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15 Places Where The Worst Engineering Disasters Of All Time Took Place

By Nitin Bhatnagar, 30 June 2018


6Failure of Banqiao Dam


In 1952, Banqiao Dam which was also called “Iron Dam” was built on River Ru in Henan province, China. This dam was considered as unbreakable but a famous hydrologist Chen Xing thought otherwise and warned the government against the overbuilding of dams and reservoirs because it will increase water levels above the prescribed safe levels and the result will be huge destruction.

Chen’s warning was not taken seriously but in August 1975, Banqiao Dam tumbled and as per an estimate, nearly 1,71,000 to 2,30,000 people lost their lives while 11 million were compelled to run to other places. This disaster caused an economic loss of around $1.6 billion.

Failure of Banqiao Dam

Image Source: alchetron.com

7The collapse of South Fork Dam


South Fork Dam was built on Lake Conemaugh, 8 miles east of Johnstown which was famous for its steel production and was a flourishing town situated in the central Pennsylvania, USA. South Fork Dam was not maintained as it should have been and was not strong enough to handle the pressure exerted by the water of the lake. On May 31, 1889, it rained heavily and the pressure increased to such a level that the dam toppled and resulted in 2209 fatalities. This flood was known as “Great Flood of 1889” as well as “Johnstown flood” in which property worth $17 million was damaged.

The collapse of South Fork Dam

Image Source: post-gazette.com

8The Chernobyl nuclear disaster


A nuclear accident took place at the Chernobyl nuclear power station in Pripyat, Ukraine, on 26th April 1986 and huge amount of radioactive material got released in the atmosphere. 62 people lost their lives immediately after the explosion which happened due to poorly conducted experiment while it is being said that around 4000-9000 people have lost their lives since then. The town of Pripyat was evacuated the next day and it is abandoned till date.

The Chernobyl nuclear disaster

Image Source: themillenniumreport.com

9The collapse of Hyatt Regency hotel walkway


On 17th July 1981, an accident took place in the Hyatt Regency hotel situated in Kansas City in Missouri because of which 114 people lost their lives while 216 were left injured. On that day, there was a tea dance party and more than 1600 people were present there when two adjacent walkways fell down in the lobby. The accident was a result of poor engineering and general negligence. The licenses of the engineers who approved the final drawings were cancelled.

The collapse of Hyatt Regency hotel walkway

Image Source: media.keepo.me

10Space Shuttle Challenger disaster


Challenger, NASA’s space shuttle, was on its tenth flight but merely after 73 seconds of lift-off, it blasted. The sad incident took place on 28th January 1986 with 5 astronauts and 2 payload specialists losing their lives. The entire tragic incident was shown live on TV and after this, NASA decided to put its complete space mission on hold.

Space Shuttle Challenger disaster

Image Source: www.arabmaze.com


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