine in Littleton kills 128. 6 and 8 mines kill 362. Explosion at Fraterville mine at Coal Creek kills184. Explosion at Darr mine in Jacobs Creek kills 239.000 annually).gov/niosh/mining/data/disall. Fire at Cherry mine kills 259. Explosion at Hanna No. 109 killed at explosion at Mammouth coal mine in Mount Pleasant. Between 1830 and 2000.ilr. 110 killed in fire at Avondale coal mine in Plymouth. Explosion at Harwick mine in Cheswick kills179.cdc. Explosions at Monongah No.html 1907 1907 1905 1904 1903 1902 1902 1900 1892 1891 1884 1869 1867 1830 to 2000 USA West Virginia USA Pennsylvania USA Alabama USA Pennsylvania USA Wyoming USA Pennsylvania USA Tennessee USA Utah USA Oklahoma USA Pennsylvania USA Virginia USA Pennsylvania USA Virginia USA coal mine coal mine coal mine coal mine coal mine coal mine coal mine coal mine coal mine coal mine coal mine coal mine coal mine mining accidents . (US coal mine fatalities in this decade exceeded 2.cornell.

many Asian countries progressed with industrialization and achieved high economic growth. While several countries are still experiencing economic . Major industrial accidents: Causes and consequences During 1980s and 1990s.What we do Themes Regions Departments and Offices About the ILO Search Asian-Pacific Regional Network on Occupational Safety and Health Information (ASIA-OSH) Preventing major industrial accidents in Asia : guide A ILO East Asia Multidisciplinary Advisory Team (ILO/EASMAT). ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific Bangkok Causes Consequences .

However. such hazards can develop into major disasters resulting in an enormous number of casualties and extensive damage to property and the surrounding environment. restart the plant. New industries have been set up with new processes. Some of the more severe ones are mentioned in Table 1 (page 3). 1987 Nagothane. Bangladesh. Major industrial accidents in Asia Hazardous substance Methyl isocyanate Gunpowder Liquefied petroleum gas Fireworks Ammonia Deaths >2 500 9 35 40 7 Injuries >200 000 59 15 60 30 Place and date of accident Bhopal. After the victims have been attended to and the incident generally brought under control. India. and the public are not fully aware of the damage that hazardous substances can cause. Republic of Korea. when a serious accident occurs. the Ministries of Labour and Environment are carrying out an extensive programme and legislation on major hazard control has been introduced. the countries of Asia continue to promote employment generation along with the rapid industrialization and modernization of agriculture. prevent a recurrence. Malaysia. Employers.difficulties since mid-1997. Indonesia and Thailand have taken steps to review the situation and identify major hazard installations. and the environment are not properly coordinated. and completed. If steps are not taken in time.1984 Seoul. A data bank on industrial recorded 124 fatal accidents involving hazardous substances in the region. In India. using sophisticated apparatus. it needs to be improved. unable to grasp the full dimensions of its consequences. it appears that many more occurred but went unrecorded. Malaysia has set up a unit for major hazard control within the Ministry of Human Resources. Major risks are recognized. workers. 1991 Dhaka. an assessment has to be made of how to deal with the consequences of the accident and carry on with tasks: repair the damage. 1990 Sungei Buloh. Where a major hazard control system has been initiated. Table 1. those involved are overwhelmed by its immediate effects. the public. but preventive laws are generally inadequate to cope with hazards and emergencies. creating at the same time new kinds of hazards. As a result. India. efforts have been scattered and unsystematic in most countries. Since more than 65 per cent of them took place in only two countries and none in seven. expanded. The enforcement efforts of the governmental agencies concerned with the protection of workers. Early action should be taken by governments and employers' and workers' organizations to stem the rising number of accidents. 1991 .

A poorly trained and instructed operator is likely to take wrong action. 2000 Carbonyl chloride (phosgene) 1 . inadequate instruction and information to workers. 1999 Rayong.Next . overloading or improper use. . mainly human failures. China. not only on the part of the operators immediately concerned. called common cause failures. 1999 Chonburi. and plant and equipment designers and suppliers. 1997 Chiang Mai. technical faults or external forces. Therefore attention should be directed more to preventing human errors and failures at all levels. supervisors management. The most dangerous common cause failures are of an organizational nature: insufficient management commitment to safety. China. 1993 Shenzen. Technical failures usually arise from human errors such as poor maintenance.COMMON CAUSE FAILURES Often. one event or condition can lead to a number of faults or failures. the more harm it can lead to. but also technical safety and maintenance of the installation tend to be neglected. The higher a common cause failure is located in the management hierarchy. If a company does not have a well-organized training programme. Thailand. Thailand. . China. They almost always result from a number of causes. Not only operator training and instruction. Thailand. Thailand. Contents Previous .Flammable chemicals Gunpowder Reaction between hydrosulphate and sodium sulphide Ethene Potassium chlorate Petrol 5 63 15 >200 52 25 Bangkok. 1993 9 35 7 6 104 12 101 Beijing. it is probably because its management does not consider safety a first priority and does not devote adequate time and money to it. Management should be fully committed to plant safety and its commitment made known to all personnel. but also maintenance personnel. CAUSES Major accidents may generally be caused by human failures or errors. 1991 Hubei. lack of communication between departments.

