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The Robinson Library >> In The Year... >> 1963



February 1 A Lebanese Viscount airliner and a Turkish Air Force C-47 transport plane collided in a dense cloud over Ankara, Turkey. Flaming wreckage fell into the central part of the city, killing a total of 95 persons in the two planes and on the ground; at least 150 others were injured.

February 12 A jetliner en route to Chicago, Illinois, crashed into the Everglades ten minutes after taking off from Miami (Florida) International Airport, killing all 43 persons aboard. [GenDisasters account]

March 2 A Philippines DC-3 crashed on a mountain slope on Mindanao Island in the Philippines, killing all 27 persons aboard.

March 15 A Bolivian DC-6 crashed into the side of a volcanic peak near Charaña, Bolivia, killing all 40 persons aboard.

March 20 A Comet IV belonging to King Saud of Saudi Arabia crashed in the Alps near Cuneo, Italy. No wreckage and none of the 18 persons aboard were found.

May 3 A Brazilian twin-engine airliner caught fire minutes after taking off from São Paulo, Brazil, and crashed into a residential area, killing 41 of the 49 persons aboard; another 4 persons were killed when a fire truck ran into a crowd of spectators near the scene.

May 5 An Air Afrique DC-6 crashed into the side of Mount Cameroon, in Cameroon, killing 54 of the 55 persons aboard and seriously injuring the sole survivor.

May 12 A United Arab Republic DC-3 en route to Alexandria, Egypt, exploded in the air minutes after taking off from Cairo, killing all 34 persons aboard.

June 3 An Indian passenger plane crashed near Pathankot, India, killing all 29 persons aboard.

June 3 A military-chartered DC-7 crashed off the southeast coast of Alaska, killing all 101 persons aboard. [GenDisasters account]

June 16 A Romanian Ilyushin-14 en route from Munich, Germany, to Bucharest, Romania, crashed near Tókomlós, Romania, killing all 31 persons aboard.

June 26 A Belgian C-119 military transport caught fire and crashed nearthe Sennelager Army Training Camp at Detmold, Germany, killing 38 of the 47 persons aboard.

July 28 A United Arab Republic passenger jet crashed into the Arabian Sea off Bombay, India, during a monsoon, killing all 62 persons aboard.

August 12 A French Viscount airliner crashed into a farmhouse near Lyons, France, during a violent rainstorm, killing 16 persons and injuring 4 (including 1 dead and 3 injured in the house); the sole survivor from the plane was a 3-year-old girl.

September 4 A Swiss Caravelle airliner carrying a party of 43 farmers from Humlikon on a trip to Geneva crashed and burned soon after taking off from Kloten, killing 80 persons.

September 12 A French Viking airliner crashed into a mountainside near Perpignan, France, during a thunderstorm, killing all 40 persons aboard.

November 8 A Finnair DC-3 airliner missed the runway while landing at Mariehamm (Finland) Airport, killing 21 of the 24 persons aboard.

Montreal air crash scene November 29 A Canadian DC-8F crashed and burned near Ste. Thérèse de Blainville, Quebec, Canada, a few minutes after a bad-weather take-off from Montreal International Airport, killing all 118 persons aboard. [GenDisasters account]

Scene of the Montreal airplane crash.

December 8 Pan Am Flight 214, en route from Puerto Rcio to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was struck by lightning, exploded, and crashed outside Elkton, Maryland, killing all 81 persons aboard. [GenDisasters account]


January 2 An explosion ripped through a meatpacking plant in Terre Haute, Indiana, killing 16 persons and injuring more than 50 others. [GenDisasters account]

January 8 An explosion at the sports stadium in Accra, Ghana, soon after an address by President Kwame Nkrumah killed 4 persons and wounded 85 others.

January 29 An oil stove explosion set fire to a home in Chandler, Quebec, Canada, and killed a mother and 10 of her children.

February 10 Fire destroyed a hospital in Manila, Philippines, and killed 35 persons.

March 9 Four explosions tore through a dynamite factory in Modderfontein, South Africa, killing an estimated 45 people and injuring 27 others.

March 9 An explosion in the air-pressure system of a foundry in Belecke, Germany, damaged five buildings and destroyed another, killed 19 persons, and injured at least 40 others.

March 21 A four-hour fire in a water front district of Saigon, Vietnam, left more than 40,000 people homeless, about 300 children reported missing and presumed dead, and injured more than 100.

May 4 Fire swept through a movie theater in Diourbel, Senegal, killing 64 persons and injuring 18.

May 16 Fire destroyed the village of Abyadeya, Egypt, and killed 17 persons; 150 people were injured and about 4,000 were left homeless.

June 1 An Atlas missile exploded in an underground silo at Walker Air Force Base, New Mexico. The 32-ton doors of the silo were blown 100 yards, and about 52 tons of liquid oxygen exploded, but there were no casualties.

escaping a skyscraper fire June 28 Fire in a 22-story office building in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, killed 7 persons.

An office worker escapes on an improvised rope bridge hastily attached to the burning building in which he worked.

August 13 An explosives dump near the edge of Gauhati, India, exploded, killing 32 persons.

