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FIRES AND EXPLOSIONS
January 7 A
hospital fire in Yokosuka, Japan, killed 8 adults
and 8 new-born infants.
Sixty-three persons were killed in a chemical
plant fire in Pusan, South Korea.
March 4 A
French freighter loaded with munitions exploded
in the harbor of Havana, Cuba, killing at least
March 19 A fire in a Kurume,
Japan, mental hospital killed 11 patients.
March 28 A
fire inside a whiskey warehouse in Glasgow,
Scotland, touched off an explosion that killed 19
firemen. The fire subsequently spread to a
tobacco warehouse, an ice cream factory, an
engine works, and other buildings. It took some
450 firefighters a week to extinguish the fires. [more information]
Hundreds of passengers suffered smoke inhalation
and 148 persons were hospitalized when a fire
broke out in a subway tunnel near Grand Central
Terminal in New York City, New York. Subway
service was restored after a three-hour delay.
July 14 Fire swept the
Guatemala City (Guatemala) Hospital for the
Insane, killing 225 persons and injuring about
August 18 A boiler at an iron
foundry in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, exploded,
killing 17 persons.
September 2 An artillery
shell exploded during a U.S. Army training
exercise at Grafenwoehr, Germany, killing 16
October 19 A fire that razed
the business center of Jolo, Philippines, killed
at least 10 persons and left about 10,000 others
October 25 A
natural gas explosion in a Windsor, Ontario,
Canada, department store killed 10 persons and
injured about 100 others. [more information]
Fire broke out on the USS Constellation,
an aircraft carrier under construction at the
Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York, New York. Fifty
workers were killed and at least 330 were
injured. [more information]
February 24 A
river boat carrying Hindus to a religious
festival capsized near Chittagong, Pakistan,
drowning 20 of the 60 persons aboard.
March 21 Fifty
Yemenites drowned when their boat sank in the Red
March 22 A
ferry carrying school children capsized near
Taipei, Taiwan, drowning 18.
Fifty-seven persons died when a motor launch
capsized in a storm in the Persian Gulf.
May 12 A boat
overloaded with pilgrims capsized in the Krishna
River in Andhra State, India; about 60 persons
Eighteen school children, a teacher, and two
boatmen drowned when an excursion boat capsized
in the Dunajec River of Poland.
July 11 A
passenger launch on the Amazon River with 32
persons aboard overturned and sank near Belém,
The U.S. Navy destroyers Ammen and Collett
collided off Newport Beach, California, while
sailing through heavy fog. Eleven sailors aboard
the Ammen were killed. Seven others
aboard the two ships were injured. Both ships
were able to make harbor at Long Beach,
California. [more information]
July 30 A
motor launch capsized in the Godavari River in
Andhra State, India, drowning 29 persons.
August 18 A
boat carrying 46 passengers capsized in Delagoa
Bay off Lourenço Marques, Mozambique, drowning
October 21 The
Norwegian tanker Polyana was sailing in
the Persian Gulf near Qatar when it was struck by
a series of explosions and a fire. Fourteen
crewmen were missing and presumed dead and 29
October 22 The
U.S. passenger freighter Alcoa Corsair
and the Italian freighter Lorenzo Marcello
collided in the Mississippi River near Buras,
Louisiana. Ten persons were killed and more than
25 were injured.
A collapse deep inside the Clydesdale Colliery at
Coalbrook, South Africa, trapped 435 miners
undergound. Attempts to rescue the men were
unsuccessful, as were attempts to recover their
bodies. [more information]
Thirty-two miners died in a mine blast on
Hokkaido Island, Japan.
February 22 An
explosion inside a coal mine at Zwickau, Germany,
killed 40 miners and trapped 74 others.
Eighteen persons died in a coal mine fire at
Logan, West Virginia.
Fifty-four miners were killed in a coal mine
blast at Ostrava, Czechoslovakia.
June 28 An
explosion and cave-in of a coal mine at Six
Bells, Wales, cost the lives of 45 persons.
July 19 At
least 33 miners were killed when a fire broke out
in an iron mine at Salzgitter, Germany.
August 17 A
dam burst at a zinc mining site at Reocin, Spain,
killing 23 persons.
Fifteen men died when a rockfall trapped them in
a gold mine under the streets of Johannesburg,
Sixty-seven miners drowned in a coal mine at
Kyushu, Japan, after a gas explosion triggered a
October 30 A
gas explosion in a coal mine at Shiranuka, Japan,
killed 17 miners.
January 6 A
heat wave killed 13 persons in Australia.
January 22 A
landslide struck a school on Mindanao Island,
Philippines, burying 40 children alive.
Twenty persons died in flooding caused by a
cloudburst, in Carangola and Divino, Brazil.
February 21 A
magnitude 5.6 earthquake killed 47 persons in
Melouza and Beni Illmane, Algeria.
Winds reaching 160 m.p.h. caused 42 deaths on the
island of Mauritius.
February 29-March 1 Two
earthquakes, a tidal wave, and fire killed an
estimated 20,000 persons in Agadir, Morocco.
Rapid melting of above average snow levels caused
flooding in both the Missouri and Mississippi
river basins, especially from Missouri north into
the Dakotas and Minnesota.
