List of disasters in the United States by death toll

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List of United States disasters by death toll is a list of notable disasters which occurred in the United States or involved U.S. citizens, in a definable incident.

Due to inflation, the monetary damage estimates are not comparable. Unless otherwise noted, the year given is the year in which the currency's valuation was calculated.

This list is not comprehensive in general, and epidemics are not included.

More than 400 fatalities[edit]

Year Type Fatalities Damage (US$) Article Location Comments
1900 Tropical cyclone 6,000-12,000 1900 Galveston hurricane Texas Fatalities estimated. Remains the deadliest natural disaster in North American history.
1906 Earthquake and Fire (urban conflagration) 3,000-6,000 1906 San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco, California Conflagration followed quake; fatalities estimated
1928 Tropical cyclone 3,000+ $800,000,000
(2005)
1928 Okeechobee hurricane Florida

Puerto Rico

4,078+ believed dead total. 2500+ in Florida, 500+ in Puerto Rico.
2001 Terrorism 2,996 $1,000,000,000
(2001)
September 11 attacks New York City, New York

Arlington, Virginia and Shanksville, Pennsylvania

2,977 victims (mostly U.S.) plus 19 hijackers.
1941 Military strike 2,466 Attack on Pearl Harbor Pearl Harbor, Hawaii 2,402 U.S. victims and 64 Japanese soldiers.
1889 Accident - Dam burst 2,209 Johnstown Flood Pennsylvania Much rain, deforestation; dam failed
1893 Tropical cyclone 2,000 1893 Cheniere Caminada Hurricane Louisiana Fatalities estimated
2005 Tropical cyclone 1,836 $108,000,000,000 Hurricane Katrina Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, and Ohio Costliest natural disaster in U.S. history.
1865 Accident - Shipwreck 1,700 Sultana Memphis, Tennessee Steamboat sank due to boiler explosion; fatalities estimated
1980 Heat wave 1,700 1980 United States heat wave Central and southern states Official death toll, may have been higher
1912 Accident - Shipwreck 1,490-1,517 Sinking of the RMS Titanic Near Newfoundland

and Nova Scotia, Canada.

En Route to New York City from Queenstown, Ireland.
1871 Fire (rural) 1,200-2,500 Peshtigo Fire Peshtigo, Wisconsin

Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Fatalities estimated; most deaths in single fire in U.S. history
1904 Accident - Shipwreck 1,021 PS General Slocum East River near New York City Steamship sank due to fire on board
1893 Tropical cyclone 1,000-2,000 1893 Sea Islands Hurricane Georgia,

South Carolina

Fatalities estimated
1945 Direct action (military),

Shark attack, Drowning, Hypothermia

879 USS Indianapolis (CA-35) Near Guam
1915 Accident - Shipwreck 844 S.S. Eastland Chicago, Illinois
1995 Heat wave 739 Chicago Heat Wave of 1995 Chicago, Illinois
1925 Tornado 695-747 $1,650,000,000
(2005)
Tri-State Tornado Missouri, Illinois and Indiana (Kentucky, Tennessee) Lower number for single 3-state tornado; higher for 5-state outbreak
1903 Fire (building) 602 Iroquois Theatre Fire Chicago, Illinois
1919 Tropical cyclone 600 1919 Florida Keys Hurricane Florida

Texas

1928 Accident - Dam failure 600 St. Francis Dam Santa Clarita, California
1938 Tropical cyclone 600 1938 New England hurricane
1947 Accident - Explosion 581 Texas City Disaster Texas City, Texas Ammonium nitrate onboard ship
1871 Fire 500 (estimated) Great Michigan Fire Michigan
1942 Fire (building) 492 Cocoanut Grove fire Boston, Massachusetts Nightclub
1927 Exploitation, Silicosis 476-1,000+ Hawks Nest Tunnel Disaster Gauley Bridge, West Virginia 178 admitted deaths, 476 with congressional inquiry, 1,000+ by epidemiologists.
1918 Fire (rural) 453 $7,300,000 1918 Cloquet Fire Minnesota
1936 Tornado outbreak 436+ 1936 Tupelo–Gainesville tornado outbreak Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee Two tornadoes in Tupelo, Mississippi and Gainesville, Georgia killed 233 and 203 people respectively
1913 Flood 428 1913 (Ohio) Statewide Flood Ohio
1935 Tropical cyclone 423 1935 Labor Day hurricane Florida

151 to 400 fatalities[edit]

