11 Most Catastrophic Events in History

# 11. Titanic – $150 Million

The sinking of the Titanic is possibly the most famous accident in the world. But it barely makes our list of top 10 most expensive. On April 15, 1912, the Titanic sank on its maiden voyage and was considered to be the most luxurious ocean liner ever built. Over 1,500 people lost their lives when the ship ran into an iceberg and sunk in frigid waters. The ship cost $7 million to build ($150 million in today ‘ s dollars).


# 10. Tanker Truck vs Bridge – $358 Million

On August 26, 2004, a car collided with a tanker truck containing 32,000 liters of fuel on the Wiehltal Bridge in Germany . The tanker crashed through the guardrail and fell 90 feet off the A4 Autobahn resulting in a huge explosion and fire which destroyed the load-bearing ability of the bridge. Temporary repairs cost $40 million and the cost to replace the bridge is estimated at $318 Million.


# 9. MetroLink Crash – $500 Million
On September 12, 2008, in what was one of the worst train crashes in California history, 25 people were killed when a Metrolink commuter train crashed head-on into a Union Pacific freight train in Los Angeles .. It is thought that the Metrolink train may have run through a red signal while the conductor was busy text messaging.. Wrongful death lawsuits are expected to cause $500 million in losses for Metrolink.


# 8. B-2 Bomber Crash – $1.4 Billion
Here we have our first billion dollar accident (and we ‘ re only #7 on the list). This B-2 stealth bomber crashed shortly after taking off from an air base in Guam on February 23, 2008. Investigators blamed distorted data in the flight control computers caused by moisture in the system. This resulted in the aircraft making a sudden nose-up move which made the B-2 stall and crash. This was 1 of only 21 ever built and was the most expensive aviation accident in history. Both pilots were able to eject to safety.


# 7. Exxon Valdez – $2.5 Billion
The Exxon Valdez oil spill was not a large one in relation to the world’s biggest oil spills, but it was a costly one due to the remote location of Prince William Sound (accessible only by helicopter and boat). On March 24, 1989, 10.8 million gallons of oil was spilled when the ship ‘ s master, Joseph Hazelwood, left the controls and the ship crashed into a Reef. The cleanup cost Exxon $2.5 billion.


# 6. Piper Alpha Oil Rig – $3.4 Billion
The world’s worst off-shore oil disaster. At one time, it was the world’s single largest oil producer, spewing out 317,000 barrels of oil per day. On July 6, 1988, as part of routine maintenance, technicians removed and checked safety valves which were essential in preventing dangerous build-up of liquid gas. There were 100 identical safety valves which were checked. Unfortunately, the technicians made a mistake and forgot to replace one of them. At 10 PM that same night, a technician pressed a start button for the liquid gas pumps and the world ‘ s most expensive oil rig accident was set in motion.
Within 2 hours, the 300 foot platform was engulfed in flames. It eventually collapsed, killing 167 workers and resulting in $3.4 Billion in damages.


# 5. Challenger Explosion – $5.5 Billion
The Space Shuttle Challenger was destroyed 73 seconds after take off due on January 28, 1986 due to a faulty O-ring. It failed to seal one of the joints, allowing pressurized gas to reach the outside. This in turn caused the external tank to dump its payload of liquid hydrogen causing a massive explosion. The cost of replacing the Space Shuttle was $2 billion in 1986 ($4.5 billion in today’s dollars). The cost of investigation, problem correction, and replacement of lost equipment cost $450 million from 1986-1987 ($1 Billion in today’s dollars).


# 4. Prestige Oil Spill – $12 Billion
On November 13, 2002, the Prestige oil tanker was carrying 77,000 tons of heavy fuel oil when one of its twelve tanks burst during a storm off Galicia, Spain. Fearing that the ship would sink, the captain called for help from Spanish rescue workers, expecting them to take the ship into harbour. However, pressure from local authorities forced the captain to steer the ship away from the coast. The captain tried to get help from the French and Portuguese authorities, but they too ordered the ship away from their shores. The storm eventually took its toll on the ship resulting in the tanker splitting in half and releasing 20 million gallons oil into the sea. According to a report by the Pontevedra Economist Board, the total cleanup cost $12 billion.


# 3. Space Shuttle Columbia – $13 Billion
The Space Shuttle Columbia was the first space worthy shuttle in NASA’s orbital fleet. It was destroyed during re-entry over Texas on February 1, 2003 after a hole was punctured in one of the wings during launch 16 days earlier. The original cost of the shuttle was $2 Billion in 1978. That comes out to $6.3 Billion in today ‘ s dollars. $500 million was spent on the investigation, making it the costliest aircraft accident investigation in history. The search and recovery of debris cost $300 million.
In the end, the total cost of the accident (not including replacement of the shuttle) came out to $13 Billion according to the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.