Flash floods caused an estimated 100 deaths in
Bahia and Pernambuco states, Brazil.
April 24-28 An
earthquake killed an estimated 700 persons in
Tornadoes and storms killed 23 persons in
southeastern Oklahoma and Arkansas.
May 21-June 30 Two
massive earthquakes off the coast of Chile devastated that country and spawned
tsunamis that caused major damage on both sides
of the Pacific Ocean.
Rainstorms touched off floods that left more than
166 persons dead in Luzon, Philippines.
June 1-22 A
heat wave, with temperatures of 109° to 121° F,
killed about 425 persons in northeastern India
and West Pakistan.
June 9 Typhoon
Mary battered Fukien Province, China, and Hong
Kong, killing an estimated 1,600 persons.
Typhoon Olive left about 100 persons dead and
hundreds missing in the Philippines.
July 4 Floods
caused 30 deaths in the Kathrawa Peninsula of
Typhoon Shirley and ensuing floods left 104
persons dead and 95 others missing on Formosa.
August 6 Two
days of storms in the southern Philippines left
35 persons missing and presumed dead.
Torrential rains spawned by Typhoon Wendy killed
an estimated 18 persons in central Japan.
Flooding in Orissa State, India, left 47 persons
dead and an estimated 1,500,000 homeless.
Typhoon Della killed an estimated 41 persons in
An estimated 155 persons were drowned in floods
in northern India.
4-14 Hurricane Donna killed an estimated
240-350 persons in the Caribbean and along the
east coast of the United States and caused damage
in excess of a billion dollars.
Flash floods caused an estimated 50 deaths in
October 10 A
cyclone and resultant tidal wave killed about
6,000 persons in East Pakistan, Ramgati and Hatia
islands, and the coastal area of the Bay of
Typhoon Lola caused the deaths of an estimated 32
persons and damage of more than $10,000,000 in
October 20-November 1
Floods brought on by torrential rains left a
reported 325 dead and 5,000 families homeless in
October 31 A
cyclone hit Chittagong, East Pakistan, and the
surrounding coastal area, killing an estimated
Fifteen persons were killed in a train derailment
at Monza, Italy.
January 6 A
train rammed into a bus in Opole, Poland, killing
February 1 A
freight train rammed a standing passenger train
near Devon, South Africa, killing 15 persons.
February 7 A
train derailed on a steep incline at Sewell,
Chile; 25 persons were reported killed.
March 1 A
passenger train collided with an oil tank truck
in Bakersfield, California, killing 14 persons
and injuring 55 others. [more information]
May 15 An
express train collided with a local train at
Leipzig, Germany, killing 59 persons.
August 2 Two
streetcars collided in Vienna, Austria, killing
22 A temporary bridge over the
Aix-les-Bains race course in France collapsed
onto the track during a race directly in the path
of Chris Threlfall, who had no time to avoid the
wreckage. Threlfall and six persons who were on
the bridge were killed.
A 30-foot-tall temporary grandstand at the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway collapsed just before
the start of the Indianapolis 500. Two persons
were killed and more than 70 injured.
June 12 A
house in Lajore, Pakistan, collapsed during a
wedding party, killing the bride and groom and 28
January 11 A
bus plunged over a cliff near Renosa, Mexico,
killing 29 persons.
Forty-two persons were reported killed when a bus
overturned at Sativa Norte, Colombia.
Twenty workmen were killed when the truck in
which they were riding plunged into a chasm at
March 4 Twenty
persons died when a bus plunged off a 100-foot
cliff at Chunkok, Korea.
March 4 Eight
children and two adults burned to death when a
bus smashed into a gasoline tank that has fallen
from a truck, at Torreón, Mexico.
Twenty-two teen-age students were killed when a
bus overturned in Beirut, Lebanon.
April 10 A
truck bringing Indians to a Palm Sunday service
slid off a mountain road into a ditch near La
Paz, Bolivia, killing 37 persons.
April 18 A bus
crashed into a tree in Bombay State, India,
killing 23 persons.
May 28 A bus
swerved off a road into a canal in Rawalpindi,
Pakistan; 22 of 34 persons aboard drowned.
June 23 A
trunk overturned in Sabre, Transvaal, South
Africa, killing 18 persons.
July 19 An
army truck fell into a flooded stream near
Taxila, Pakistan, killing 22 soldiers.
July 28 A bus
plunged off a mountain road into a gorge near
Huancayo, Peru, killing 29 high school students.
July 30 A
truck plunged off a mountain road at Trabzon,
Turkey, killing 33 of its 65 occupants.
August 4 A bus
fell over a bridge into a river at Macaé,
Brazil, killing 15 persons.
August 24 A
bus plunged into the Turvo Tiver at São José do
Rio Prêto, Brazil, killing 60 persons.
October 17 A
bus went over an embankment into a deep gully
near Mancha Grande, Ecuador; 35 persons were
killed and 22 others injured.
Thirty-one persons were trampled to death and
another 38 were injured at the Seoul, South
Korea, train station in a rush by passengers to
catch a Chinese New Year Eve train to Mokpo,
March 2 Twelve
persons were crushed to death in a rush to get
into a Yokohama, Japan, theater.
Fifteen persons in a canoe drowned when a dam on
the Paraibo River in Pernambuco State, Brazil,
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