Lewis 1990. Lave and Upton 1987. Covello and Merkhofer 1993. and environment and about how that fit can be strengthened or weakened by unexpected events (Roush 1993). Rafter 1987. Carpenter. National Research Council 1993. United Nations Environment Programme 1993. Smith. technology. and Faulstich 1988. The growth of industrial accident prevention companies and the blossoming of literature on industrial risk assessment are other expressions of the same trend (Bowonder and Linstone 1987. Warner 1992). However. if we are to make optimal use . International Atomic Energy Agency 1992. mass media reports. This is the kind of information that will be invaluable to humanity during an era of deep and farreaching societal and environmental change. United Nations 1994. Risk Analysis 1994. Cutter 1993.1 Industrial disasters are not simply safety problems that need to be resolved: they also have wider significance because they offer important opportunities to learn about the "goodness of fit" between society. Mitchell Introduction The nature of industrial disaster Industrial disaster burdens The evolution of responses Routine disasters Surprises Coping with surprise Reducing the impact of industrial disaster surprises: The range of choice Recovering from surprise Conclusions Notes References Introduction During the last several decades there has been a growing awareness of the expanding risks and consequences of major industrial disasters. and the appearance of new public institutions that address the problem. Mitchell 1990.1 Improving community responses to industrial disasters James K. This is reflected in official statistics. Lepkowski 1987.

leaks. Releases may be sudden and intensive. spills. transportation. manufacture. which confound both expert and lay expectations. genetic materials) or damaging levels of energy from industrial facilities or equipment into surrounding environments. Losses generally involve the release of damaging substances (e.g. it is important to develop better ways of responding to them. use. it may be possible to identify responses that are robust and flexible across a range of different surprises and therefore worthy of encouragement and emulation in communities elsewhere.that lie outside the realm of previous experience.of such opportunities it may be necessary to modify the way we think about industrial disasters. rather than as extreme events that lie at the tails of different sets of statistical distributions. it is difficult to design specific anticipatory measures of the kind that have proved successful in reducing routine hazards. chemicals.2 Since surprises appear to be increasing.g. They constitute the great majority of threats to human populations. It is customary to view industrial disasters as "extreme events" that are different mainly in degree from more mundane disruptions to which industries and society have become adjusted. By so doing."routine" disasters and "surprises". including extraction. Because surprises are unprecedented events. This chapter asserts that it is time to make a clear distinction between two types of industrial disasters .3 When these threats exceed human coping capabilities or the absorptive capacities of environmental systems they give rise to industrial disasters. fires. They include disasters like Bhopal and Chernobyl and Minamata events or their consequences or both . Successful management of routine disasters mainly requires that society put into practice the ample stocks of knowledge and experience about them that already exist. This usually occurs in the form of explosions. are quite different and much less understood. Releases may occur because of factors that are internal to the industrial system (e. Surprises. or wastes. as in a power-plant explosion. at least in the short run. storage. and disposal. Industrial hazards can occur at any stage in the production process. Communities that have been affected by surprises should learn from each other's experience and disseminate that knowledge widely. processing. extremes of nature). The nature of industrial disaster Industrial hazards are threats to people and life-support systems that arise from the mass production of goods and services. or gradual and extensive. engineering flaws) or they may occur because of external factors (e. as in the build- . Improving reactive responses to surprises may offer better opportunities for coping with surprises. radioactivity.g. As defined here. It is advantageous to think of surprises as a coherent class of events that cuts across all types of hazards. routine disasters are well understood by experts and susceptible to management using long-established principles and practices.

