Oil Spills

Chronology of Industrial Disasters

compiled by George Draffan

www.endgame.org

This is a list of major industrial disasters. The list does not include deaths and destruction due to dangerous workplaces and unsafe products. In the U.S. alone, it is estimated that 10,000 deaths occur each year due to routine industrial accidents; another 100,000 deaths occur due to occupational disease; and 30,000 deaths and 20,000,000 serious injuries due to unsafe consumer products. This list also does not include an estimated 90 percent of cancers which may be environmentally induced (that is, from industrial products and by-products). The list also does not include wars over petroleum and other natural resources, or deaths and destruction due to accidents at weapons plants or armories.

Year

Location

Industry

Description

2004

China

coal

Gas explosion in Daping coal mine in Henan province killed 56 people and left dozens more missing and 148 were trapped (AP/USAToday.com, Oct 20, 2004).
In 2004, 6,027 Chinese mine workers were killed--an average of about 16 deaths a day. (AP/CBS News, July 14, 2005).

2004

Scotland

plastic factory

ICL Plastics plc's Stockline Plastics plant in Glasgow explodes, killing 9 and injuring more than 40.

 2001

France

fertilizer factory

September 21 explosion at Azote de France (AZF) agricultural chemicals factory near Toulouse. 31 people dead, at least 650 people hospitalized.

1998

France

fertilizer factory

Explosion at Azote de France (AZF) fertilizer factory near Toulouse.

1998

Nigeria

oil pipeline

Pipeline at Jesse Nigeria exploded, instantly killing more than 500 people and severely burning hundreds more. Up to 2000 people had been lining up with buckets and bottles to scoop up oil. The fire spread and engulfed the nearby villages of Moosqar and Oghara, killing farmers and villagers sleeping in their homes. Shell, AGIP, Elf-Aquitaine, Chevron and Mobil split their oil revenues with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company. http://jinx.sistm.unsw.edu.au/~greenlft/1998/338/338p23b.htm

1993

Thailand

toy factory

Killed 188 women and injured over 400. Peter Symonds, Industrial Inferno : The Story of the Thai Toy Factory Fire (Mehring Books, 1997).

1989

USA Alaska

oil tanker

Exxon Valdez tanker spills 11 million gallons of crude oil into Price William Sound.

1986

Ukraine

nuclear

Chernobyl nuclear power station in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic chemical explosion at the station's fourth reactor and an uncontrolled graphite fire that followed led to the release of more than 450 radionuclides, comprising about 3.5 per cent of the fuel stored in the reactor core. Official reports put the immediate death toll at 31, but it is widely believed that many more died in the first hours and weeks after the explosion. The Ukrainian government has estimated the number of deaths among clean-up workers alone as 7,000-8,000. (David R. Marples, in The Long Road to Recovery: Community Responses to Industrial Disaster, edited by James K. Mitchell (United Nations University Press, 1996). http://www.unu.edu/unupress/unupbooks/uu21le/uu21le00.htm#Contents

1984

India Bhopal

toxics

Explosion at Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal India released cloud of methyl isocyanate, killing at least 2,000 and injured 50,000. More on Bhopal disaster.

1982

USA Missouri

chemical waste

In 1996-97, 265,354 tons of soil and other dioxin-contaminated material from Times Beach and 26 other sites in eastern Missouri had been incinerated. In 1982, Times Beach's 2,242 residents were evacuated after dioxin found in soil.

1979

USA Pennsylvania

nuclear

Three Mile Island nuclear power plant. Over 140,000 people evacuated within a 15 mile area.

1978

France

oil tanker

Amoco Cadiz tanker runs aground off the coast of France, spilling 1.6 million barrels of crude oil.

1977

USA New York

chemical waste

Hooker Chemical Company used uncompleted canal for dumping by-products. Once the canal was filled with waste, the land was covered over and sold to the Niagara Falls city school board for $1.00 and a school and subdivision of homes was on top. The chemicals were detected leaking out of the site in 1977 and residents were eventually evacuated.

1976

USA Massachusetts

oil spill

Argo Merchant runs aground on the Nantucket Shoals off Cape Cod (Massachusetts USA), spilling 7.6 million gallons of No. 6 fuel oil.

1976

Italy

chemical factory

"Seveso" disaster. Explosion at ICMESA chemical plant on the outskirts of Meda, a small town about 20 kilometres north of Milan, Italy, releasing a toxic cloud containing TCDD dioxin; especially affected were Seveso, Meda, Desio, and Cesano Maderno.

