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Is Friday The 13th Unlucky?: These 13 Incidents Occurred on a Friday

Updated on March 28, 2015

Friday the 13th Disasters

Some of the worst tragedies in history have happened on a Friday. From bush fires to terrorist attacks, these incidents will be remembered for a long time to come. The tragedies that happened on a Friday are many but one cannot conclude they happened because it was a Friday. This article looks at events that took place on Friday the 13th and are of historical importance.

A re-enactment of the IRA service unit
A re-enactment of the IRA service unit | Source

Bloody Friday, Northern Ireland

Date: Friday, July 21, 1972

On this day, twenty six bombs were set off by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) in various location across Northern Ireland. Eleven people died and 130 injured in what was the worst day in the long running Northern Ireland conflict. A series of 26 bombs were set off in a very short span of 8 minutes in a single day. 1972 had a total of 1300 bombs that were set off by the Irish republicans. The Bloody Friday bombings were blamed on the breakdown of talks between the British Government and the official IRA.

President Obama remembers the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting
President Obama remembers the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting | Source

Sandy Hook Massacre

Date: Friday, December 14th 2012

A lone gunman, Adam Lanza, opened fire on students and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. A total of 26 children and 6 adults died in what was said to be the second worst case of fatalities from a single gunman after the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting. The shooting sparked off passionate debate all over the United States and beyond with one side calling for the strengthening gun laws while another wanting relaxation of restrictions. President Obama formed a task force on gun legislation and promised to make the control of firearms a key feature of his second term in office.


A bush fire
A bush fire | Source

Victoria Bushfires, Australia

Date: Friday, January 13 1939

Victoria, Australia has had its fair share of bush-fires, but the bush fire of 1939 remains undoubtedly one of the worst environmental disaster to take place in Australia. Over 2 million hectares of forest were destroyed when a fire raged through the Australian province of Victoria in 1939. Over 70 people were killed in the bush fire that raged for over a month.

The fire was caused by a long dry summer with temperatures of 114.1 degrees fahrenheit reported in many places in Australia. The fires had been raging for over a month when a southerly wind made it grow bigger in intensity on January 13, 1939.

There have been many fires in Australia before and since this incident, but it remains one of the worst ever to occur in terms of casualties and land mass affected. The incident is second only to the "Black Saturday" fires of 2009 where over 100 people were killed and 5 million acres of land destroyed.

A map of the US Black out
A map of the US Black out | Source

US Power Black-outs

Date: Friday, August 15 2013

This is said to be the worst power blackout in North American history and it left over 50 million people without power for nearly 2 consecutive days. The economic damage from this black out ran into the billions of dollars and resulted in 11 confirmed deaths as a direct result of the blackout. The blackout was caused by a series of events that started when four power lines rubbed against trees in Ohio making them fail. After the computer system set in to try to remedy the situation, further outages occurred due to system failures. The US government has realised that the electric grid is very vulnerable to such disruptions and in November 2013 conducted a grid test so as to identify the potential weaknesses of the system.

Plane Crash

Uruguayan Airforce flight 571 air crash

Date: Friday, October, 13 1972

A Uruguayan Airforce plane flight 571 carrying 45 members of a rugby team crashed in the Andes killing 29 people. This incident is remembered for the incident of cannibalism that happened when the survivors ate the flesh of their dead colleagues in a bid to survive. The survivors were not found until three months after the accident.

Scene of a bomb blast
Scene of a bomb blast | Source

Bombay (Mumbai) Bombings

Date: Friday, 12th, March 1993

This incident, considered the most destructive bombing in India's history, left over 350 people dead. Blamed on the extremist Dawood Ibrahim, thirteen bombs were exploded at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). This twenty eight (28) storey building was extensively destroyed.

Other Friday Incidents

Friday the 13th Computer Virus: This computer virus wiped out records from computers in Britain in 1989

Tupac Shakur The popular American rapper was gunned down on September 13, 1996.

Apollo 13 accident :Though the crew made it back safely, the Apollo 13 accident will be remembered for the complicated manoeuvres used to bring them back after an oxygen tank blew up.


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