An accident can be defined as “any unfortunate or undesirable happening that unintentionally occurs and results in injury, harm, loss or damage”.
If we watch out history, human lives are always susceptible to accidents. In this Frecked top 10 list, we have compiled most expensive accidents in the history, in terms of US dollars. This involves many accidents such as car crashes, bridge collapse or drowning of the Titanic ship.
The calculation of accident loss includes damaged property and incurred expenses related to accidents like industry losses and cleanup.
Value: $150 Million
Probably you have guessed Titanic in our list, but to your surprise it is at 10th position and you might have thought of it in our top 5.
Titanic sinking tragedy is very famous accident and is always a topic of discussions. Titanic sank during its first voyage on 15th April, 1912 and it was said to be most luxurious liner ever created for ocean. There were 1500 people who lost their lives when ship collided with an iceberg. The ship building cost was 7 million dollars which is equivalent to 150 million in today’s dollar.
9. Bridge Vs Tanker Truck
Value: $358 Million
On 26th August, 2004, one car collided with one tanker truck which contained 32,000 liters fuel on Wiehltal Bridge, Germany. The tanker then crashed through the side of guardrail and as result it fell off 90 feet of the A4 Autobahn and resulted a humongous explosion and fierce fire which completely destroyed load bearing abilities of bridge.
Temporary repairs done cost around 40 million dollars and 318 Million dollars were spent to replace the bridge.
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8. MetroLink Crash
Value: $500 Million
On 12th September, 2008, world witnessed a train crash in California which was termed as one of the worst crashes of all time.
25 people got killed when Metrolink commuter daily train crashed into Union Pacific daily freight train, head-on, in (LA) Los Angeles.
It was thought that Metrolink train may not have obeyed the red signal because conductor was text messaging. Wrongful death lawsuits were expected and caused $500 million loss to Metrolink.
7. B-2 Bomber Crash
Value: $1.4 Billion
Here we are discussing the 1st billion dollar valued accident of the list(and its just #7 in the list).
B-2, a stealth bomber got crashed just after it took off from the air base of Guam on 23rd February, 2008. Investigators put the blam on distorted data of flight control machines (Computers). The reason was moisture in the computer system. Aircraft started making some sudden nose-up movements which made B-2 stall and then crash.
It was one of the 21 ever built B-2 bomber and the accident was most expensive accident of the aviation history. Both the pilots were somehow ejected themselves to safety. The bomber crash got captured in video which shows one Bomber taking off successfully, followed by crashed B-2 Bomber launch.
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6. Exxon Valdez
Value: $2.5 Billion
10.8 million gallons of oil spilled on 24th March, 1989, when ship’s master captain, Joseph Hazelwood, lost controls and ship crashed with a Reef.
Exxon Valdez spill of oil was not very large one with respect to few biggest fuel spills of the world, but this accident was costly because of Prince William’s remote location (accessible only by helicopter and boat). The cleanup tasks cost Exxon approximately $2.5 billion.
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5. Piper Alpha Oil Rig
Value: $3.4 Billion
This oil disaster is known as the world’s worst oil disaster. Once, it was world’s biggest oil producer and 317000 barrels oil was produced per day.
On 6th July, 1988, a routine maintenance was performed by the technicians staff where all the safety valves were removed and verified . There were approximately 100 valves which prevents any dangerous liquid gas formation. A blunder happened from technicians and they forgot to replace one of the valve.
A technician started the setup for the gas pumps same night at 10 PM and world witnessed most expensive accident of oil rig history. The 300 foot of platform was set in flames within 2 hours which finally collapsed, killing 168 workers and resulted $3.4 Billion of damages.
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4. Challenger Explosion
Value: $5.5 Billion
The Space Challenger Shuttle was destroyed exactly after 73 seconds of the takeoff on 28th January, 1986 due to fault in O-ring. It failed sealing one joint among many others, and allowed leaking of pressurized gas. This caused external tank of the shuttle to dump the payload of hydrogen liquid which caused a huge explosion.
The replacement cost of the Shuttle was calculated as 2 billion dollars in 1986 (4.5 billion dollars in today’s US dollars). The investigation cost, correction of problem and replacement cost of the equipment loss was calculated as 450 million dollars (1 Billion dollars in today’s US dollars).
3. Prestige Oil Spill
Value: $12 Billion
On 13th November 2002, in Spain, Prestige tanker which was carrying 77,000 ton of fuel got burst in a storm. The one of the tank burst out of total twelve tanks.
The captain feared that ship might sink then he called Spanish rescue team for help, expected them to put the ship at harbor. However, local authority pressurized captain to move the ship out of the coast’s reach.
The captain then tried to get help of Portuguese and French authorities, but he did not receive any favorable response, instead he was asked to keep the ship away from their coats. Later storm took the toll and split the tanker into half and spoiled 20 million gallons of oil.
According to Pontevedra Economist’s report, the cleanup cost was $12 billion.
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2. Columbia Space Shuttle
Value: $13 Billion
The Columbia Space Shuttle was first space shuttle in NASA’s orbital squad. It got destroyed over Texas during re-entry on 1st February, 2003. It was due to a punctured hole in one wing 16 days earlier to the launch. The cost of that shuttle was 2 billion US dollars in 1978. It is equivalent to 6.3 Billion dollars in today’s US dollars.
Another 500 million dollars were spent on investigation which made it costliest investigation on aircraft crash history. The recovery and search cost was 300 million dollars.
At last, the total loss in this accident (without including shuttle replacement) was calculated as 13 Billion dollars.
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Value: $200 Billion
On 26th April, 1986, world witnessed costliest accident of the history. Chernobyl disaster is said to be biggest accident in peacetime. Nearly half of the Ukraine’s area was contaminated. 1.7 million Human lives were affected and approximately 200000 people were evacuated due to this disaster. There were many after effect of the disaster and death count reached to 125000, including people died due to cancer few years later.
The total loss including resettlement, cleanup and compensation given to victims was estimated roughly to $200 Billion. Cost of new shelter for Chernobyl plant was alone 2 billion. It was officially associated to violation of safety regulation by the operators who ignored the safety requirements.
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Top 10 Most Expensive Accidents
|Sr No.||10 Most Expensive Accidents||Value|
|2||Columbia Space Shuttle||$13 Billion|
|3||Prestige Oil Spill||$12 Billion|
|4||Challenger Explosion||$5.5 Billion|
|5||Piper Alpha Oil Rig||$3.4 Billion|
|6||Exxon Valdez||$2.5 Billion|
|7||B-2 Bomber Crash||$1.4 Billion|
|8||MetroLink Crash||$500 Million|
|9||Bridge Vs Tanker Truck||$358 Million|
Many of the above accidents resulted casualties which can never be measured, obviously, in dollars. All life lost are priceless and are not factored in the equation. Deliberate actions like terrorism or war and any natural disasters are not qualified as accidents and therefore they are excluded from this listing.