Year Type Fatalities Damage (US$) Article Location Comments
1860 Accident - Shipwreck 400 PS Lady Elgin Chicago, Illinois
1888 Blizzard 400 Great Blizzard of 1888 Northeast Fatalities estimated
1857 Shipwreck 400 SS Central America, 1857 Off the coast of Georgia Fatalities estimated
1894 Fire (rural) 400 Great Hinckley Fire Hinckley, Minnesota and vicinity
1937 Flood 385 $5,000,000,000 Ohio River flood of 1937 Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois
1907 Accident - Coal mine 362 Monongah Mining disaster Monongah, West Virginia
1913 Flood 361 Great Dayton Flood Dayton, Ohio Flood was created by a series of three winter storms that hit the region in March, 1913
1950 Blizzard 353 $66,700,000
(1950)
Great Appalachian Storm of November 1950 Eastern US States
2011 Tornado outbreak 348 ~$11,000,000,000
(2011)
April 25–28, 2011 tornado outbreak Midwestern United States, Southern United States, Eastern United States, Southern Ontario 355 tornadoes, with one of the deadliest in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, Alabama. 324 tornadic deaths, with another 24 from related weather.
1930 Fire (building) 322 Ohio Penitentiary Columbus, Ohio
1944 Accident - Explosion 320 Port Chicago disaster Port Chicago, California WWII ammunition ignited
1974 Tornado outbreak 319 $3,500,000,000
(2005)
Super Outbreak Ontario, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and New York 148 tornadoes
1993 Cyclonic Blizzard 310 $6,650,000,000
(2008)
1993 Storm of the Century Ontario, Quebec, Eastern United States, Cuba
1865 Accident - Explosion 300 Mobile magazine explosion Mobile, Alabama Civil War ammunition
1937 Accident - Explosion 296-319 $13,000,000
(2003)
New London School explosion New London, Texas Gas leak
1881 Fire (rural) 282 $2,347,000 Thumb Fire Michigan
1898 Explosion 274 USS Maine Havana, Cuba A major event that precipitated the Spanish–American War. Exact cause remains unknown.
1979 Accident - Aircraft 273 American Airlines Flight 191 Chicago, Illinois Deadliest single-aircraft accident in US history
1965 Tornado outbreak 271 Palm Sunday Tornado Outbreak Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana 78 tornadoes
1999 Heat wave 271 Midwest and Northeast
2001 Accident - Aircraft 265 American Airlines Flight 587 Queens, New York
1913 Accident - Coal mine 263 Dawson, New Mexico
1909 Accident - Coal mine 259 Cherry Mine Disaster Cherry, Illinois
1937 Accident - Coal mine 257 Grundy, Virginia
1969 Tropical cyclone 256 Hurricane Camille Mississippi,

Alabama, and Virginia

1896 Tornado 255-400 $2,900,000,000
(1997)
St. Louis-East St. Louis Tornado Missouri
1913 Blizzard 250 $5,000,000
(1913)
Great Lakes Storm of 1913 Great Lakes region Fatalities estimated
1953 Tornado outbreak sequence 247 Flint-Worcester tornado outbreak sequence Michigan

Ohio, Nebraska and Massachusetts

116 Deaths in Flint, Michigan, 94 in Worcester, Massachusetts.
1927 Flood 246 $400,000,000 Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee
1972 Flood 238 $160,000,000
(1972)
$664,000,000
(2002)
1972 Rapid City Flood Rapid City, South Dakota Average rainfall over area of 60 mi² measured at 10-15 inches (380 mm), over 6 hours in middle of night June 9–10, 1972.
1996 Accident - Aircraft 230 TWA Flight 800 Long Island, New York
1997 Accident - Aircraft 228 Korean Air Flight 801 Nimitz Hill, Guam
1998 Terrorism 223 1998 United States embassy bombings Tanzania

Kenya

4,000+ injured
1999 Accident - Aircraft 217 EgyptAir Flight 990 Atlantic Ocean near Nantucket, Massachusetts
1940 Fire (building) 209 Rhythm Club Fire Natchez, Mississippi
1871 Fire (urban conflagration) 200-300 Great Chicago fire Chicago, Illinois Fatalities estimated; 125 bodies recovered
1900 Accident - Coal mine 200 Scofield mine disaster Scofield, Utah
1898 Accident - Shipwreck 192 The Portland Gloucester, Massachusetts
1863 Mass Murder, Military Operation 185-200 Lawrence Massacre Lawrence, Kansas
1947 Tornado 181 1947 Glazier–Higgins–Woodward tornadoes Oklahoma (especially Woodward), Texas (including Glazier and Higgins), Kansas
1890 Mass Murder, Military Operation 178 Wounded Knee Massacre Wounded Knee Creek, South Dakota
1908 Fire (building) 174 Collinwood school fire Cleveland, Ohio
1908 Fire (building) 171 Rhoads Opera House Boyertown, Pennsylvania Sources conflict on number of fatalities: 170 or 171.
1995 Terrorism 168 Oklahoma City bombing Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
1944 Fire (building) 168 Hartford circus fire Hartford, Connecticut
1917 Fire (mine) 168 Speculator Mine disaster Butte, Montana
1977 Fire (building) 165 Beverly Hills Supper Club fire Southgate, Kentucky
1946 Tsunami and Earthquake 165 Aleutian Island earthquake Alaska

