The Robinson LibraryTHE ROBINSON LIBRARY
The Robinson Library >> In The Year... >> 1957

Disasters

AVIATION

January 12 A U.S. Air Force plane crashed and exploded at Fairbanks, Alaska, killing all 12 persons aboard.

January 23 A Nicaraguan airliner crashed into Concepcion volcano, on Ometepe Island in Lake Nicagaua, killing all 16 persons aboard.

Pacoima plane crash January 31 A DC-7 transport plane collided with an F-89 jet fighter over Pacoima, California. The crippled fighter crashed several miles away but the DC-7 fell into a crowded schoolyard. Two children were killed and another 78 injured, and wreckage from the DC-7 damaged scores of structures. All 4 crewmen aboard the DC-7 were also killed, as was the pilot of the fighter. [contemporary story]

left: scene in the Pacoima schoolyard following the in-air collision of a transport plane and a jet fighter
right: Pacoima schoolyard from the air, after the crash

Pacoima plane crash

February 1 Twenty passengers were killed when a Northeast Airliner crashed onto Rikers Island minutes after taking off from La Guardia Airport in New York City, New York. [contemporary story]

February 22 A U.S. Air Force plane crash-landed on a sandbar in the Han River near Kimpo Air Force Base in South Korea. Twenty-two of the 159 persons aboard were killed.

Drayton, England, plane crash March 5 A Royal Air Force transport plane crashed into a residential area near Drayton, England. Fifteen persons and eight RAF police dogs aboard the plane were killed, as were two people on the ground.

left: aftermath of the Drayton plane crash

March 14 A British European airliner on approach to Manchester (England) Airport crashed into a house in Wythenshawe, England. All 20 persons aboard the plane were killed, as were two people in the house.

March 17 Ramón Magsaysay, President of the Philippines, and 24 others were killed when the President's plane crashed into a mountain near Cebu City, Philippines; one person survived.

March 18 A Bolivian airliner crashed into the Andes about 100 miles northeast of Cochabamba, Bolivia, killing all 19 persons aboard.

March 21 A U.S. Air Force plane with 67 persons aboard disappeared en route from Wake Island to Tokyo, Japan.

April 2 A U.S. Navy bomber crashed into a field shortly after taking off from Chincoteague Naval Air Station in Virginia, killing all 11 persons aboard.

April 7 All 40 persons aboard a Brazilian airliner were killed when the plane crashed soon after taking off from Bago, Brazil.

April 8 An Air France passenger plane crashed soon after taking off from Biskra, Algeria, killing all 34 persons aboard.

April 10 A Brazilian airliner crashed into a mountain soon after taking off from São Paulo, Brazil. Twenty-three of the 26 passengers aboard were killed, as were 3 of the plane's 4 crew members.

April 17 A British Royal Air Force plane crashed and burned minutes after taking off from Aqaba Air Base in Jordan, killing all 24 persons aboard.

May 1 A British air liner crashed while attempting to make an emergency return to Blackbushe, England. All but one of the 29 passengers aboard were killed, as were all 5 crew members.

May 9 A Spanish airliner crashed while landing at Barajas, Spain, killing all 37 persons aboard.

May 13 An Argentine airliner crashed into the Andes Mountains southwest of San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina, killing all 15 persons aboard.

June 23 A Pacific Western airliner crashed while attempting to make an emergency return to Port Hardy, British Columbia, Canada. The pilot, co-pilot, and 12 passengers were killed, but a stewardess and 3 passengers were able to escape from the burning wreckage with minimal injuries. [contemporary story]

July 1 Twenty-two of 24 persons aboard a Pakistani airliner were killed when the plane crashed onto tidal flats off Charlakhi Island, Pakistan, during a storm.

July 16 Fifty-eight of 68 persons aboard a Royal Dutch Airlines Super Constellation were killed when the plane crashed into the sea just off Biak Island, Indonesia. The pilot had just received permission to make a low pass over the airport so passengers could get one more look at the island when the accident occurred.

July 25 Fifteen persons were killed and 12 injured when a Turkish air force jet exploded and crashed into a residential area of Bursa, Turkey.

August 11 A chartered plane carrying Canadian war veterans and their families home from an English holiday crashed in Quebec, Canada. All 79 persons aboard were killed. [contemporary story]

August 15 All 23 persons aboard a Russian airliner were killed when the plane crashed into the bay at Copenhagen, Denmark, after hitting a factory chimney during its landing approach.

September 15 A Northeast Airlines plane with 24 persons aboard crashed into a swamp near New Bedford, Massachusetts, while attempting to land at the Municipal Airport in foggy conditions. The pilot, co-pilot, and 8 passengers were killed; the stewardess and 14 passengers were injured, 5 of them seriously.

October 28 All 21 persons aboard a Spanish airliner were killed when the plane crashed near Getafe, Spain, while attempting to make an emergency approach to Madrid, Spain.

October 29 A U.S. Air Force tanker plane crashed into Gray Mountain, near Flagstaff, Arizona, killing all 16 crewmen aboard.

November 8 An American airliner carrying 44 was lost at sea on a flight to Honolulu, Hawaii.

November 15 A British airliner crashed on the Isle of Wight, killing 43 of the 58 persons aboard.

December 15 An Argentine airliner carrying 62 passengers and crew crashed 180 miles southwest of Buenos Aires, Argentina. All aboard were killed.

FIRES AND EXPLOSIONS

January 24 Fire destroyed a four-story factory building in New Haven, Connecticut. Fifteen persons were killed and 31 were injured. [contemporary story]

January 27 An entire block of businesses in Saratoga Springs, New York, was destroyed by a fire that left one person dead and another four injured.

January 29 Ten persons were killed and another 47 injured when a boiler exploded on the oil tanker Jeanny while she was moored at a shipyard in Alameda, California. [contemporary story]

February 5 Gas explosions and resultant fire destroyed a city block, killed two persons, injured 40, and caused property damage estimated at more than $5,000,000 in Reno, Nevada.

February 13 Fourteen persons died when the Council Bluffs, Iowa, rest home in which they lived was destroyed by fire; another 13 were injured. [contemporary story]

Warrenton nursing home fire February 17 The Katie Jane Memorial Home for the Aged in Warrenton, Missouri, was destroyed by a fire that killed 72 residents. The fire began at approximately 2:40 p.m. in a first floor annex linen closet during a Sunday afternoon religious service. Much of the 2-1/2-story building was engulfed within 30 minutes. An investigation eventually listed a series of structural defects and safety lapses as causes for the fire and deaths. Public outcry led the Missouri Legislature to push through a bill establishing minimum safety standards for nursing homes in the state, which was signed by Governor James T. Blair in March.

left: esponders carry a body from the smoldering ruins of the Katie Jane Memorial Home for the Aged

February 26 Explosion and fire in a Butler, New Jersey, rubber factory caused property damage estimated at more than $2,000,000.

March 27 An explosion in a Mexico City, Mexico, fireworks factory killed 16 persons, injured 235, and destroyed a city block.

March 29 Seven children were killed in a residential fire in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

April 13 Fourteen elderly men and women were killed when a flash electrical fire destroyed a 220-year-old rest home in Pointe-aux-Trembles, Quebec, Canada.

May 11 Seven children were killed in an apartment fire in Stratford, Connecticut.

July 2 A reported 32 persons were killed when a sunken World War II ammunition ship exploded off Naha, Okinawa.

August 1 Eleven persons were killed and another 50 injured when a railway shed exploded in Assansol, India.

September 14 Fifteen children were killed and three were injured when an old shell they found in a field near Jerusalem, Israel, exploded.

October 8 An explosion of ammunition stored in the Casbah of Algiers, Algeria, killed 24 persons and injured 8.

December 5 Twelve people were killed and 20 more were hurt in a gas explosion at Villa Rica, Georgia.

MARINE

March 6 A ferryboat capsized on the Elbe River in East Germany. A reported 28 Russian soldiers were drowned and another 8 were missing and presumed dead.

March 7 The U.S. Navy tanker Mission San Francisco was struck by the Liberian freighter Elna II off New Castle, Delaware. Ten crewmen aboard the tanker were missing and presumed dead. [contemporary story]

right: the tanker Mission San Francisco was cut in two when it was struck by the freighter Elna II

Mission San Francisco after the collision

March 28 A ferryboat capsized in the Tjitarum River near Jakarta, Indonesia. Forty persons drowned.

April 10 Two boats loaded with pilgrims sank in the Godavari River in central India; 150 persons were killed.

April 12 Ninety-six persons died when a ferryboat ran onto a reef and capsized off Onomichi, Japan.

April 14 A tugboat capsized in the Yellow Sea off Wolmi Island, South Korea, killing 27 persons.

April 17 Nine lives were lost when a barge capsized near the mouth of the Mississippi River (near New Orelans, Louisiana) during a storm.

April 26 A reported 100 persons died in the burning and sinking of a river boat in the Yangtze River near Wuhan, China.

June 19 The U.S. tanker Stony Point and the Greek freighter Ioannis collided in fog off the western coast of France. Fourteen men were presumed to have died, and 18 were injured.

July 3 Fire aboard the U.S. aircraft carrier Lake Champlain killed five persons, injured five, and left two persons missing and presumed dead. The ship was moored at Marseilles, France, at the time.

August 1 Fifty-seven people drowned when the boat they were on capsized in the Hooghly River at Calcutta, India.

August 24 A reported 70 people drowned when their boat sank in the Ganges River at Patna, India.

August 27 A reported 9 persons died and 80 were missing and presumed dead in the collision of a river boat and a U.S. freighter on the River Platte Estuary at Buenos Aires, Argentina.

September 2 Ninety-seven persons were missing and presumed dead when four sailboats capsized off Borneo during a storm.

September 8 Twenty-three persons drowned when a ferryboat capsized off Wando Island, South Korea.

September 22 Hurricane winds sank the German training ship Pamir off the Azores Islands. Only 6 of the 86 men aboard were rescued.

December 22 The Scottish freighter Narva sank in a North Sea storm. All 29 crewmen were lost.

[page 2]

Questions or comments about this page?

The Robinson Library >> In The Year... >> 1957

This page was last updated on April 30, 2017.