disaster

Amelia Earhart – Record-breaking Aviation Pioneer

Amelia Earhart – Record-breaking Aviation Pioneer

On January 11, 1935, American aviatrix Amelia Earhart became the first person to fly solo from Honolulu, Hawaii to Oakland, California accross the Pacific ocean. The first contact Earhart made with aviation was when she was 10-years old and visiting a plane state fair, but she was not quite impressed. A few years later, she visited a stunt-flying exhibition and after pilot Frank Hawks gave her a short ride on…
The Kyshtim Disaster

The Kyshtim Disaster

On September 29, 1957, near the Russian town of Kyshtim a major radiological contamination accident happened, which is referred to as the Kyshtim disaster. The failure of the cooling system for a tank storing tens of thousands of tons of dissolved nuclear waste resulted in a chemical (non-nuclear) explosion having an energy estimated at about 75 tons of TNT. The Soviet Union did not release news of the accident and…
The Broughton Suspension Bridge and the Resonance Disaster

The Broughton Suspension Bridge and the Resonance Disaster

On April 12, 1831, the Broughton Suspension bridge collapsed, reportedly due to mechanical resonance induced by troops marching in step. But, also wind can be the cause for mechanical resonance which leads to disaster, such as for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in 1940. But, also buildings can be affected, such as the 39-story shopping mall called the “Techno-Mart” in Seoul, Korea, that had to be evacuated because of people synchronously exercising Tae…
The Three Mile Island Accident

The Three Mile Island Accident

A clean-up crew working to remove radioactivecontamination at Three Mile Island. On March 28, 1979, a partial nuclear meltdown occurred in one of the two Three Mile Island nuclear reactors in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. The so-called Three Mile Island Accident was the worst accident in U.S. commercial nuclear power plant history. Three Mile Island has got its name because it is located three miles downriver from Middletown, Pennsylvania. The plant…
The Great Fire of London

The Great Fire of London

Illustration of the Great Fire of London by an unknown painter From Sunday, 2 September to Wednesday, 5 September 1666, a major conflagration swept through the central parts of the English city of London, destroying the medieval City of London inside the old Roman City Wall. The social and economic problems created by the disaster were overwhelming. Evacuation from London and resettlement elsewhere were strongly encouraged by Charles II, who…
Rome is Burning

Rome is Burning

The Torches of Nero, painting by Henryk Siemiradzki (1876) On July 19, 64 AD, the Great Fire of Rome (Latin: Magnum Incendium Romae) occurred and continued burning until July 26 during the reign of emperor Nero. According to the Roman historian Tacitus three of the 14 city districts were completely burned down, in seven districts only debris and rubble was left from the former buildings, and only 4 districts were…
The Salvage of the Vasa

The Salvage of the Vasa

The Vasa by Javier Kohen On the morning of 24 April, 1961, the Swedish warship Vasa was salvaged with a largely intact hull after it had sunk after sailing less than a nautical mile (ca 2 km) into its maiden voyage on 10 August 1628 at Stockholm harbour. While Sweden counted rather as a poor and small country before the 17th century, the government established one of the most militarized…
The Unsinkable Ship and the Iceberg

The Unsinkable Ship and the Iceberg

Statistics of Titanic’s Survivors from a Contemporary Newspaper, photo @lysander07 On April 15, 1912, 2:20 AM, British passenger liner Titanic sank after colliding with an iceberg in the North Atlantic during her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City, US, causing more than 1,500 deaths. The RMS Titanic was one of the largest vessels of the White Star Line with a length of 269.06m (882 feet) and a total weight…
Houston, we have a Problem

Houston, we have a Problem

Apollo 13 Liftoff, April 11, 1970 On April 11, 1970, at 13:13 CST Apollo 13 was launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, but the lunar landing was aborted after an oxygen tank exploded two days later, crippling the service module upon which the Command Module depended. Despite great hardship caused by limited power, loss of cabin heat, shortage of potable water, and the critical need to jury-rig the carbon…
Windscale – A Nuclear Desaster

Windscale – A Nuclear Desaster

Sellafield © Rob Bishop On October 10, 1957, the world’s first major nuclear accident took place. The Windscale fire happened in Cumbria, U.K. and was Great Britain’s worst nuclear accident in history. After World War II, the British refused to just look at how the United States and the Soviet Union raced each other in who can work with nuclear power at first and most important, who is able to…
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