# 2. Chernobyl – $200 Billion
On April 26, 1986, the world witnessed the costliest accident in history. The Chernobyl disaster has been called the biggest socio-economic catastrophe in peacetime history. 50% of the area of Ukraine is in some way contaminated. Over 200,000 people had to be evacuated and resettled while 1.7 million people were directly affected by the disaster. The death toll attributed to Chernobyl , including people who died from cancer years later, is estimated at 125,000. The total costs including cleanup, resettlement, and compensation to victims has been estimated to be roughly $200 Billion. The cost of a new steel shelter for the Chernobyl nuclear plant will cost $2 billion alone. The accident was officially attributed to power plant operators who violated plant procedures and were ignorant of the safety requirements needed.


# 1. 2008 Presidential Election- $800 Billion in the first three weeks…..


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52 Responses to 11 Most Catastrophic Events in History

  1. Gary says:

    Absolutely amazing!

    All of it a complete waste!

  2. San says:

    This is a true eye openner, isn’t that more than the first government bail out for the States? oh boy *zips mouth shut*

  3. SKL says:

    San, what our president has done and proposed to do within his first month as president is more spending than all the previous presidents put together. And it’s mostly on social agenda stuff, not stuff that will help the economy. On top of that, he intends to move more and more of private industry into the public domain, giving capitalists a public thrashing in the process. As a result, capital has basically gone on strike in this country. It truly is a monstrous disaster. A disaster for all parties involved – except a few very liberal politicians. Sadly, many politicians who disagree with him, and who are supposed to be challenging him, are afraid to do so because they could be called racist or be accused of not wanting the bleeding to stop.

    He didn’t campaign on most of this stuff. Many of the people who voted for him are thoroughly stunned right now. That number will increase, but how much damage will be reversible?

    • Joy says:

      Stunned is a good word. I didn’t want to put this on here but after the last week and talking to peeps, I thought, what the heck. His spending has gotten out of control and it’s not a secret. Unless you’ve been living under a rock.

    • SKL says:

      Now today they are saying the “stimulus” wasn’t enough. It should have been bigger! No question about whether the money is actually going toward things that create a lot of sustainable jobs. (And no, B.O., those 25 cops in Columbus are not enough “saved jobs” to prove you “did the right thing.” How much taxpayer money did you spend to fly with your entourage to Columbus and tout your one-year subsidy for 25 cops’ jobs? No really, I wanna know.)

  4. Doraz says:

    Thanks for pointing out all these very “interesting” facts!

  5. Lyla says:

    I don’t know much about America… so I don’t know much about Obama, either. 😀 Nice blog, though :mrgreen:

    • k2 says:

      I really think the last post on this page is the most dangerous of all.And the most costly venture we all take,And the times to come will be from desperation of the American people.We as people will learn to stand together again.let it rain freedom.once more. oh yah bye the way i voted for this Asshole

  6. starlaschat says:

    800 Billion that’s a sobering fact.

    • SKL says:

      $800 Billion is an out-dated figure. His budget calls for $400B more. Then he plans on de-privatizing government contracting, lending money to “shore up” the FDIC, and furthering nationalized health care soon thereafter. Who knows what he has in mind to bail out the auto union once GM and Chrysler go bankrupt. He claims that job losses are higher than he expected; you know that’s going to mean more spending on entitlements. And now we’re going to spend more money on embryonic stem cell research too – because after all, we have all this money lying around, might as well spend it on an unnecessary and unproven science just to stick it to the pro-lifers. With businesses scaling back due to higher taxes and the anti-business Obama administration, they won’t generate enough state and local taxes, so state and local governments will be cutting costs and raising taxes. And this is just what we know about right now.

      $800 B sounded like a lot last month. Now it sounds almost conservative. I wonder what the next month or two will bring.

  7. javajunkee says:

    oh my gosh I don’t know whether to laugh or scream.
    I really hadn’t grasped just what has been spent in the last few short weeks…that’s a shit load of money and we’ve really noticed a big change ( eye rolling)

    ohhhh don’t even get me started.

  8. Laura (LS) says:

    And frighteningly enough, our deficit is up into the $10 TRILLION range.

    Hard to imagine, I know. Here’s an idea of what that looks like:


    The sad thing is, my little Hot Rod is the one who’s going to be punished here… Obama (and by extension, all of us) are taking the money from his generation and beyond.

  9. Laura (LS) says:

    Oh… and in keeping with the humor…. I have a “piece of flair” on my FB that says, “I’ll keep my guns and my freedom, you can keep the ‘change’ ”

    It ticks off all of my lib friends.