1972

USA Idaho

coal mine

1972 Sunshine mine at Kellogg.

1972

USA West Virginia

coal mine

Dam failure at Buffalo mine in Saunders kills 125.

1968

USA West Virginia

coal mine

Explosion and fire killed 78 men at the Consol No 9 mines at Farmington, West Virginia.

1967

Russia

toxics

Accident at Chelyabinsk (Mayak) nuclear complex near Kyshtym (series of accidents since it was built in the 1940s) http://www.logtv.com/chelya/default.html

1957

England

nuclear

Fire at Windscale (Sellafield) plant where plutonium for bombs was processed.

1957

Russia

toxics

Accident at Chelyabinsk (Mayak) nuclear complex near Kyshtym (series of accidents since it was built in the 1940s) http://www.logtv.com/chelya/default.html

 1956

Japan Minamata

chemical waste

Minamata disease officially recognized. 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, Japan.

1951

USA Illinois

coal mine

Explosion at Orient No. 2 mine in West Frankfort kills 119.

1947

USA Texas

fertilizer ships

On April 16, the SS Grandcamp, carrying ammonium nitrate fertilizer, exploded in the Texas City harbor, followed the next morning by the explosion of the SS High Flyer. The disaster kills almost 576 and injuring several thousand. The explosion was felt 75 miles away in Port Arthur, and created a 15-foot tidal wave.

1947

USA Illinois

coal mine

Explosion at No. 5 mine in Centralia kills 111.

1928

USA Pennsylvania

coal mine

Explosion at Mather No. 1 mine kills 195.

1924

USA West Virginia

coal mine

Explosion at Benwood mine kills 119.

1924

USA Utah

coal mine

Explosion at No. 2 mine in Castle Gate kills 172.

1923

USA New Mexico

coal mine

Explosion at Stag Canon No. 1 mine in Dawson kills 120.

1917

USA Montana

coal mine

Butte coal mine fire mine killed 63.

1917

USA Colorado

coal mine

Explosion at Hastings mine kills 121.

1917

USA Montana

coal mine

Fire at Granite Mountain mine in Butte kills 163.

1915

USA West Virginia

coal mine

Explosion at Layland No. 3 mine kills 115.

1914

USA West Virginia

coal mine

Explosion at Eccles No. 5 & No. 6 mine kills 181.

1913

USA New Mexico

coal mine

Explosion at Stag Canon No. 2 mine in Dawson kills 263.

1911

USA New York

sweatshop

Fire in the Asch Building in lower Manhattan, New York, killed 146 of the 500 employees of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company, mostly young female immigrants from Europe who were trapped in the building. http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/trianglefire

1911

USA Alabama

coal mine

Explosion at Banner mine in Littleton kills 128.

1909

USA Illinois

coal mine

Fire at Cherry mine kills 259.

1908

USA Pennsylvania

coal mine

Explosion at Rachel and Agnes mine in Marianna kills 154.

1907

USA West Virginia

coal mine

Fairmont Coal mine at Monongah exploded killing 362 men and boys. (US coal mine fatalities in this decade exceeded 2,000 annually).

1907

USA West Virginia

coal mine

Explosions at Monongah No. 6 and 8 mines kill 362.

1907

USA Pennsylvania

coal mine

Explosion at Darr mine in Jacobs Creek kills 239.

1905

USA Alabama

coal mine

Explosion at Virginia City mine kills 112.

1904

USA Pennsylvania

coal mine

Explosion at Harwick mine in Cheswick kills179.

1903

USA Wyoming

coal mine

Explosion at Hanna No. 1 mine kills 169.

1902

USA Pennsylvania

coal mine

Explosion at Rolling Mill mine at Johnstown kils112.

1902

USA Tennessee

coal mine

Explosion at Fraterville mine at Coal Creek kills184.

1900

USA Utah

coal mine

200 killed at Winter Quarters No. 4 Mine near Scofield, Utah.

1892

USA Oklahoma

coal mine

Explosion at No. 11 mine in Krebs kills 100.

1891

USA Pennsylvania

coal mine

109 killed at explosion at Mammouth coal mine in Mount Pleasant.

1884

USA Virginia

coal mine

Explosion at Laurel mine in Pocahontas kills 112.

1869

USA Pennsylvania

coal mine

110 killed in fire at Avondale coal mine in Plymouth.

1867

USA Virginia

coal mine

Explosion at Bright Hope mine at Winterpock kills 69.

1830 to 2000

USA

mining accidents

Between 1830 and 2000, 716 mining accidents in the United States killed 15,183 people. Only mine disasters killing more than 100 people are listed here; a comprehensive list of mining disasters is at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/mining/data/disall.html