While many people don’t think about getting physically hurt or risking death when they go to work, there are some professions that are significantly more dangerous than others. It’s important to know which jobs could put your safety at risk so you can take the proper precautions. Here are 11 of the deadliest workplace accidents in modern U.S. history.
1. August 9, 1965
The Titan II underground missile silo tragedy occurred on this date in Searcy, Arkansas. A major malfunction in the electrical system led to an explosion, and 53 men were trapped inside the missile. There were no survivors.
2. May 6, 1968
In Nicholas County, West Virginia, there was an extremely strong rush of water from unintentional drilling. The water rushed into an abandoned mine, which trapped 25 men. Four of the men died from fatal injuries or drowning.
3. November 20, 1968
Seventy-eight miners died in Farmington, West Virginia from a mine explosion. Loose coal, as well as coal dust, caused the explosion that affected the entire mine.
4. February 26, 1972
Buffalo Creek, located in Logan County, West Virginia, was the site of the Pittston Coal Company dam. The dam burst due to an accumulation of slurry and released 175 million gallons of wastewater. The accident claimed the lives of 125 people, and 4,000 were left homeless. A federal mine inspector declared the dam “satisfactory” just four days before the incident.
5. April 27, 1978
In Willow Island, West Virginia a cooling tower that was partially constructed collapsed at a coal power plant, and 51 men fall from the tower to their deaths.
6. July 23, 1985
A worker noticed that vapors were coming from a small crack in a gas-filled, 100-foot tower at Union Oil Company Refinery and Romeoville, Illinois. The worker turned off the pressure valve, but a spark ignited the fumes. The source of the spark was unknown. The explosion launched the tank over 3,000 feet in the air and consumed the refinery in flames. This accident claimed the lives of 17 workers.
7. September 3, 1991
In Hamlet, North Carolina, at an Imperial Foods chicken processing plant, 25 workers were killed due to an industrial fire. The workers were trapped inside the industrial plant due to the locked fire doors. Modifications to the hydraulic line were performed improperly, and this caused the fire. Imperial Foods had never undergone a safety inspection during the 11 years the plant was in business.
8. March 23, 2005
In Texas City, Texas, a gas explosion at a British Petroleum oil refinery occurred due to broken safety devices and unsatisfactory working conditions. Fifteen people lost their lives due to the explosion, and more than 170 workers were injured.
9. February 7, 2010
In Middletown, Connecticut, six people were killed and 12 were injured at a power plant that was under construction. The explosion happened when workers were removing gas from the pipelines.
10. April 5, 2010
Twenty-nine people died in an underground explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in Montcoal, West Virginia. A methane gas leak lowered the oxygen in the mine to data levels and the leak ignited. This was not the first time Upper Big Branch experienced a safety violation.
11. April 20, 2010
When methane gas catapulted up an oil well in Deepwater Horizon, a spark ignited in the engines of the rigs. The explosion claimed the lives of 11 workers and led to the worst oil spill in the history of the United States.
While we have seen an improvement in workplace safety conditions due to technological advances, there are still several safety hazards you need to be aware of, particularly if you work in construction-related industries. If you have been injured on the job or a loved one has died due to a workplace accident, you may have a personal injury case.
It’s best to speak with a lawyer who has experience with personal injury cases to guide you through the process of filing a claim and requesting a settlement for your injuries. Workplace injuries can have a profound effect on your life, and a qualified attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve.