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11 Most Expensive Disasters in History


# 11.  Titanic - $150  Million
The sinking  of the Titanic is possibly the most famous  accident in the world. But it barely makes our  list of top 11 most expensive ones. On April 15,  1912, the Titanic sank on its maiden voyage and  was considered to be the most luxurious ocean  liner ever built. Over 1,500 people lost their  lives when the ship ran into an iceberg and sunk  in frigid waters. The ship cost $7 million to  build ($150 million in today's dollars.


#10. Tanker Truck vs  Bridge - $358  Million

On August 26, 2004, a  car collided with a tanker truck containing  32,000 liters of fuel on the Wiehltal Bridge in  Germany . The tanker crashed through the  guardrail and fell 90 feet off the A4 Autobahn  resulting in a huge explosion and fire which  destroyed the load-bearing ability of the  bridge. Temporary repairs cost $40 million and  the cost to replace the bridge is estimated at  $318 Million.



# 9. MetroLink Crash  - $500  Million

On September 12, 2008,  in what was one of the worst train crashes in  California history, 25 people were killed when a  Metrolink commuter train crashed head-on into a  Union Pacific freight train in Los Angeles . It  is thought that the Metrolink train may have run  through a red signal while the conductor was  busy text messaging.. Wrongful death lawsuits  are expected to cause $500 million in losses for  Metrolink.



# 8. B-2 Bomber Crash  - $1.4  Billion

Here we have our first  billion dollar accident (and we ' re only #7 on  the list). This B-2 stealth bomber crashed  shortly after taking off from an air base in  Guam on February 23, 2008. Investigators blamed  distorted data in the flight control computers  caused by moisture in the system. This resulted  in the aircraft making a sudden nose-up move  which made the B-2 stall and crash. This was 1  of only 21 ever built and was the most expensive  aviation accident in history. Both pilots were  able to eject to  safety.



# 7. Exxon Valdez  - $2.5  Billion

The Exxon Valdez oil  spill was not a large one in relation to the  world ' s biggest oil spills, but it was a  costly one due to the remote location of Prince  William Sound (accessible only by helicopter and  boat). On March 24, 1989, 10.8 million gallons  of oil was spilled when the ship ' s master,  Joseph Hazelwood, left the controls and the ship  crashed into a Reef. The cleanup cost Exxon $2.5  billion.



# 6. Piper Alpha Oil Rig  - $3.4  Billion

The world ' s worst  off-shore oil disaster. At one time, it was the  world ' s single largest oil producer, spewing  out 317,000 barrels of oil per day. On July 6,  1988, as part of routine maintenance,  technicians removed and checked safety valves  which were essential in preventing dangerous  build-up of liquid gas. There were 100 identical  safety valves which were checked. Unfortunately,  the technicians made a mistake and forgot to  replace one of them. At 10 PM that same night, a  technician pressed a start button for the liquid  gas pumps and the world ' s most expensive oil  rig accident was set in  motion.
Within 2 hours, the 300  foot platform was engulfed in flames. It  eventually collapsed, killing 167 workers and  resulting in $3.4 Billion in  damages.



# 5. Challenger  Explosion - $5.5  Billion

The Space Shuttle  Challenger was destroyed 73 seconds after  takeoff due on January 28, 1986 due to a faulty  O-ring. It failed to seal one of the joints,  allowing pressurized gas to reach the outside.  This in turn caused the external tank to dump  its payload of liquid hydrogen causing a massive  explosion. The cost of replacing the Space  Shuttle was $2 billion in 1986 ($4.5 billion in  today ' s dollars). The cost of investigation,  problem correction, and replacement of lost  equipment cost $450 million from 1986-1987 ($1  Billion in today ' s  dollars).


# 4. Prestige Oil Spill  - $12  Billion
On November 13, 2002,  the Prestige oil tanker was carrying 77,000 tons  of heavy fuel oil when one of its twelve tanks  burst during a storm off Galicia , Spain .  Fearing that the ship would sink, the captain  called for help from Spanish rescue workers,  expecting them to take the ship into harbour.  However, pressure from local authorities forced  the captain to steer the ship away from the  coast. The captain tried to get help from the  French and Portuguese authorities, but they too  ordered the ship away from their shores. The  storm eventually took its toll on the ship  resulting in the tanker splitting in half and  releasing 20 million gallons oil into the  sea.
According to a report by  the Pontevedra Economist Board, the total  cleanup cost $12  billion.


# 3. Space Shuttle  Columbia - $13  Billion
The Space Shuttle  Columbia was the first space worthy shuttle in  NASA ' s orbital fleet. It was destroyed during  re-entry over Texas on February 1, 2003 after a  hole was punctured in one of the wings during  launch 16 days earlier. The original cost of the  shuttle was $2 Billion in 1978. That comes out  to $6.3 Billion in today ' s dollars. $500  million was spent on the investigation, making  it the costliest aircraft accident investigation  in history. The search and recovery of debris  cost $300  million.
In the end, the total  cost of the accident (not including replacement  of the shuttle) came out to $13 Billion  according to the American Institute of  Aeronautics and  Astronautics.



# 2. Chernobyl  - $200  Billion

On April 26, 1986, the  world witnessed the costliest accident in  history. The Chernobyl disaster has been called  the biggest socio-economic catastrophe in  peacetime history. 50% of the area of Ukraine is  in some way contaminated. Over 200,000 people  had to be evacuated and resettled while 1.7  million people were directly affected by the  disaster. The death toll attributed to Chernobyl  , including people who died from cancer years  later, is estimated at 125,000. The total costs  including cleanup, resettlement, and  compensation to victims has been estimated to be  roughly $200 Billion. The cost of a new steel  shelter for the Chernobyl nuclear plant will  cost $2 billion alone. The accident was  officially attributed to power plant operators  who violated plant procedures and were ignorant  of the safety requirements  needed.


 
 # 1. 2008 New U.S.  President - $800 Billion in the  first two months…
and still  growing……..