Nova Scotia. As a result of the upsurge in offsite events. on the foundry floor. Cleary.at the mine face. and a south-westerly air flow all helped to shape the events that occurred at Three Mile Island nuclear power station (Sills. But this is a misleading oversimplification. destroyed much of the surrounding city (Prince 1920). These combine in different ways to create a specific hazard. Perrow highlights the growing importance of tightly coupled systems that leave little room for error and virtually guarantee failure. among others. TheChallenger space shuttle disaster involved. Whiteside 1990). faulty equipment. in the machine shop and the power station. or on the ships and railroads that transported a majority of industrial products (Sax 1975. National Safety Council 1988. For example. The calculus of industrial hazard is a blend of industrial systems. Houts. Many other factors are involved. Historically.up of ozone-destroying chemicals in the stratosphere or the progressive leakage of improperly disposed toxic wastes. people. The partial meltdown of a nuclear reactor core at Three Mile Island. 1. Accordingly. Explanations of industrial hazards and disasters have also changed. or unanticipated side-effects of technological systems. most public policies for disaster reduction emphasized safer industrial technologies and upgraded working conditions . Fig. Some of these focus on specific technical developments in the evolution of modern technology. In a narrow sense the causes of industrial hazards and disasters are malfunctions. Increasingly. Occasional extraordinary disasters affected larger populations that were not directly associated with the industrial production system.000 people evacuated an area within 15 miles of the TMI power station (Houts. operator error. the effects of industrial disasters were typically confined to workplaces or to the transportation systems that shipped raw materials and finished goods. and environments (fig. Wolf.1 Components of industrial hazards Large-scale industrial disasters are one of the legacies of the Industrial Revolution. and Hu 1988). Accidents thus . before 1800 they were few and far between. a vulnerable fluid seal. For example. failures. and an impatient launch team although the official inquiry blamed only the seal. But it was not until comparatively recently that these latter kinds of industrial disasters became common.1). cold weather. broad or quasi-universal explanations of industrial hazards are now emerging. and Hu 1988). Chelius 1977. in 1979 is a good example. Since the 1970s there has been an increasing number of devastating events that produced significant "off-site" effects on the health and well-being of humans and other life-forms as well as on the nonliving environment. the context of the industrial disaster management problem has expanded considerably. Pennsylvania. in 1917 the explosion of a munitions ship in the harbour of Halifax. It is estimated that over 140. 1. Cleary. Rosner and Markowitz 1987. and Shelanski 1982.

He argues that technological innovation is typically viewed as a "linear" process that connects the achievement of a particular intended result with the use of a specific device. (2) not accountable according to the prevailing rules of causality. Moreover. undermining apparently well-designed safeguards against disaster (Lagadec 1990). 1992). These. meaningful advances in risk reduction require social change as well as the development of technical solutions. and (3) neither compensable nor insurable" (Beck 1995.. either socially or temporally. or ecological are: "(1) not limitable. Douglas and Wildavsky contend that all societies pay attention to risks selectively and that decisions about which risks we choose to confront are highly social and value-laden (Douglas and Wildavsky 1982. Finally. he believes. Beck contends that the citizens of economically advanced states have become part of a "risk society. 1993)." when all of us must confront ". Headrick believes that industrial hazards are an inevitable consequence of dominant cultural conceptions of technology (Headrick 1990). contemporary threats . Lovins has made similar arguments about the inherent vulnerability of large centralized systems such as electricity transmission grids (Lovins 1981). guilt and liability. 2). Lagadec suggests that we increasingly live in "metastable" contexts where potential instabilities in technological systems and human systems are camouflaged or otherwise hidden from view. it is clear that industrial hazards and . There is also a growing awareness that the impacts of industrial hazards often fall disproportionately on disadvantaged and relatively powerless groups. 1988. For example. and capable of being compensated or insured against. often out of proportion to the objective risks (Kasperson et al. From many of these perspectives. Renn et al. hazards will be less likely to develop or to continue (Dembo et al. including hazards.whether nuclear. some hazards are subject to a process of social amplification that raises their salience. were limited. chemical. Other analysts locate the problem of hazard predominantly in the human components of technology. By contrast. Douglas." Beck reserves the term risks for the hazardous phenomena of early industrial societies. This period is marked by the emergence of a distinction between "risks" and "threats. the possibility of artificially produced self-annihilation" (Beck 1995.become "normal" (Perrow 1984). Little thought is given to the larger contexts that promote unintended side-effects. when perturbations occur they grow and spread quickly." This is "an epoch in which the dark sides of progress increasingly come to dominate social debate. biological. 1988). It is suggested that once such groups are empowered to defend their interests. 2). As a result. In light of the range and variety of explanations that have been advanced. Johnson and Covello (1987) remind us that risk is a socially constructed concept. knowable. Slovic and others suggest that limited human abilities to assess risks in complex systems are a crucial component in the creation of hazard (Slovic 1987)..

The complete burden of industrial hazard and disaster is undoubtedly much larger. However. As the next section shows. managing. or delayed losses associated with acute events. and available figures mainly pertain to acute and intensive events. and protracted legal disputes as well as by attempts at mediation and reconciliation. Industrial disaster burdens Recent studies by the American think-tank Resources for the Future and the Swiss Reinsurance Company suggest that at least 10.5 The losses are increasing. A few years later. In the process.disasters are highly complex phenomena subject to a multitude of contextual influences (Burton and Kates 1986). Minamata's identity has become inextricably bound up with the disease. There have been deep disagreements about the allocation of blame and about appropriate restitution and countermeasures.000 people are killed each year in major industrial accidents and that insured losses are in the vicinity of US$5 billion annually. Decision-making has been marked by protests.and coping with . Citizen action groups have emerged to press disparate agendas. The community is still living through . . Golding. It is now 60 years since methyl mercury compounds were first released from an industrial plant in the city and more than 40 years since Minamata Bay became a disposal location. Lives have been burdened by physical disfigurements and impaired functioning or cut short by premature death. and local food supplies have been quarantined. comparable figures were around 1. They do not report uninsured losses. Glickman. and memorializing the disaster. riots. Ecosystems have been contaminated. or losses due to chronic industrial pollution such as that which has affected places like Minamata. Minamata's experience with industrial disaster has been long and painful (Ellis 1989. Japan. both in the minds of its own residents and in the eyes of the outside world. Others include Bhopal. Minamata City and Kumamoto Prefecture 1988). Chernobyl. and new public institutions have been established to provide a permanent capacity for studying. Thousands of people have been identified as victims and thousands more seek official designation. and Silverman 1992). these figures merely hint at the magnitude of the problem.the aftermath of those events. the symptoms of Minamata disease were first publicly reported and it has been almost 30 years since scientists identified its causes and aetiology. Seveso. Recovery continues but many uncertainties remain: the end of this disaster is not yet in sight! Unfortunately. The community's economic base and the livelihoods of its people have been eroded.000 deaths with insured losses of US$1 billion (Marbacher 1990. they also impose heavy burdens on society. Minamata is only one entry in a growing list of places that have been grievously affected by industrial disasters. In 1970.4. Anxiety and mistrust have taken root in private lives and public discourse. No comprehensive data on global losses have been compiled.

The potential for catastrophic disasters associated with high-level civilian nuclear wastes is a continuing problem (New York Times. Similar improvements have reduced the hazard of fires caused by faulty electrical equipment and the number of collapses of high-rise buildings. worker safety. and the acid precipitation-damaged forests of south Germany . Until 1957 it was home to about 200. an area of about 1. humans have demonstrated impressive abilities to cope with most industrial disasters. the bulk of experience suggests that most impacted communities survive and attempt to recover their former vitality. Another more recent example has .and Times Beach. injuries. streams. apartment buildings. the oilstained shores of Prince William Sound. boiler explosions were perhaps the most common industrial disaster (Hamilton 1973). At one time in the early industrialization of Great Britain and the United States. over the long term.7 Now the problem of boiler explosions is much reduced as a consequence of improvements in industrial design. The evolution of responses The fact that most communities survive industrial disasters testifies to the resilience of people and the effectiveness of their responses to catastrophe. Boiler explosions provide a good illustration.albeit most probably from military sources rather than civilian industries. it is not just specific communities that are affected: whole regions . and other places.the coalfields of Silesia. Here. and. In some cases. More than 30 years after soils. first by ameliorating their effects and then by finding effective ways to avoid. prevent. economic loss. They often led to catastrophic fires on board ships and trains as well as in factories. and disruption are attributes of industrial disaster. much of the district remains abandoned (Medvedhev 1979).have been stigmatized by chronic releases of industrial effluents or by sudden catastrophic accidents involving industrial products (World Resources Institute 1992). Fortunately. or control them by precautionary actions. and animal life were contaminated by a catastrophic release of improperly stored nuclear wastes. impacts more extreme than Minamata's have been recorded. such cases are still comparatively rare.000 people but most of the old settlements are now empty and large signs posted along nearby roads urge travellers not to stop in the vicinity.one that results in the annihilation of affected communities and the demise or permanent relocation of their residents (Feshbach and Friendly 1992). None the less. The Kyshtym district of Russia provides a particularly chilling example that involved nuclear wastes . Indeed. 5 March 1995). What became officially known in 1989 as "The East Ural Radioactive Trace" is an example of the worst kind of industrial or environmental disaster . occupational health. with the reduction in East-West tensions. lakes. and other factors. vegetation.6 Moreover. construction standards. those that involve military-industrial facilities may be on the decline. though deaths.500 square kilometres in the southern Ural Mountains is devoid of human occupation and most signs of life.

whole classes of hazard may be added to or dropped from the public agenda. demand for the products of refineries and chemical plants increased sharply throughout the world. New hazards arise as a consequence of technological innovations. worker education and training. coalfield labour demographics. it destroyed or damaged very few offshore oil and gas platforms. particularly during the 1950s and 1960s. among others. Some of these changes . However. In other words. platform siting and installation procedures. The recent history of hazardous industry regulation in Britain makes this point (Pests 1988. coalmine death rates were much higher in the United States than in coalmining countries of Europe (Curran 1993). intensity. industrial hazards are neither permanent nor unchanging. coal supplies and demand. The history of coalmine disasters in the United States offers an even more salutary lesson. And it took two more decades before comprehensive programmes of hazard management were put in place. The mix of hazard is always in flux. This led to major changes in those industries.come to light in the wake of hurricane Andrew. Myers and Read 1992). and improved operation and maintenance actions (New York Times. The process of developing effective responses may require many decades or longer to reach completion. building materials and construction practices. larger plants. Through time. Glacken 1973). even as late as the 1960s. from the industrial innovations that triggered the hazards to the development of effective responses. After World War II. a researcher at the East-West Center in Hawaii. and mine safety programmes. Death rates were affected by changes in a wide range of factors including. the most disastrous storm ever to have affected the United States. These changes were accompanied by an upsurge in explosions and fires. design standards. As these examples show. and expanded throughput of products. Despite Andrew's size. But it was not until the early 1970s that public policy makers in the United Kingdom began to take action in response. 21 October 1992). unionization. mine size. bulk liquefaction of gases). in the United Kingdom the entire sequence. though they may be long lived (Iijima 1979. Thereafter they did not undergo a major decline until the 1930s. bigger inventories. This positive outcome continues a long-term trend of improvement in platform survivability that has come about because of advances in knowledge about marine environments. laws and regulations. argues that this process of change might be labelled "risk transition" and that it is comparable in importance to the socalled "demographic transition" that accompanied rapid economic development in many countries during the past century (Smith 1988). levels of mechanization. and general destructiveness on land. Kirk Smith. Numbers of mine disasters and disaster deaths rose throughout the nineteenth century to peak in the first decade of the twentieth.g. while existing hazards are reduced or eliminated by effective human responses. including new production processes (e. stretched across four decades.

in developing countries it is theoretically possible to adopt production systems and related hazard controls at the same time by taking advantage of experience already acquired in developed countries. more typically. the match between hazard and response becomes closer and losses begin to decline.2). sometimes of vast proportions? And what if these events signal that society is already pressing against the limits of the global environment's capacity to absorb them? The next section takes up this theme. Certainly. These included 126 transportation accidents. a new hazard becomes familiar by dint of repeated experience . social learning of the type just noted plausibly explains the changing salience of boiler disasters. the response process might be induced to unfold faster. The three most costly were petrochemicals explosions in . while others worked against that outcome. Of course. can we learn to cope with unprecedented events.and hazards managers are able to acquire a fund of knowledge about the utility of alternative coping mechanisms. 8 mine disasters. What is required is a period of time to gain experience of the hazard. offshore platform failures and many other phenomena (Sheehan and Wedeen 1993). what had once been a challenging new hazard would no longer constitute much of a threat. 35 large explosions and fires.worked toward reducing mine disasters and deaths. 1. At this stage. Routine disasters So-called "man-made catastrophes" occur with considerable frequency throughout the world every year (fig. But. mainly chemical plants and power stations. About 25 of these disasters took place in exclusively industrial facilities. But such learning requires that hazards and disasters occur with sufficient frequency to provide a base of experience and opportunities for testing alternative responses. In time. For example. the potential for further disasters grows. Gradually. scientific expertise to investigate it. the process begins with reactive strategies that are intended to reduce the impacts of disasters and works toward creating anticipatory strategies that are intended to avoid the build-up of hazard. and a public commitment to put the findings into practice. How. What has just been described might be labelled a social learning model of industrial hazard management. transfers of technology to developing countries often fail to modify the borrowed systems to take account of socio-cultural circumstances in the receiving country. Often. then. It assumes that few hazards are insurmountable in the long run. In 1990 the Swiss Reinsurance Company recorded 191. As a result. 6 building collapses and 16 miscellaneous others (Marbacher 1991).

Additional data for the United States indicate that this downward trend has taken place while levels of production have . their causes and characteristics are well known to engineers and safety managers. $220 million damage).2 Global trends in industrial accidents What is striking about the Swiss data is the unexceptional and repetitive nature of the events that they record. According to Resources for the Future. In short. Dozens of the entries refer to aircraft and ships that went down during bad weather. these are hardly unprecedented disasters: they occur relatively often somewhere throughout the globe. directed at them. $28 million damage) and the United States (17 deaths. There are multiple cases of gas explosions in mines and factory fires. 1. which peaked in the late 1970s.2). And because they dominate the global catalogue of losses. India (30 deaths. 1. that effort may be paying off. is now decreasing9 (fig. they are "routine disasters". Although there might be only one such event in any country in a given year. and trains that collided or ran out of control. the global total of industrial accidents. and they can be reduced by applying more or less reliable countermeasures. Fig.8 Moreover. Scores more are about buses.Thailand (54 deaths). most of the global effort to reduce industrial hazards is. cars. understandably.

It is important to realize that the underlying thrust of this chapter is not about simply reclassifying events as surprises and routine hazards: it is about asking . In the lists of major disasters there may be only a few surprises each year but they are among the most important events. Fig. 1995).surprises is slow and limited. and (2) the metaphors and concepts that we use to understand those events. Funtowicz and Ravetz 1990. These can be labelled "surprises" (Kates 1985). surprises raise fundamental issues about the nature and roles of uncertainty and indeterminacy in human thought (Wynne 1992. Ravetz and Funtowicz 1990.been rising (fig. In the context of this subject they are also events that announce unprecedented hazards. one that brings to light new and troubling dimensions of disaster. 1.3).3 US trends in industrial accidents Surprises arise from two interacting sources: (1) the events that we experience. Surprises But sprinkled here and there throughout the record is another kind of event. In other words. despite a growing potential for technological disasters (including industrial accidents). Thus. Progress in understanding .let alone managing . Surprises are events that confound our expectations (Holling 1986). fewer of them seem to be occurring. O'Riordan and Rayner 1991. In other words. surprises not only have unexpected practical consequences but also challenge us to devise new interpretive paradigms. 1.

