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10-26-2010, 09:44 AM #1
Top 10 Most Expensive Accidents in History
#10. Titanic -> $150 Million
Thesinking of the Titanic is possibly the most famous accident in theworld. But it barely makes our list of top 10 most expensive. On April15, 1912, the Titanic sank on its maiden voyage and was considered tobe the most luxurious ocean liner ever built. Over 1,500 people losttheir lives when the ship ran into an iceberg and sunk in frigidwaters. The ship cost $7 million to build ($150 million in today'sdollars).
#9. Tanker Truck vs Bridge ->$358 Million
OnAugust 26, 2004, a car collided with a tanker truck containing 32,000liters of fuel on the Wiehltal Bridge in Germany. The tanker crashedthrough the guardrail and fell 90 feet off the A4 Autobahn resulting ina huge explosion and fire which destroyed the load-bearing ability ofthe bridge. Temporary repairs cost $40 million and the cost to replacethe bridge is estimated at $318 Million.
#8. MetroLink Crash -> $500 Million
OnSeptember 12, 2008, in what was one of the worst train crashes inCalifornia history, 25 people were killed when a Metrolink commutertrain crashed head-on into a Union Pacific freight train in LosAngeles. It is thought that the Metrolink train may have run through ared signal while the conductor was busy text messaging. Wrongful deathlawsuits are expected to cause $500 million in losses for Metrolink
#7. B-2 Bomber Crash -> $1.4 Billion
Herewe have our first billion dollar accident (and we're only #7 on thelist). This B-2 stealth bomber crashed shortly after taking off from anair base in Guam on February 23, 2008. Investigators blamed distorteddata in the flight control computers caused by moisture in the system.This resulted in the aircraft making a sudden nose-up move which madethe B-2 stall and crash. This was 1 of only 21 ever built and was themost expensive aviation accident in history. Both pilots were able toeject to safety.
#6. Exxon Valdez -> $2.5 Billion
TheExxon Valdez oil spill was not a large one in relation to the world'sbiggest oil spills, but it was a costly one due to the remote locationof Prince William Sound (accessible only by helicopter and boat). OnMarch 24, 1989, 10.8 million gallons of oil was spilled when the ship'smaster, Joseph Hazelwood, left the controls and the ship crashed into aReef. The cleanup cost Exxon $2.5 billion.
#5. Piper Alpha Oil Rig -> $3.4 Billion
Theworld's worst off-shore oil disaster. At one time, it was the world'ssingle largest oil producer, spewing out 317,000 barrels of oil perday. On July 6, 1988, as part of routine maintenance, techniciansremoved and checked safety valves which were essential in preventingdangerous build-up of liquid gas. There were 100 identical safetyvalves which were checked. Unfortunately, the technicians made amistake and forgot to replace one of them. At 10 PM that same night, atechnician pressed a start button for the liquid gas pumps and theworld's most expensive oil rig accident was set in motion.
Within2 hours, the 300 foot platform was engulfed in flames. It eventuallycollapsed, killing 167 workers and resulting in $3.4 Billion in damages.
#4. Challenger Explosion -> $5.5 Billion
TheSpace Shuttle Challenger was destroyed 73 seconds after takeoff due onJanuary 28, 1986 due to a faulty O-ring. It failed to seal one of thejoints, allowing pressurized gas to reach the outside. This in turncaused the external tank to dump its payload of liquid hydrogen causinga massive explosion. The cost of replacing the Space Shuttle was $2billion in 1986 ($4.5 billion in today's dollars). The cost ofinvestigation, problem correction, and replacement of lost equipmentcost $450 million from 1986-1987 ($1 Billion in today's dollars).
#3. Prestige Oil Spill -> $12 Billion
OnNovember 13, 2002, the Prestige oil tanker was carrying 77,000 tons ofheavy fuel oil when one of its twelve tanks burst during a storm offGalicia, Spain. Fearing that the ship would sink, the captain calledfor help from Spanish rescue workers, expecting them to take the shipinto harbour. However, pressure from local authorities forced thecaptain to steer the ship away from the coast. The captain tried to gethelp from the French and Portuguese authorities, but they too orderedthe ship away from their shores. The storm eventually took its toll onthe ship resulting in the tanker splitting in half and releasing 20million gallons oil into the sea.
According to a report by the Pontevedra Economist Board, the total cleanup cost $12 billion.
#2. Space Shuttle Columbia -> $13 Billion
TheSpace Shuttle Columbia was the first space worthy shuttle in NASA'sorbital fleet. It was destroyed during re-entry over Texas on February1, 2003 after a hole was punctured in one of the wings during launch 16days 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 wasspent on the investigation, making it the costliest aircraft accidentinvestigation in history. The search and recovery of debris cost $300million.
In the end, the total cost of the accident (not includingreplacement of the shuttle) came out to $13 Billion according to theAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
#1. Chernobyl -> $200 Billion
OnApril 26, 1986, the world witnessed the costliest accident in history.The Chernobyl disaster has been called the biggest socio-economiccatastrophe in peacetime history. 50% of the area of Ukraine is in someway contaminated. Over 200,000 people had to be evacuated and resettledwhile 1.7 million people were directly affected by the disaster. Thedeath toll attributed to Chernobyl, including people who died fromcancer years later, is estimated at 125,000. The total costs includingcleanup, resettlement, and compensation to victims has been estimatedto be roughly $200 Billion. The cost of a new steel shelter for theChernobyl nuclear plant will cost $2 billion alone. The accident wasofficially attributed to power plant operators who violated plantprocedures and were ignorant of the safety requirements needed.
...being a human...