Hawaii

1944 Maritime Accident 163 West Loch Disaster Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Classified as top secret until 1960.
2011 Tornado 158 $2,800,000,000
(2011)
2011 Joplin tornado Joplin, Missouri Part of the May 21–26, 2011 tornado outbreak sequence. 4 additional fatalities resulted indirectly from this tornado.
1987 Accident - Aircraft 156 Northwest Airlines Flight 255 Detroit, Michigan
1982 Accident - Aircraft 153 Pan Am Flight 759 New Orleans, Louisiana

70 to 150 fatalities[edit]

Year Type Fatalities Damage (US$) Article Location Comments
1911 Fire (building) 146 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire New York City, New York
1976 Flood 145 Big Thompson Canyon Flood of 1976 Colorado
1978 Accident - Aircraft 144 PSA Flight 182 San Diego, California
1840 Accident - Shipwreck 139 Lexington Long Island Sound Steamship sank due to fire on board
1985 Accident - Aircraft 137 Delta Air Lines Flight 191 Dallas, Texas
1967 Fire 134 >$72,000,000 1967 USS Forrestal fire Gulf of Tonkin, Vietnam
1960 Accident - Aircraft 134 1960 New York mid-air collision New York City, New York
1994 Accident - Aircraft 132 USAir Flight 427 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1944 Accident - Explosion 130 $7,000,000-
$15,000,000
Cleveland East Ohio Gas Explosion Cleveland, Ohio
1963 Accident - Submarine 129 USS Thresher (SSN-593) Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Massachusetts Deadliest submarine disaster in history.
1956 Accident - Aircraft 128 1956 Grand Canyon mid-air collision Grand Canyon, Arizona Parts of wreckage still visible
1915 Incident - Maritime 128 Sinking of the RMS Lusitania Atlantic Ocean near Kinsale, Ireland Ship torpedoed by a German U-boat. 1,198 fatalities resulted overall; 128 of them were Americans.
1972 Accident - Dam burst 125 Buffalo Creek Flood Logan County, West Virginia
2004 Tropical cyclone 121 $18,800,000,000
(2004)
Hurricane Ivan Texas; Florida 54 deaths in U.S.; 67 more in the Caribbean and Venezuela
1929 Fire (building) 123 Cleveland Clinic fire of 1929 Cleveland, Ohio
2005 Tropical cyclone 120 $12,000,000,000
(2005)
Hurricane Rita Louisiana
1946 Fire (building) 119 Winecoff Hotel Atlanta, Georgia
1899 Tornado 117 >$300,000 ($8,381,000 in today's dollars). New Richmond tornado New Richmond, Wisconsin Tornado hit the same time the circus was in town.
1918 Earthquake 116 1918 San Fermin earthquake Puerto Rico
1938 Flood 115 Los Angeles Flood of 1938 Los Angeles, California
1964 Tsunami and Earthquake 115 $1,800,000,000
(2006)
Good Friday Earthquake Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, California, British Columbia
1837 Accident - Shipwreck 115 Wreck of the Mexico Long Beach, New York Eight people rescued from shore. One hundred fifteen crew and passengers (mostly Irish immigrants, and many of them women and children) froze to death on the deck of the ship just 200 yards from shore. See book: "Water and Ice: The Tragic Wrecks of the Bristol and the Mexico on the South Shore of Long Island" @ www.Lynhistory.com The wreck of the Mexico is the subject of Walt Whitman's poem, "Sleepers" in Leaves of Grass.
1953 Tornado 114 1953 Waco tornado outbreak Waco, Texas Other tornadoes in the outbreak caused an additional 30 deaths
1981 Accident - collapse 114 Hyatt Regency walkway collapse Kansas City, Missouri
1975 Accident - Aircraft 113 Eastern Air Lines Flight 66 New York City, New York
2008 Tropical cyclone 112 $29,500,000,000
(2008)
Hurricane Ike Texas; Louisiana 34 people still missing as of 2013
1904 Train wreck 111 Eden train wreck Pueblo, Colorado
1947 Accident - Coal mine 111 Centralia mine disaster Centralia, Illinois
1971 Accident - Aircraft 111 Alaska Airlines Flight 1866 Juneau, Alaska
1989 Accident - Aircraft 111 United Airlines Flight 232 Sioux City, Iowa
1996 Accident - Aircraft 110 ValuJet Flight 592 Florida Everglades
1869 Accident - Coal mine 108 Avondale Mine Disaster Plymouth, Pennsylvania
1918 Accident - Railroad 101 Great train wreck of 1918 Nashville, Tennessee
1963 Accident - Aircraft 101 Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 293 Near Annette Island, Alaska
1972 Accident - Aircraft 101 Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 Miami, Florida