September 24 An explosion in a fireworks factory in Parete, Italy, killed 18 persons and injured 12 others.

September 25 A rubber shoe factory in Kobe, Japan, burned to the ground, killing 14 workers and injuring 7 others.

October 31 A propane gas explosion destroyed part of the Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum in Indianapolis, killing 73 spectators and injuring at least 130 others. [GenDisasters account]

Aftermath of the explosion inside the Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum.

Indianapolis disaster

November 18 A fire that began in the 60-room, 4-story Surfside Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, spread to a row of closed hotels near the Boardwalk. Twenty-five Surfside residents, most of whom were elderly, were killed; 22 other persons, including firemen and policemen, were injured. Total damage was estimated at $1,000,000.

November 23 Fire completely destroyed the Golden Age nursing home in Fitchville, Ohio, and killed 65 elderly and infirm patients; 21 persons were rescued. [GenDisasters account]

December 10 An explosion at the airport in Aden, South Arabia, injured 53 persons, one of whom subsequently died of his injuries.

December 25 An oil heater exploded and set fire to a house in Charleston, South Carolina, killing 12 children of an 18-member family.

December 29 A fire that began in the first-floor ballroom of the 13-story Roosevelt Hotel in Jacksonville, Florida, killed 22 persons and injured 72 others. [GenDisasters account]


January 14 A tourist ferry on Toba Lake in Sumatra sank after a fire broke out in the engine room, killing 105 persons.

January 18 A coastal ferry sank in a storm off Mokpo, Korea, killing 80-100 people.

February 3 The U. S. tanker Marine Sulphur Queen and its crew of 39 disappeared during a heavy storm off the Atlantic Coast of the United States.

February 25 The Japanese freighter Richmond Maru and the ferryboat Tokiwa collided in the dark in Kobe Harbor, killing 47 persons.

March 21 The Norwegian freighter Hoegh Aronde sank in heavy seas off northwestern Africa, killing 19 of her 32 crewmen.

April 10 The U. S. Navy nuclear submarine Thresher, with 129 aboard, was lost in the Atlantic Ocean, 220 miles east of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

May 4 A ferryboat capsized in the Nile River at Maghagha, Egypt, killing at least 200 Muslim pilgrims.

May 21 A boat returning to Jomalig Island from a fiesta on Luzon Island, both in the Philippines, capsized in shark-infested waters, killing at least 22 people.

June 25 The trawler Minchen sank after striking a reef off the west coast of Greenland, killing 27 of her 42 crewmen.

July 1 The fishing boat Sno' Boy and her crew of 40 disappeared after setting out from Kingston, Jamaica, for the Pedro Banks. The search was called off on July 9, with no trace of the ship or crew found.

July 2 A Burmese schooner sank about a mile off Moulmein, Burma, killing 113 of the 213 persons aboard.

July 11 The ferryboat Ciudad Asunción, operating in the Rio de la Plata near La Plata, Argentina, in a dense fog, struck a sunken ship, caught fire, and sank, killing 65 persons.

July 20 The 13,000-ton British ore carrier Tritonica collided with the 6,000-ton British freighter Roonagh Head in the fog-shrouded St. Lawrence River near Quebec, Ontario, Canada, killing 33 Tritonica crewmen.

August 17 The Japanese ferryboat Midori Maru sank about 18 miles off Naha, Okinawa, Japan, killing 112 persons; at least 150 others were rescued.

October 23 A small ferry returning school children from a picnic capsized in the Han River near Hoju, Korea, as the children rushed to disembark, killing 49 persons (37 of them children).

October 23 The 682-ton Spanish freighter Juan Ferrer, lashed by heavy seas, foundered on rocks off Land's End, England, killing 11 of her 15 crewmen.

December 23 The Greek liner Lakonia caught fire in the Atlantic, forcing everyone to abandon ship; 135 persons died.

December 30 The 4,261-ton French ship Capitaine Louis Malbert and the 12,410-ton Danish tanker Rosburg collided north of Anholt Island, Denmark, in heavy fog. The French ship sank with 13 of her crew aboard; 5 Danish crewmen were lost during the rescue operation.


February 11 An elevator inside a mine at Patchefstroom, South Africa, hoy stuck at the 7,000-foot level, resulting in the heat and suffocation deaths of 21 miners.

April 25 A methane gas and coal dust explosion inside the Compass No. 2 mine at Dola, West Virginia, killed 22 miners. [GenDisasters account]

August 28 An explosuin in the main shaft of a potash mine in Moab, Utah, entrapped 25 miners at the 2,700-foot level; 18 of the men died before rescuers could reach them. [GenDisasters account]

October 24 A burst dam flooded the Mathilde iron mine at Broistedt, Germany, and entrapped 129 miners.

November 9 A coal dust explosion about 2,400 feet from the opening of the Mitsui Miiki Mine in Kyushu, Japan, killed 452 miners and injured at least 450 others.

December 4 An explosion inside a coal mine at Tatabanya, Hungary, killed 26 miners.

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The Robinson Library >> In The Year... >> 1963

This page was last updated on May 25, 2018.