Moreover. Some surprises are unprecedented because they are one of a kind. and those that were thought likely to occur but (mistakenly) believed to have only minor consequences. such as those that occur in quantitative risk analyses (e. together with methods of comparative risk assessment. so-called "forest death" in Europe. surprise involves different types of unprecedentedness. Indeed. surprise is a function of the unprecedentedness of an event. Surprises can be classified in terms of the degree to which they connect with or depart from expectations. This is a heterogeneous group. a word of explanation is in order. Kyshtym appears to be the only significant example of a nuclear waste storage disaster.g. chemicals. Seveso. These graphs are useful devices for illustrating risk distributions and for suggesting alternative levels of risk that might be designated for purposes of regulation. However. about the only characteristics that the group seem to share are hazardousness and surprise. Challenger. Bhopal. (2) precursor events.g. these include events that were never envisaged. Seveso). stratospheric ozone depletion. and radiation. Such graphs typically show a large number of high-probability/low-consequence events and a small number of lowprobability/high-consequence events. and some risks are subjectively assessed with greater dread than others that have a statistically similar chance of occurrence (Slovic 1987). Mississauga). rare events differ in kind as well as in magnitude. perhaps .us to change the way we think about hazardous events and eventually to change the ways we seek to manage them. There are examples of mechanical systems. Love Canal. Society is usually well adjusted to coping with the high-probability (common) events but less well equipped to deal with the lowprobability (rare) ones. it is possible to divide them into three general groups: (1) unique events. the Mississauga train derailment in Ontario. acid precipitation. For readers who are familiar with frequency/severity graphs of hazardous industrial phenomena. In other words. Lowrance 1976. Lave 1982).g. decision-making under uncertainty. For example. and risk-cost-benefit analysis. Acute events and chronic ones are both represented. acid precipitation) are included as well as intensive events (e.10 Exxon Valdez. It contains some events that affected fixed facilities (e. the Kuwait oil fires. Three Mile Island) and others that involved moving vehicles (e. Indeed. those that were thought likely to occur but had not happened previously. they may be sufficient tools for analysing what are here called routine hazards.g. those that were envisaged but regarded as highly unlikely. Extensive processes (e. These are representative of surprise types but they do not constitute an exhaustive list. and greenhouse gas build-up in the atmosphere. Three Mile Island. For example. Among others. Chernobyl.g. the term "surprise" connotes more than simply low probability. Many of the most spectacular industrial disasters of the post-World War II era can be described as surprises: these include Minamata. and (3) superlative events. For example.

SALT treaty) but many others are not controlled. deliberate oil spills and oilfield conflagrations). A recent US General Accounting Office report indicates that 40 old Sovietdesigned nuclear reactors without basic safety features are still operating in Russia and Eastern Europe (United States General Accounting Office 1991). Here. and warfare (Matousek 1991). Times Beach. Three Mile Island. Chernobyl stands as the worst in a series of nuclear power station accidents that includes earlier events like the Windscale incident (1957) and the accident at Three Mile Island (1979). Improperly managed hazards involve failures of various kinds of hazard control systems. Instrumental hazards are intended to cause harm and are consciously employed towards that end. Military industrial technologies belong to this group (e. and chemical weapons such as defoliants and nerve agents.the British Comet .10 of these are of special concern (New York Times. 23 July 1995). much larger cargoes of oil were fetching up on vulnerable shores. Chernobyl). Challenger. Most major industrial accidents are of this type.is an example: a series of apparently mysterious Comet crashes occurred at intervals until a lengthy investigation disclosed that metal fatigue was an unexpectedly serious problem in these aircraft. or reduce. Bhopal). Unsuspected hazards involve substances or activities that were regarded as harmless or benign until scientific evidence or human experience showed otherwise. Although it is currently the worst event of its kind. and (3) instrumental hazards. Kyshtym. Certain military industrial technologies have been subject to controls (e.there will never be another like it. It is also possible to classify surprises in terms of the degree to which they are susceptible to prediction and control. arson. nuclear. chemical plants (e. The mismanaged wastes of military industrial technology are also an important form of improperly managed hazards. asbestos. as well as in storage and disposal sites for toxic materials (e. Within a few years. nuclear test ban treaty.g. Seveso. biological. Basle. there is potential for others. Although instrumental hazards lie entirely within the domain of human control they have never been easy to prevent.g. Exxon Valdez). There are strong pressures to continue to develop. three groups of hazards stand out: (1) unsuspected hazards.g. and chemical chlorofluorocarbons are representative examples. (2) improperly managed hazards. control. They include sabotage. The sinking of the Torrey Canyon off the United Kingdom in the early 1970s was the first in a series of supertanker oil spills that brought increasingly greater damage to maritime ecosystems (Cowan 1968). Well-known management failures have taken place at nuclear facilities (e. Windscale. Other surprises are unprecedented because they are the first of a kind. each the precursor of what later turns out to be a sequence of related events. The destruction in flight of the world's first commercial jet airliner . Minamata). Love Canal.g. A third type of surprise gains notoriety from being aworst of a kind event.g. and transportation systems (e.g. . DDT.