1978 Blizzard 100 $1,075,000,000
(2010)
Northeastern United States Blizzard of 1978 Northeast Fatalities Estimated
2003 Fire (building) 100 The Station nightclub fire West Warwick, Rhode Island 4th-deadliest nightclub fire in U.S. history, killing 100 people and injuring more than 200.
1890 Accident - Shipwreck 98 Sea Wing disaster Lake Pepin near Lake City, Minnesota Strong winds toppled the excursion vessel.
1922 Roof collapse (snow) 98 Knickerbocker Theatre Washington, District of Columbia
1904 Accident - Railroad 97 Eden train wreck Pueblo, Colorado
1910 Avalanche 96 Wellington avalanche Wellington, Washington
1962 Accident - Aircraft 95 American Airlines Flight 1 New York City, New York
1958 Fire (building) 95 Our Lady of the Angels School Fire Chicago, Illinois
1954 Tropical cyclone 95 Hurricane Hazel North Carolina; South Carolina U.S. victims only
1918 Accident - Railroad 93 Malbone Street Wreck Brooklyn, New York
1876 Accident - Railroad 92 Ashtabula River Railroad Disaster Ashtabula, Ohio
1974 Accident - Aircraft 92 TWA Flight 514 Berryville, Virginia
1973 Accident - Aircraft 89 Delta Air Lines Flight 723 Boston, Massachusetts
2000 Accident - Aircraft 88 Alaska Airlines Flight 261 Pacific Ocean near Anacapa Island, California
1990 Fire (building) 87 Happy Land Fire New York City, New York
1910 Fire (rural) 86 Great Fire of 1910 Washington, Idaho, Montana
1918 Accident - Railroad 86 Hammond Circus Train Wreck Hammond, Indiana
1993 Police raid - Fire 86 Waco Siege Branch Davidian Complex, Waco, Texas 6 Davidians and 4 police killed in initial raid, 76 Davidians died in assault weeks later when building was set on fire by Davidan leader David Koresh to gain martyrdom.
1968 Accident - Aircraft 85 United Airlines Flight 629 Dawson, Texas
1951 Accident - Railroad 85 Woodbridge train wreck Woodbridge, New Jersey
1980 Fire (building) 84 MGM Grand Hotel fire Las Vegas, NV, Nevada
1965 Accident - Aircraft 84 Eastern Air Lines Flight 663 New York City, New York
1969 Accident - Aircraft 83 Allegheny Airlines Flight 853 Shelby County, Indiana A Piper Cherokee 140, piloted by a student who was a week away from getting his private pilot's license, collided with an Allegheny Airlines DC-9. The flight originated in Boston and had stopped in Baltimore and Cincinnati.[1]
1967 Accident - Aircraft 82 Piedmont Airlines Flight 22 Hendersonville, North Carolina
1986 Accident - Aircraft 82 1986 Cerritos mid-air collision Cerritos, California
1887 Accident - Railroad 81-85 Great Chatsworth Train Wreck Chatsworth, Illinois
1963 Accident - Aircraft 81 Pan Am Flight 214 Elkton, Maryland Lightning strike
1943 Accident - Railroad 79 Frankford Junction train wreck Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1982 Accident - Aircraft 78 Air Florida Flight 90 District of Columbia
1976 Accident - Shipwreck 78 MV George Prince ferry disaster Mississippi River, Louisiana Deadliest ferry disaster in US history
1968 Accident - Coal mine 78 Farmington Mine Disaster Farmington, West Virginia
1961 Accident - Aircraft 78 TWA Flight 529 Hinsdale, Illinois
1950 Accident - Railroad 78 Kew Gardens train crash Kew Gardens, New York
1961 Accident - Aircraft 77 Imperial Airlines Flight 201/8 Richmond, Virginia
1970 Accident - Aircraft 75 Southern Airways Flight 932 Ceredo, WV Deadliest sports tragedy in US history
1963 Accident - Explosion 74 Pepsi Coliseum Indianapolis, Indiana
1913 Stampede 73 Italian Hall Disaster Calumet, Michigan
1933 Accident - Airship 73 USS Akron (ZRS-4) Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of New Jersey Deadliest airship disaster in history.
1957 Fire (building) 72 Warrenton Nursing Home Fire Warrenton, Missouri
1974 Accident - Aircraft 72 Eastern Air Lines Flight 212 Charlotte, North Carolina
1943 Accident - Railroad 72 Rennert railroad accident Rennert, North Carolina
2012 Tropical cyclone 72 $71,400,000,000 Hurricane Sandy Most of the United States East Coast 87 indirect fatalities occurred in the United States. At least 126 additional fatalities (75 direct; 51 indirect) occurred in the Caribbean and the Bahamas; 21 people are still missing in Haiti.
1985 Accident - Aircraft 70 Galaxy Airlines Flight 203 Reno, Nevada