  10. G-Ma says:

    Ya, this isn’t going to be the last time we see pictures of him pointing his finger. Interpret that as trying to find someone else to blame for the catastrophe.

  11. tessa says:

    WOW lotta mulla.

    I LOVE Obama and what he stands for and the change he is making. I’ve been watching and reading, so far so good.

    • shane says:

      WOW lotta mulla is right. Most people don’t even understand what a trillion dollars is. This country will end up bankrupt under Obama’s plan. I think he’s a huge mistake for president. He’s moving towards SOCIALISM. I thought I was a democrat my whole life but I don’t know if I am anymore. We’re on our way to COMMUNISM. How and the hell are we supposed to get out of debt buy spending 1.5 trillion dollars on bailouts. Those companies that are getting the bailout money deserve to go under. I also love the fact that 35% of my 401k is gone, that’s just great. And on top of that more taxes YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. DM says:

    love the new photo @ the top of the page 🙂

    …the numbers being spent makes me want to puke.

    I seriously think the any politician (regardless of their party) who regularly spends my money on pork legislation (sorry Winston) is completely out of touch w/ main street america, has an ellitist mentality and is no friend of mine.

  13. Ole_Ship says:

    I’m I’m saving a link to this to look back at the last one.
    This may be the only place that had been keeping track .


    Oversimplified-maybe-but certainly truth.

    Ole_Ship linked/over from:

  14. Rednecks says:

    HAHAH. What a bunch of Hill Billys that made this page. They forget to mention things like Hiroshima, Slavery and Killing all the native american people.

    • Joy says:

      Your email address says it all.

    • mssc54 says:


      Please Bo you’re giving all the True Rednecks a bad name. If you look closely at the catagories you will see the catagories are based on monies spent.

      Very little money was spent on slavery or Hiroshima.

      However, you could make the arguement that #1 actually WAS spent on Native Amreican people. After all who is getting all that money except for those Americans sitting around on their back sides waiting for their Government Cheese?

      Now if you are talking about the Native American Indians that’s another story. But then again, wool blankets with small pox in them were pretty cheep and the first act of bio terrorism documented in the US.

      • Rednecks says:

        Ah a hick who can actually read. Theres no sense talking to you hill billies. Thank God people finally woke up and realized the country was being run by corrupt racist hill billies like your self. I simply stated some of the biggest tragidies in History (obviously committed by Americans and Europeans) and you defended each one of them as without any remorse. Thank God racist people like your self live in small hick towns and away from us civilized people.

        • mssc54 says:

          Dear Rednecks (aka Civilized People):

          I ain’t no whut in u werld ew is talkin bout. I rote real kareful like so as ew culd sees it. Talkn fer misef, I bean livin hear in da deep woods ever cents grampaw losed his hand maken corn licker.

          Shewt I ain’t bean to du city fer a long piece.

          PS: I tiped this reel sloooowww so ew culd read it.

  15. Rednecks says:

    THANK GOD no more racist White Trash hill billies running the white house. We need educated people for a change who dont talk about Christianity and then go and cheat on their wives.

  16. Sandi Denson says:

    It is expensive to clean up someone elses mess. Don’t blame him blame the idiot before him!!

  17. Bre says:

    no one said anything when Bush was making the mess but everyone has a problem when Obama is trying to clean it up….. you have to spend money to make money.

  18. Joy says:

    There were plenty of people saying things and you can’t just blame Bush. It goes WAY back. I also really have a problem spending money that you don’t have. Spending money to make money shouldn’t be what the government does. It’s our money and we should have a say in how it’s spent.

  19. SKL says:

    Ha ha, I just re-read my predictions above and they have all come true – and then some! Yikes! (Hunkering down . . . .)

  20. chuck says:

    obama sucks

  21. l4u says:

    politics -.-

  22. richiey says:

    Racist but true i guesas lol

  23. James Semaj says:

    I think of Obama as “King George II”. For some reason he would prefer to be remembered as a one term president with a worse approval rating than George W. Bush. This four years is equivalent to Bush’s 3rd term. Obama was legally elected. His predecessor was not. We should be complaining about the leaders (executive, legislative, and judicial) of this oligarchy (not democracy) we currently live in.

  24. Hmm. says:

    I think the last one is disrespectfull. And has inaccuracies.

    • Joy says:

      That was my favorite one. I know it’s inaccurate now. The number has gone way up. This was posted 3-7-09. It’s gone WAY up.

  25. John says:

    However bad of a president Obama is, shouldn’t 9/11 be number 1?

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