leading to its eventual abandonment. may be susceptible to control. Atmospheric build-up of chlorofluorocarbons is directly attributable to industrial processes. river floods provided the means by which a hazardous chemical . The effects may be felt for generations (Park 1989. They pose problems that might be ultimately solvable. Although communities in the (then) USSR and Eastern Europe received most of the contamination.dioxin was spread through the community of Times Beach. Apart from those who died at the time of the accident. and maintain most innovative weapons systems. They include an unknown number of former employees of the Chernobyl power station.results (Walters 1992). smaller levels of fallout circulated as far afield as the Alps. a minimum of one million people mainly in Belarus and the Ukraine .000 people who took part in extinguishing the fire.000 evacuees from the so-called "exclusion zone" that was established after the fire. Unlike previous industrial hazards. the British Isles. Concern about humaninduced climate change is a leading example (Mintzer 1992). and 272. 135. Finally. Improperly managed hazards are outcomes of failed controls. Brenton 1994). at least until disaster strikes or is imminent. Experts worry that rising sea levels may soon allow sea water to leach nuclear wastes that are buried on Pacific atolls.test. Some of the more complex surprises are blends of industrial hazard and natural hazard (Showalter and Myers 1994).perhaps unprecedented . some surprises raise the worrisome possibility that industrial hazards have evolved to the point where they are now capable of fundamentally altering global biogeochemical systems. Today an area of at least 13.000 square kilometres is officially classified as being heavily affected by radiation. and Scandinavia (Smith and Clark 1989). building the concrete "sarcophagus" that entombs the stricken reactor. once identified. Increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide are also a . Some of them can reach across space and time to affect vast numbers." The lives of others who live further afield have also been affected. by such measures as restrictions on food supplies that were exposed to fallout and changes in national energy policies that de-emphasized the use of nuclear power (Bojcun 1991. whose effects were mostly confined to people in close contact with the industries. A further characteristic of recent industrial surprises deserves comment. For example. but we have yet to find and adopt appropriate solutions. but some of the worst contamination is known to lie outside this designated zone. Unsuspected hazards are effectively unknown. The spread of radiation associated with the Chernobyl nuclear power station fire (1986) is an appropriate example. Missouri.live with the possibility of impaired health and truncated lives. thereby bringing about serious . Marples 1988).000 inhabitants of the surrounding "zone of strict control. many of the new surprises have demonstrated the potential to inflict delayed catastrophic losses on people and life-support systems often far removed from the industries themselves. an additional 600. They lie at the outer limits of our awareness but. and decontaminating the vicinity.

such as tropical cyclones and drought (Mitchell and Ericksen 1992).g. From this perspective. In the realm of global change surprises that are driven by industrial hazards. surprises can be viewed as extreme events or anomalies . both the outcomes and the relative contributions of people and nature are in doubt. The contradictions are illustrated by a recent example. They are often indicators of abrupt or discontinuous change and may be forerunners of new sets of events (Brooks 1986). On the other hand surprises are . This example illustrates an important characteristic of evolving surprises .unlike other events. it became clear that prevailing knowledge about the uptake and conversion of radioactivity in soils had been based on experience with alkaline soils. improved responses are likely to be found among measures that have proved to be effective against the most closely related class of events.function of industrial activities (especially power generation and vehicle use) as well as a function of the intensification of nonindustrial activities (e. Eventually.to a greater or lesser degree . and elsewhere are highly acidic and respond quite differently (Wynne 1992). The process can stretch over many decades. But there is unanimity that the issues are vitally important to the entire planet. It is often necessary to learn about surprises and respond to them simultaneously. Thus. Scandinavia.an extension of events like Three Mile Island or Windscale. a toxic surprise like the dioxin cloud at Seveso is seen as a special case among all airborne toxic releases. Existing responses are almost certainly mismatched with these new hazards and may be entirely inadequate. forest clearance for agriculture). After the Chernobyl explosion. behaviours. Or the Chernobyl explosion and fire is seen as a more extreme kind of nuclear power station accident .outliers in the distribution of events to which they are most closely related. It is widely believed that global warming might well affect the frequency and magnitude of conventional natural hazards. Promising management approaches turn out to be blind alleys because they are based on flawed expectations about causes. or actions that grew out of experience with other types of hazards. upland soils in Britain. British and Nordic scientists confidently expected that upland pastures that received moderate doses of fallout would not pose serious threats to livestock. On the one hand. Coping with surprise Surprises pose conceptual difficulties for hazard researchers and hazard managers. months after the event. They were forced to revise this judgement and institute restrictions on sheep farming when high levels of radioactivity showed up in animals that grazed these areas. .they are beginning to dissolve long-standing conceptual boundaries between what were thought of as natural hazards and what were considered industrial or human-made hazards. with many frustrations and continuing losses along the way.