30 to 69 fatalities[edit]

Year Type Fatalities Damage (US$) Article Location Comments
1936 Flood 69 $3,000,000,000
(2006)
Pittsburgh Flood 1936 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area
1989 Earthquake 69 $6,000,000,000
(1989)
Loma Prieta Earthquake San Francisco Bay Area, California
1994 Accident - Aircraft 68 American Eagle Flight 4184 Roselawn Indiana
1888 Accident - Railroad 66 Mud Run Disaster Eastern Pennsylvania
1955 Accident - Aircraft 66 United Airlines Flight 409 Medicine Bow Peak, Wyoming
1959 Accident - Aircraft 65 American Airlines Flight 320 New York City, New York
1971 Earthquake 65 $500,000,000 Sylmar earthquake Greater Los Angeles, California area
1903 Accident - Railroad 64 Connellsville train wreck Connellsville, Pennsylvania
1983 Terrorism 64 1983 United States embassy bombing Beirut, Lebanon
1960 Accident - Aircraft 63 Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 710 Tell City, Indiana Wing failure resulting from freak vibrations in clear weather turbulence was the probable cause.[1]
1963 Fire (building) 63 Golden Age Nursing Home fire Fitchville, Ohio
1960 Accident - Aircraft 62 Eastern Air Lines Flight 375 Boston, Massachusetts
1944 Military Aircraft, Accident 61 Freckleton Air Disaster Freckleton, England An American United States Army Air Forces Consolidated B-24 Liberator heavy bomber crashed into the centre of the village of Freckleton. It crashed into a church, 3 houses, and a pub. 38 children were killed.
1960 Tsunami 61 $500,000
(2005)
Great Chilean Earthquake Hawaii, Alaska 2,290 to 6,600 killed and $3,500,000,000 (2005) in damage worldwide. 61 killed in Hilo, Hawaii. $500,000 in U.S. property damage
1864 Accident - Railroad 60+ Shohola train wreck Shohola, Pennsylvania
1856 Accident - Railroad 59-67 The Great Train Wreck of 1856 Ft. Washington, Pennsylvania
2008 Tornado outbreak 59 2008 Super Tuesday tornado outbreak Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, Alabama, and Illinois
1950 Accident - Aircraft 58 Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 2501 Lake Michigan Airplane wreckage never found
1964 Accident - Aircraft 58 Eastern Air Lines Flight 304 Lake Pontchartrain
1965 Accident - Aircraft 58 American Airlines Flight 383 Cincinnati, Ohio
1980 Volcano 57 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens Washington State
1994 Earthquake 57 $23,000,000,000 Northridge Earthquake Greater Los Angeles area
1904 Accident - Railroad 56 New Market train wreck New Market, Tennessee
1949 Accident - Aircraft 55 Eastern Air Lines Flight 537 Alexandria, Virginia
1906 Accident - Railroad 53 1906 Atlantic City train wreck Atlantic City, New Jersey
1906 Accident - Railroad 53 1906 Washington DC train wreck Washington, District of Columbia
1947 Accident - Aircraft 53 Eastern Air Lines Flight 605 Near Port Deposit, Maryland
1910 Accident Railroad 52 Green Mountain train wreck Green Mountain, Iowa
1947 Accident - Aircraft 52 United Airlines Flight 608 Bryce Canyon, Utah
1956 Accident - Shipwreck 51 SS Andrea Doria, MS Stockholm Off the coast of Nantucket
1978 Accident - Construction 51 Willow Island disaster Willow Island, West Virginia Scaffolding fell 166' with insufficiently cured concrete
1896 Accident - Railroad 50 1896 Atlantic City rail crash Atlantic City, New Jersey
1925 Accident - Railroad 50 Rockport train wreck Hackettstown, New Jersey
1993 Flood 50 $15,000,000,000 Great Flood of 1993 Midwest
2009 Accident - Aircraft 50 Colgan Air Flight 3407 Clarence Center, New York
1867 Accident - Railroad 49 Angola Horror Angola, New York
1917 Accident - Railroad 49 Shepherdsville train wreck Shepherdsville, Kentucky
1989 Tropical cyclone 49 $7,000,000,000
(1989)
Hurricane Hugo Caribbean and Eastern North America. Damage figure for U.S. only. At least 111 total deaths, with 37 in the continental U.S., as far north as Michigan, and 12 in the U.S. possession of Puerto Rico.
2004 Tropical cyclone 49 $9,000,000,000 Hurricane Frances Florida
2006 Accident - Aircraft 49 Comair Flight 5191 Lexington, Kentucky
1853 Accident - Railroad 48 Norwalk rail accident Norwalk, Connecticut
1944 Accident - Railroad 48 Bagley train wreck west of Ogden, Utah
1958 Accident - Railroad 48 Newark Bay, New Jersey rail accident Newark Bay, New Jersey
1999 Tornado outbreak 48 $1,500,000,000
(2005)
1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Tennessee 66 tornadoes
1938 Accident - Railroad 47 Custer Creek train wreck Saugus, Montana
1944 Accident - Railroad 47 Stockton train wreck Stockton, Georgia
1993 Accident - Railroad 47 Big Bayou Canot train disaster Mobile, Alabama Deadliest train crash in Amtrak history.
2011 Tropical cyclone 47 $15,800,000,000
(2011)
Hurricane Irene Caribbean, East Coast of the United States, Eastern Canada 47 fatalities in U.S. with 10 additional fatalities elsewhere.
1967 Accident - Bridge collapse 46 Silver Bridge - over the Ohio River Point Pleasant, West Virginia

