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Worst Train Accidents Ever

Updated on November 10, 2015

El Virilla Train Accident

On the day of March 14, 1926, a Costan Rican train headed to Cartago, which had been carrying a large group of people, most of which were labourers, failed to make it's way to the intended location. While aboard, there were no disturbances, but there were however, too many people. The point of the trip to Cartago, was to raise money for those of old age, living there. The train was only supposed to carry a certain amount of people; but it didn't end up that way once word spread that the La Negrita and Basilica de Nuestra Senora de los Angeles sites, would be visited. Along with the capacity overload, it was also later be learned that the rails underneath the train, were not fastened well enough, ending in a derailment, aside from two carriages being pulled from the back of the train. This accident claimed the lives of 248 individuals, and also injured 93. Because of this great loss that the people of Alajuela and Cartago had to face, a three day memorial would be declared.

Ufa Train Disaster

The Ufa train disaster occured on June 4, 1989, in the Soviet Union, while the train was carrying an assortment of different people, including young children, from a few seperate locations and onto different locations. The train disaster which is still remembered as the worst ever in Russia and the Soviet Union, happened because of natural gases that had leaked, later creating a flammable cloud, and eventually an explosion which would injure hundreds of people, destroy 37 train cars and two trains; but worsely, kill up to 575. The disaster was not avoidable like many. It was because of two trains passing one another in different directions that this happened; with little time or room for evacuation, many actually did live through it, although it had been traumatic when the many had been caught in the midst of it. The railway where this event took place is still being shuttled. There are still memories linked to this disaster by not only the people of Ufa, but also those who had lived during Soviet times.

Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne Disaster

As a train full of troops was headed back home to France on December 12, 1917, upon their end of participation in the first World War, for a short time segment; a derailment occured along the Maurienne Valley rail line, later resulting in a crash, then a fire. It was thought that excess speed could've been what let this happen; but later on it was found that the brakes on the train weren't working well, with there being only some excess speed. The train could've had more people on it than what would be appropriate as well, but there was a request to take the anonymous number of troops back home, that couldn't be denied at that time. The train also at the time, wasn't prepared to pull two cars from the back of it, which it had been, with people on board. This day marks the worst and most disastrous train incident ever encountered in France. 700 people were said to have died, some of the deaths were instant, while some occured during the treatment phase upon sustaining injuries on the train. Of all who had been on the train, less than 200 survived. A monument is currently held near where the accident happened, and all belongings of the troops that were recovered, would be sent home, or just removed, depending on the condition they were in after being set ablaze, moments after the crash happened.

2002 Al Ayyat Train Disaster

Early on the day of February 20, 2002, a train that had been carrying eleven carriages while heading to Luxor, had it's fifth carriage undergo an upheavel, due to the fact it was flamed from a gas cylinder explosion. The flames moved from the fifth carriage onto several other of the carriages, and later, seven total would be burned completely. This certainly killed many, an estimated 380+ were said to have died, but this could still be unexact because of how many bodies were torched. Other estimations given have said that there could've been over 1000 killed, but once again, that is just an estimate thought to be more realistic than the first. The Al Ayyat disaster helped to redefine tragedy at it's greatest. There would later be a similar incident in 2009, that was far less worse.

Balvano Train Disaster

During the day of March 2, 1944, over 400 people riding a steam hauled freight train illegally, had been stopped along the railway while still on the train, becoming unfortunate enough to be exposed to carbon monoxide, due to the fact that the train didn't have good ventilation. Initially, the train had been stopped because a gas had overpowered the train operator before spreading. The train stopping and sliding had no part in the deaths of the 400+, it was said to have been the deadly gas, solely. The lack of quality coal had a lot to do with the disaster; but also, those dying not having authorized tickets to ride the train and the lack of equiptment, locomotive efficiency, were to blame. Balvano, located in southern Italy, would mainly be remembered for this disaster. Given that there wasn't a wreckage, the people of Balvano were better able to depict what had gone wrong, while still being in shock and having torn feelings over it.

Sri Lanka Tsunami Rail Disaster

As a train was leaving the city of Colombo in Sri Lanka on the morning of December 26, 2004 during a yearly holiday, a tsunami emerged near the town of Hikkaduwa; which is located in the southern province of Sri Lanka. The tsunami was marked by a gigantic wave that created panic and blew the train towards the edge of the railing. As another wave picked up, the train's carriages would flood with water, and the train would then be smashed by trees. Those who tried to escape by climbing onto the top of the train, would be pushed by the enormous waves, and those who sought shelter would drown. Many were crushed by the debris created by the tsunami as well. Between the carriages being inescapable and the bodies being crushed, an estimated 1,700 people would be killed. This disaster ranks first place in body count of any similar incident to this day. Only a small number of people on the train lived. Destruction had also been a problem following the disaster; but that doesn't compare to the death count and how much it would shape those who witnessed it or had the background information revealed to them at the sight of it.

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