Some Important Accidents

On this page you will find a listing of some incidents and accidents that have had influence on the development aspects of safety and reliability. The listing is far from complete and is strongly biased towards Norway and Europe.


For supplementary information related to accidents and accident risk, please visit:

  • Science & Society: Global Challenges Discussion Series at the site of American Chemical Society


  • Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan - following an earthquake and tsunami on 11 March.


  • The Deepwater Horizon blowout and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico started 20 April, 2010 
  • Accident on the Gullfaks C platform in the North Sea (Statoil report - in Norwegian)


  • Blowout from Montara wellhead platform offshore Australia (inquiry report). See also video.
  • Air France AF447, Airbus 330 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on 1 June 2009. (228 fatalities) 


  • A series of four bomb attacks struck three London Underground trains and a bus in central London during the morning rush hours of Thursday, 7 July (56 fatalities and more than 700 injured)
  • Explosion and fire at BP's refinery in Texas City on March 23. (15 fatalities and 180 injuries)


  • A major subsea eartquake (magn. 9.0) off the west coast of northern Sumatra on 26. December created a huge Tsunami that killed near 300.000 people in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, India, etc.
  • A bus collided with a truck-trailer carrying rolls of paper near Äänekoski in Finland (23 fatalities)
  • The bulk carrier "Rockness" carrying rocks capsized in a narrow fjord near Bergen, Norway (18 fatalities)
  • Terrorist attack to several trains near Atocha train station in Madrid (191 fatalities)
  • Earthquake near north coast of Morocco (magn. 6.4) on 24. February (At least 628 fatalities)
  • Gas blowout at the Snorre platform in the North Sea (see


  • Colombia space shuttle accident: Space shuttle "Columbia" exploded on re-entry into the earth's atmosphere over Texas, USA (7 fatalities).


  • Überlingen mid-air collision: Two aircrafts, a Tupolev TU 154M passenger jet carrying 57 passengers - mostly children - and 12 crew and a Boeing 757 cargo jet with two pilots, crashed mid-air over the town Überlingen in southern Germany. All the 71 people on board the aircrafts were killed.
  • Prestige oil spill: Oil tanker "Prestige" went down off the Spanish coast (spill: 77,000 tonnes)
  • Tricolor ship accident: The car-carrier ship "Tricolor" collided with the container ship Kariba and sank at 30 m of depth, in the Pas-de-Calais, 20 miles north-west of Dunkirk. Close to 3000 luxury cars were lost, and some oil spilled.


  • Terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York 11. September
  • The AZF plant in Toulouse exploded 21. September (29 fatalities)
  • Airbus A300 from American Airlines in Queens, New York (260 fatalities)
  • An MD-87 from SAS crashed into a Cessna Citation II plane at Linate Airport in Milan (118 fatalities)
  • A Tupolev TU-154 from Sibirian Airlines was shot down by an S-200 missile over the Black Sea (76 fatalities)
  • A Boeing 757 from United Airlines from Newark to San Francisco crashed in Pennsylvania 11.09 after being taken by terrorists (45 fatalities)
  • A Boeing 767 from American Airlines from Boston to Los Angeles crashed into the Worlsd trade Center 11.09 - terrorist attack (92 fatalities)
  • A Boeing 767 from United Airlines from Boston to Los Angeles crashed into the World Trade Center 11.09 - terrorist atack (65 fatalities)
  • A Boeing 757 from American Airlines from Washington DC to Los Angeles crashed into Pentagon in Washington DC 11.09 - terrorist attack (64 fatalities)


  • Submarine K-141 "Kursk" accident in the Barent Sea (117 fatalities)
  • A Concorde from Air France crashed after take-off from the Charles de Gaulle airport near Paris (113 fatalities)
  • Train crash near Åsta, Norway (19 fatalities)
  • Gas pipeline ruptured near Carlsbad, New Mexico, U.S.A. Gas ignited. (12 fatalities)


  • Oil tanker "Erika" went down outside Brest, Brittany, France (spill: 20,000 tonnes)
  • Passenger ship Sleipner capsized close to Ryvarden Fyr outside Haugesund (16 fatalities)
  • Nuclear accident at Tokaimura, approx. 120 km north-east of Tokyo (2 fatalities, more than 400 exposed to radiation -
  • Train crash in south-east India (approx 500 fatalities)
  • Train collision west of Paddington station (near Ladbrooke Grove), London - a driver passed a red light. (31 fatalities)
  • Gas pipeline ruptured in Bellington, Washington, U.S.A. Approx. one million liters of gasoline were released and ignited, producing a fireball (3 fatalities)


  • Gas explosion in the Esso-Longford plant in Victoria, Australia (2 fatalities)
  • A high speed train crashed into a bridge near Eschede, Germany (101 fatalities)
  • An MD-11 from Swissair from New York to Geneva crashed outside Nova Scotia (229 fatalities)
  • An Airbus A300 from China Airlines crashed close to Taipei, Taiwan (202 fatalities)
  • A train derailed near Jyväskylä, Finland (10 fatalities)