Table 1. For example.say. confounding of accepted wisdom . As portrayed here.1 is one attempt to characterize some of the salient differences and similarities among surprises.tends to frustrate conventional management. Ideally. However. there are dangers to managing surprises using principles that are applicable to routine hazards. The purpose of classifying surprises in this .or a similar . This would permit identification of subcategories of surprise that currently impose the heaviest burdens on society. warning systems.1 A matrix of surprisesa Experience Unsuspected hazards One of a kind First of a kind Worst of a kind Ozone depletion: chlorofluorocarbons DDT: pesticide Minamata: methyl mercury bio. Control increases from left to right. quite evidently they are not. the boxes in the matrix might be filled with many more examples . A time series of such assessments would provide useful information about the shifting nature of surprise and the rate at which some surprises undergo the transition to routine hazards. a first step towards the answer is to treat surprises as a heterogeneous but coherent class of events that shares the common characteristic of challenging our expectations. experience increases from top to bottom.many types but few cases of each. How can an appropriate alternative management system for surprises be fashioned? It is too early to give an answer to that question for we are only now beginning to think systematically about surprise as a special kind of management problem. Indeed. emergency-management schemes and . prospects for control increase as we move from left to right and levels of experience increase as we move from top to bottom.magnification Control Improperly managed hazards Kyshtym: nuclear wastes Instrumental hazards Hiroshima. all surprises that inflict more than some minimum amount of loss.manner is to help structure investigations of responses and thereby to lay the basis for a surprise-management system. the very nature of surprises . It arranges a sample of surprises in a matrix whose axes roughly correspond to variables of control and experience. unusual amalgams of phenomena that we are accustomed to treat separately. That is not to say that all surprises are the same. Table 1. This table provides a kind of conceptual "map" of surprise.As this example shows. Nagasaki: atomic bombs Metal fatigue: Comet World War I: poison aircraft gas Chernobyl: nuclear power station Kuwait: oil well fires a . increasingly potent and far-reaching in space and time.

and pollution and damage to the environment.Next CONSEQUENCES . The enterprise is affected by:         adverse public reaction unfavourable publicity in the press. Existing systems would continue to be applied to routine hazards. Indeed. and television extensive repair or replacement. It should be realized that a system for managing surprise would supplement. It would be valuable to examine the record of success in employing these responses across the full range of surprises. heavy damage to installations and buildings. radio. It may be that certain actions are particularly flexible as well as effective and that others are restricted to one niche in the matrix. which constitute the bulk of all hazards that confront society.Long-term consequences A serious accident has long-term effects at three levels: the enterprise.recovery programmes are three of the many responses to hazard. Contents - Previous .Immediate consequences The immediate consequences of a major accident may be many dead or injured. interruption of supply to customers and break in relations with them investigations by the judiciary. possibly generating further unfavourable publicity lawsuits resulting in severe punishment of the guilty: heavy fines or prison terms indemnification of the victims and their relatives additional safety measures required by the competent authorities increased insurance rates expenses for recruitment and training of new personnel. existing systems of hazard management. loss of production. . a successful system for managing surprises would be one that facilitates the transition of surprises to routine hazards. . and the environment. but serious accidents can also endanger the nearby population and environment. At this stage it is not possible to do more than indicate these general directions that investigations might take. not replace. the people living in the vicinity. Workers and the installations are mostly affected.

the property value itself may decline as people may not want to live near a potentially unsafe area.org ASIA-OSH: [ Top | BANGKOK/RO Home | ASIA-OSH Home | CIS Home | Safework Home | FIOH | FINNISH AID ] International Labour Organization (ILO): Contact us | Site map | Copyright and Permissions 1996-2010 International Labour Organization (ILO) . Hazardous substances released in the accident may be detrimental to the environment. Some chemical substances can cause illnesses that manifest themselves long after actual exposure.Disclaimer . Fax: +662. animals.3058 or E-mail: kawakami@ilo. perhaps permanently. land may not be suitable for cattle-grazing or crop qrowing for a long time.As a result. the plant may have to be shut down for a long time.288.288. and vegetation: crops may be spoiled and water supplies polluted. Approved by BKL. Besides damage to property near the plant site. Updated by PAP/SUT/TRS. Last update: 29 August 2000 For further information. People living in the vicinity of the accident may become permanently disabled or emotionally disturbed.1743. please contact the Asian-Pacific Regional Network on Occupational Safety and Health Information (ASIA-OSH) at Tel: +662.

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