Gallipolis, Ohio

1927 Mass murder 45 Bath School Disaster Bath Township, Michigan
1972 Accident - Railroad 45 1972 Chicago commuter rail crash Chicago, Illinois
1972 Accident - Aircraft 45 United Airlines Flight 553 Chicago, Illinois
1955 Accident - Aircraft 44 United Airlines Flight 629 Longmont, Colorado
1940 Accident - Railroad 43 Doodlebug Disaster Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
1963 Accident - Aircraft 43 Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 705 Everglades, Florida
1987 Accident - Aircraft 43 PSA Flight 1771 Near Cayucos, California
2011 Tornado outbreak 43 April 14–16, 2011 tornado outbreak Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Missouri, Louisiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania 162 tornadoes
2014 Mudflow 43 2014 Oso mudslide Oso, Washington
1989 Accident - Bridge collapse 42 Cypress Street viaduct Oakland, California
1859 Bridge washout 41 Springbrook Bridge washout South Bend, Indiana
1968 Natural Gas Explosion 41 Richmond, Indiana explosion Richmond, Indiana
2001 Tropical cyclone 41 $5,500,000,000 Tropical Storm Allison Texas,

Louisiana, and Pennsylvania

1912 Accident - Railroad 39 Corning train wreck Corning, New York
1977 Accident - Dam failure 39 Kelly Barnes Dam Toccoa, Georgia
1997 Mass suicide 39 Heaven's Gate (religious group) San Diego, California Cult Leaders Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles convinced followers they would join Comet Hale-Bopp to take them to another planet by swallowing poison.
1969 Accident - Aircraft 38 United Airlines Flight 266 Santa Monica Bay, California
1883 Tornado 37 $700,000 (1883) 1883 Rochester Tornado Rochester, Minnesota F5 tornado killed 37 and injured hundreds more. It led to the creation of the Mayo Clinic.
1937 Accident - airship 36 Hindenburg disaster Manchester, New Jersey Hydrogen-filled zeppelin
1969 Accident - aircraft 35 Hawthorne Nevada Airlines Flight 708 Lone Pine, California
1980 Ship collision 35 Sunshine Skyway Bridge St. Petersburg, Florida
1967 Accident - Aircraft 34 Mohawk Airlines Flight 40 Blossburg, Pennsylvania
2007 Mass murder - School shooting 33 Virginia Tech shooting Blacksburg, Virginia Armed with two semi-automatic handguns, student Seung-Hui Cho shot to death 32 people in two separate attacks on the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. 23 other people were wounded, 17 by gunfire. Cho committed suicide.[2]
1973 Fire (building) 32 UpStairs Lounge arson attack New Orleans, Louisiana Deadliest mass murder against LGBT people in United States history.
1855 Bridge - Accident 31 Gasconade Bridge train disaster Gasconade, Missouri
1981 Fire 31 [3] Keansburg, New Jersey Nursing home full of elderly and mentally disabled
2009 Tsunami 31 2009 Samoa earthquake American Samoa and nearby islands 189 total deaths, with 31 in American Samoa.
1887 Structural failure 30 The Forest Hills Disaster Boston, Massachusetts
1923 Accidentrailroad 30 Glenrock train wreck Meadow Acres, Wyoming
1956 Accidentrailroad 30 Redondo Junction train wreck Los Angeles, California
1998 Blizzard 30 North American ice storm of 1998 Canada and Northeast

Fewer than 30 fatalities[edit]

Year Type Fatalities Damage (US$) Article Location Comments
1871 Accident - Railroad 29 Great Revere Train Wreck of 1871 Revere, Massachusetts
1971 Accident - Explosion 29 Thiokol-Woodbine Explosion Woodbine, Georgia
1975 Shipwreck 29 Wreck of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald Lake Superior
1976 Accident - school bus 29 Yuba City bus disaster Martinez, California Deadliest road accident in U.S. history
1977 Accident - Aircraft 29 University of Evansville basketball team charter crash Evansville, Indiana The University of Evansville basketball team was traveling to Middle Tennessee State University when the plane crashed 90 seconds after takeoff from Dress Regional Airport.[4]
1990 Tornado 29 $160,000,000 1990 Plainfield tornado Plainfield, Illinois

Crest Hill, Illinois

2010 Accident - Coal mine 29[5] Upper Big Branch Mine disaster Montcoal, West Virginia
1951 Flood 28 $7,000,000,000
(2005)
Great Flood of 1951 Kansas

Missouri

2012 Mass murder - School shooting 28 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting Sandy Hook, Connecticut Adam Lanza shot and killed his mother, then drove to Sandy Hook Elementary School, where he fatally shot 20 students and 6 educators before committing suicide.[6]
1958 Accident - school bus 27 Prestonsburg, Kentucky bus disaster Prestonsburg, Kentucky
1988 Accident - school bus 27 Carrollton bus disaster Carrollton, Kentucky
1970 Tornado 26 $1,411,900,000
(2008)
Lubbock Tornado Lubbock, Texas F5 tornado killed 26 and wounded approximately 500
2008 Accident - Railroad 26 2008 Chatsworth train collision Chatsworth, California
1991 Fire (building) 25 Hamlet chicken processing plant fire Hamlet, North Carolina Workers trapped behind locked doors
1991 Fire (rural) 25 $1,500,000,000 1991 Oakland firestorm Oakland, California and vicinity
2005 Tornado 25 $92,000,000 Evansville Tornado of November 2005 Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio 7 tornadoes
1692 Mass hysteria