  • Super Puma helicopter crashed on its way to the Norne field in the North Sea (12 fatalities)
  • A Boeing 727 from TAP crashed close to Funchal, Madeira (123 fatalities)
  • An Airbus A300 from Garuda Indonesian Airways crashed just before landing at Medan, Indonesia (234 fatalities)
  • A Boeing 747 from Korean Airlines crashed just before landing at the Agana airport on the Guam island (228 fatalities)
  • A high speed train ran into an empty freight train near Southall, UK. (7 fatalities)


  • Sea Empress oil spill: Oil tanker "Sea Empress" grounded at Milford haven in South Wales, UK. (spill: 72,000 tonnes)
  • A Boeing 747 from Saudi-Arabia had a mid-air crash with an Ilushin-76 from Kasakstan near New Dehli in India (349 fatalities)
  • A Tupolev 154 chrashed at Svalbard (141 fatalities)
  • A Boeing 747 from TWA exploded outside Long Island (230 fatalities)
  • A russian cargo plane crashed into a market place in Kingshasa, Congo (237 fatalities)


  • Major earthquake near Kobe, Japan (6433 fatalities)


  • Passenger ferry "Estonia" capsized off Finland (852 fatalities)
  • Chinook helicopter crashed into the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland (29 fatalities)
  • An Airbus A300 from China Airlines crashed during landing at the Nagano airport, Japan (264 fatalities)


  • Oil tanker "Braer" accident at Garth Ness, Shetland (spill: 85,000 tonnes)


  • A Boeing 747 Cargo from Israel crashed into an appartment block in Bijlemermeer outside Amsterdam (70 fatalities)
  • An Airbus A300 from Pakistan Airlines crashed close to Katmandu, Nepal (167 fatalities)
  • Oil tanker "Aegean Sea" went down at La Coruna, Spain (spill: 74,000 tonnes)
  • Oil tanker "Katina P." went down off Maputo, Mozambique (spill: 72,000 tonnes)


  • A DC-8 from the Canadian Nationalair exploded just after take-off from Jeddah in Saudi-Arabia (261 fatalities)
  • A Boeing 767 from Lauda Air crashed after take-off from Phu Khao Chan in Thailand (223 fatalities)
  • Oil tanker "ABT Summer" went down 700 miles off Angola (spill: 260,000 tonnes)
  • Oil tanker "Haven" went down off Genoa, Italy (spill: 144,000 tonnes)


  • The ferry "Scandinavian Star" caught fire between Fredrikshavn and Oslo (158 fatalities)


  • Oil tanker "Exxon Valdez" accident in Alaska (spill: 37,000 tonnes)
  • Oil tanker "Khark 5" went down 120 nautical miles off the Atlantic coast of Morocco (spill: 80,000 tonnes)


  • Piper Alpha accident in the North Sea (167 fatalities)
  • A Boeing 747 from Pan AM exploded over Lockerbie in Scotland - terrorist bomb (270 fatalities)
  • An Airbus A300 from Iran was shot down by the war-ship "Vincennes" in Hormuz (290 fatalities)
  • Oil tanker "Odyssey" went down 700 miles off Nova Scotia, Canada (spill: 132,000 tonnes)
  • A commuter train crashed into the back of a stationary train near Clapham Junction south west of London (35 fatalities)


  • Ferry "Herald of Free Enterprize" accident outside Zeebrugge, Belgium
  • Fire in King's Cross underground station in London (31 fatalities)


  • Challenger space shuttle accident
  • Chernobyl nuclear accident
  • Sandoz warehouse fire (Basel, Switzerland)


  • Bhopal accident in India (more than 20000 (?) fatalities)
  • Pemex gas explosion in Mexico (452 fatalities)


  • Oil tanker "Castillo de Bellver" went down off Saldanha Bay, South Africa (spill: 252,000 tonnes)


  • Capsizing of the Aleksander Kielland platform in the North Sea (123 fatalities)


  • Oil tanker "Irenes Serenade" went down in Navarino Bay, Greece (spill: 100,000 tonnes)


  • Three Mile Island nuclear accident/incident
  • Chemical plant explosion in Novosibirsk, Russia (300 (?) fatalities)
  • Blowout from drilling rig "Ixtoc 1" in the Gulf of Mexico. The rig was drilling for Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) (spill: > 470,000 tonnes)
  • Oil tanker "Atlantic Empress" went down off Tobago, West Indies (spill: 287,000 tonnes)
  • Oil tanker "Independenta" went down in Bosphorus, Turkey (spill: 95,000 tonnes)


  • Oil tanker "Amoco Cadiz" accident outside Brittany, France (spill: 223,000 tonnes)


  • A Boeing 747 from Pan Am collided with a Boeing 747 from KLM at the Tenerife airport (583 fatalities)
  • Bravo blowout in the North Sea
  • Oil tanker "Hawaiian Patriot" went down 300 nautical miles off Honolulu (spill: 95,000 tonnes)


  • Seveso accident in Italy (more than 200 injured)
  • Oil tanker "Urquiola" went down at La Coruna, Spain (spill: 100,000 tonnes)


  • Oil tanker "Jakob Maersk" went down off Oporto, Portugal (spill: 88,000 tonnes)


  • Oil tanker "Sea Star" went down in the Gulf of Oman (spill: 115,000 tonnes)


  • Oil tanker "Torrey Cayon" went down close to Scilly Isles, UK (spill: 119,000 tonnes)

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