The World’s Biggest Industrial Catastrophes

Manmade industrial sites could never be completely safe and perfect. Negligence, accidents, incompetence and human factor caused worst industrial catastrophes that took lives of thousands around the world. There are a lot of people who are still affected by these disasters and have to live with their developed health conditions. Such disasters also caused permanent damage to the nature of our planet. Will humanity ever learn from its mistakes and be more careful when building industrial sites? We can only hope for the best.

Here is a list of biggest industrial catastrophes in the world:

Bhopal, India
One of the worst industrial tragedies in the world happened in 1984 in Bhopal. A leak of 45 tons of deadly gas methyl isocyanate from the neighboring Union Carbide pesticide plant killed over 15.000 people. The accident happened due to the negligence of the company. People who lived close to the plant died immediately, others were poisoned and tried to escape the place. Most of the survivors experienced respiratory problems and blindness. Almost 30 years after the deadly accident, the soil and groundwater of Bhopal are still contaminated with poisonous chemicals that pose threat to the residents. A lot of survivors still fight for the compensation.

Fukushima, Japan
On March 11, 2011 Japan did not only suffer from an earthquake and tsunami, but also had to deal with the biggest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. The Fukushima Daichi power plant was destroyed by the strong tsunami. Various mismanagement issues and simple incompetence of TEPCO, the plant’s managing company, escalated the situation. As the backup power did not work and cooling system was simply out of control, tons of hazardous radioactive materials were dumped into the Pacific Ocean causing its contamination. Even though the reactors were eventually shut down, the scope of the disaster is unimaginable. A lot of people lost their homes since the area around the power plant is highly contaminated.

Deepwater Horizon, USA
An explosion on Deewater Horizon oil rig in 2010 caused a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. BP engineers could not stop the oil spill for almost six months, thus causing the immense damage to the environment.  Approximately 4.9 million barrels of oil got into the water destroying the unique marine environment. The Gulf of Mexico has not yet recovered from this tragedy. BP personnel overlooked and ignored the early indicators of the disaster that led to the explosion.

Chernobyl, Ukraine
A test performed on a reactor went out of control causing fire in Chernobyl power plant in 1986. As a result a large amount of nuclear gasses was released into the air destroying the environment of the region. Soviet government tried to keep this information a secret for a while; even the people who lived nearby were not evacuated right away. This mistake cost lives to thousands of people who got exposed to the radiation and developed cancer. The territory around the plant is still highly contaminated with radioactive materials and not suitable for living. There are a lot of survivors who still suffer from the consequences of this explosion.

Guest post by contributing author Richard O., written on behalf of Environmental Data Resources Inc. EDR offers a wide array of data, including Chain of Title information.