Execution Neglect

24 Salem witch trials Salem, Massachusetts 21 Executed for "Witchcraft," 3 died in jail due to neglect.
1887 Bridge Railroad 24 Forest Hills disaster Boston, Massachusetts
1991 Mass murder 24 Luby's shooting Killeen, Texas 23 murdered, Gunman committed suicide
2005 Accident - bus 24 Wilmer, Texas carrying elderly, fleeing hurricane
2013 Tornado 24 2013 Moore tornado Moore, Oklahoma 377 people were injured
1919 Accident - Railroad 23 Onawa train wreck Onawa, Maine
1989 Accident - Explosion 23 $1,415,000,000
(1990)
Phillips Disaster Pasadena, Texas 314 people injured
1959 Explosion - Fire 23 Meldrim, Georgia trestle disaster Meldrim, Georgia
1992 Tropical cyclone 23 $25,000,000,000 Hurricane Andrew Florida

Louisiana

1983 Accident - Aircraft 23 Air Canada Flight 797 Cincinnati, Ohio
1977 Blizzard 23 $56,250,000
(1977)
Great Lakes Blizzard of 1977 New York

Ontario

The brunt of the blizzard was centered around Buffalo.
1999 Accident - tour bus 22 New Orleans, Louisiana plunged over embankment, carrying senior citizens from casino
1980 Accident - tour bus 22 Jasper, Arkansas
1960 Accident - Aircraft 22 Cal Poly football team plane crash Toledo, Ohio
1910 Fire, Structural failure 21 Chicago Union Stock Yards fire Chicago, Illinois
1986 Accident - tour bus 21 Walker, California
1915 Fire (building) 21 St. Johns School Fire Peabody, Massachusetts Schoolgirls trapped behind exit door; resulted in first city law requiring that exit doors open outward
1919 Accident - Explosion 21 $6,600,000,000
(2005)
Boston molasses disaster Boston, Massachusetts Damages are out-of-court settlements only; repairs took 133 man-months
2010 Flood 20 June 2010 Arkansas floods Albert Pike Recreational Area (near Langley, Arkansas)
2005 Accident - Shipwreck 20 Ethan Allen boating accident Lake George, New York Overloaded tour boat capsized from another boat's wake.
1872 Fire (urban conflagration) 20 $73,500,000
(1872)
Great Boston Fire of 1872 Boston, Massachusetts
1897 Accident - Railroad 19 Garrison train crash Garrison, New York
1944 Accident - Aircraft 19 Long Creek Air Disaster South Portland, Maine
2013 Wildfire 19 Yarnell Hill Fire Yarnell, Arizona 19 firefighters were killed trapped when they became trapped in the fast-spreading fire
1861 Accident - Railroad 17 to 20 Platte Bridge Railroad Tragedy St. Joseph, Missouri
1903 Accident - Railroad 17 Purdue Wreck Indianapolis, Indiana
1991 Accident - Automobile 17 Dust Storm Accident Coalinga, California
1987 Accident - Railroad 17 1987 Maryland train collision Chase, Maryland
1978 Accident - Railroad 16 Waverly, Tennessee, tank car explosion Waverly, Tennessee an additional 43 injured
1926 Tornado 16 La Plata Tornado of 1926 La Plata, Maryland 13 killed in La Plata Elementary School
1954 Fire (building) 15 Cleveland Hill Middle School Fire Cheektowaga, New York
1966 Mass murder 15 University of Texas Massacre Austin, Texas
1999 Mass murder 15 Columbine High School massacre Jefferson County, Colorado
2011 Accident - tour bus 15 World Wide Tours bus crash Bronx, New York en route to Connecticut casino, March 12
2013 Accident - Explosion 15 West Fertilizer Company explosion West, Texas More than 160 people were injured.
2002 Automobile accident 14 I-40 bridge disaster Webbers Falls, Oklahoma
1982 Bridge - Accident 14 Cline Avenue Bridge collapse East Chicago, Indiana
1942 Accident - Railroad 14 Ambassador - Cleveland Express rail collision Dickerson, Maryland Worst accident in B&O railroad's history
1935 Bus accident 14 Appomattox River Drawbridge accident Hopewell, Virginia Bus drove across drawbridge when it was open.
1973 Accident 14 Skyline Towers collapse Bailey's Crossroads, Virginia 74 others injured
2002 Accident - van 14 Saint John River, Maine
2007 Wildfire 14 California wildfires of October 2007 California Large fires burnt out of control across southern California, fueled by unusually strong Santa Ana Winds; worst around San Diego; caused evacuation of over one million people. Most fires accidental; some arson.
1905 Accident - Railroad 13 Ninth Avenue derailment New York City, New York
1963 Accident - bus 13 Hole in the Rock Trail, Utah Bus carrying Boy Scouts overturned climbing steep hill.
