11 Most Macabre Rail Accidents Ever
It’s an undeniable fact that when it comes to traveling and public transportation the vast majority of travelers fear flying, despite airplanes being the safest form of transportation in the world, and generally consider cars and trains to be the safest forms of all. However, the truth appears to be quite different from what most people believe. Car accidents are by far the most frequent while train wrecks outnumber airplane disasters and shipwrecks combined in frequency and death toll. Here follow the 11 Worst Train Wrecks in History that will make you realize trains might not be as safe as you thought. Written by Theodoros II
THE SRI LANKA TSUNAMI-RAIL DISASTER
The 2004 Sri Lanka tsunami-rail disaster is the largest single rail disaster in world history by death toll, with at least 1,700 fatalities. It occurred when an overcrowded passenger train was destroyed on a coastal railway in Sri Lanka by a tsunami that followed the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.
THE SAINT-MICHEL-DE-MAURIENNE DERAILMENT
The Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne derailment of December 12, 1917, was a railway accident involving a troop train carrying at least one thousand French soldiers on their way home for leave from the Italian front in World War I. A derailment as the train descended the Maurienne valley line caused a tragic crash and subsequent fire in which more than seven hundred people died.
THE CIUREA RAIL DISASTER
The Ciurea rail disaster occurred on January 13, 1917, at the Ciurea station in Romania, a station with a passing loop on the railway line from Iaşi to Bârlad. Between six hundred and one thousand passengers lost their lives in the derailment and subsequent fire.
THE BIHAR TRAIN DISASTER
In the Bihar train disaster on June 6, 1981, a passenger train carrying more than eight hundred passengers between Mansi and Saharsa, India, derailed and plunged into the Bagmati River while it was crossing a bridge. After five days, more than two hundred bodies were recovered, with hundreds more missing that were feared washed away by the river. It was estimated that more than five hundred people died.
THE GUADALAJARA TRAIN DISASTER
On January 22, 1915, in Guadalajara in Jalisco, Mexico, a railway accident occurred in which the engineer lost control of an over-packed passenger train, which derailed and crashed into a ravine. More than six hundred people died.
THE UFA TRAIN DISASTER
The Ufa train disaster was an explosion on the Kuybyshev Railway on June 4, 1989, in the Soviet Union, about thirty-one miles from the city of Ufa. It was the deadliest railway accident in Russian and Soviet history, with 575 confirmed dead.
THE BALVANO TRAIN DISASTER
In this train disaster of March 3, 1944, more than 426 people illegally riding a steam-hauled freight train died of carbon monoxide poisoning when the train stalled on a steep gradient in the Armi tunnel. The accident occurred in southern Italy, near Balvano.
THE TORRE DEL BIERZO RAIL DISASTER
The Torre del Bierzo rail disaster occurred on January 3, 1944, near the village of Torre del Bierzo in the El Bierzo region of Spain’s León Province when three trains collided inside a tunnel. Although the official death toll was seventy-eight, and at the time it was estimated to be 200–250, more recent studies have estimated the death toll at over five hundred.
THE AWASH RAIL DISASTER
On January 14, 1985, a train derailed at Awash on the Addis Ababa–Djibouti Railway, plunging four of its five carriages into a ravine; the crash was estimated to have killed at least 428 and injured five hundred of the estimated one thousand on board. It was the worst rail accident in African history. It is believed the cause of the crash was the train’s excessive speed round a curve on a bridge across the ravine.
THE AL AYYAT TRAIN DISASTER
The Al Ayyat train disaster happened at two in the morning on February 20, 2002, in a passenger train with eleven carriages, traveling from Cairo to Luxor. The number of dead given by officials at the time was 383, all Egyptians. However, considering that seven carriages were burnt to the ground and each was packed with at least double the maximum carrying capacity of 150, this number is believed to be inaccurate.
THE FIROZABAD RAIL DISASTER
This rail disaster occurred on August 20, 1995, near Firozabad on the Delhi–Kanpur section of India’s Northern Railway, when a passenger train collided with a train that had stopped after hitting a cow, killing 358 people.