2001 Accident - Mine disaster 13 Jim Walter Resources Mine Disaster Brookwood, Alabama
2006 Accident - Coal mine 13 Sago Mine disaster Sago, West Virginia
2007 Accident - Bridge Collapse 13 $5,000,000 I-35W Mississippi River bridge Collapse Minneapolis, Minnesota Collapsed on August 1 at 6:05 PM during rush hour while resurfacing in progress. An additional 111+ injured.
2009 Mass murder 13 Fort Hood shooting Fort Hood, Texas
1940 Automobile accident 12 Two-car collision Slayton, Minnesota The deadliest two-car auto crash in U.S. history at the time.
1959 Accident - Coal mine 12 Knox Mine Disaster Pittston, Pennsylvania
2012 Mass Murder 12 2012 Aurora shooting Aurora, Colorado 56 others were injured.
1999 Accident - Railroad 11 1999 Bourbonnais, Illinois train accident Bourbonnais, Illinois
2010 Accident - Explosion 11 Deepwater Horizon explosion Southeast of Louisiana coast Caused by a blowout on April 20. 17 injuries. Subsequent oil spill regarded as worst environmental disaster in US history.
2003 Accident - Shipwreck 11 2003 Staten Island Ferry crash New York City, New York
1976 Accident - Dam failure 11 $400,000,000 Teton Dam Idaho
2011 Accident - Airshow 11 2011 Reno Air Races crash Reno, Nevada At least 70 people injured in the disaster. Third-deadliest airshow disaster in U.S. history.
2005 Mass murder - Railroad 11 2005 Glendale train crash Los Angeles, California
1999 Accident - Aircraft 11 American Airlines Flight 1420 Little Rock, Arkansas
1996 Accident - Railroad 11 1996 Maryland train collision Silver Spring, Maryland
1979 Stampede 11 Riverfront Coliseum Cincinnati, Ohio The Who rock concert
1977 Accident - Railroad 11 Chicago Loop derailment Chicago, Illinois
2014 Accident - tour bus 10 Glenn County, California[7]
2004 Tropical cyclone 10 $15,000,000,000 Hurricane Charley Florida
1957 Tornado 10 $25,883,000 1957 Fargo tornado Fargo, North Dakota
1972 Bridge - Accident 10 Sidney Lanier Bridge collapse Brunswick, Georgia
1972 Accident - Aircraft 10 1972 Chicago-O'Hare runway collision Chicago, Illinois
1987 Bridge - Accident 10 Schoharie Creek Bridge Collapse Fort Hunter, New York
1858 Structural failure - Bridge 9 Sauquoit Bridge Collapse Sauquoit, New York
1888 Accident - Railroad 9 Wreck at the Fat Nancy Orange County, Virginia
2005 Accident - Railroad 9 Graniteville, South Carolina train crash Graniteville, South Carolina
1903 Accident - Railroad 9 Wreck of the Old 97 Danville, Virginia
2007 Fire (Building) 9 Charleston Sofa Super Store Fire Charleston, South Carolina A flashover and structural collapse contributed to the deaths of nine Charleston firefighters.
2007 Accident - Coal mine 9 Crandall Canyon Mine Collapse Huntington, Utah Original collapse on August 6 at 2:48 AM MDT, 6 miners missing. On August 16 at 6:30 PM MDT, 9 rescue workers caught in second collapse while trying to get to trapped miners. Three rescue workers pronounced dead; other 6 injured.
2009 Accident - Railroad 9 Washington Metro subway train collision Washington, District of Columbia Approximately 80 injuries; deadliest subway train accident US history. Driver was texting at the time.
2012 Fire - Building 9 2012 Charleston house fire Charleston, West Virginia 1 injured
2013 Tornado 8 2013 El Reno tornado Canadian County, Oklahoma Four storm chasers killed, including Tim Samaras; first tornado on record to kill storm chasers; 151 injured; Widest tornado on record with a path width of 2.6 miles (4.2 km).
2009 Accident - Automobile, Driving under the influence 8 2009 Taconic State Parkway crash Mount Pleasant, New York 3 Additional Injuries
1984 Fire - Building 8 Haunted Castle fire at Six Flags Great Adventure Jackson Township, New Jersey
1982 Mass murder 8 Post Family Murders Farwell, Michigan
1996 Flood 8 $500,000,000 Willamette Valley Flood of 1996 Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California
1989 Bridge collapse 8 Hatchie River Bridge Collapse Memphis, Tennessee
2001 Structural failure 8 Queen Isabella Causeway collapse Cameron County, Texas
2014 Accident - Explosion 8 2014 East Harlem apartment buildings explosion New York City, New York
1982 Mass murder - Poisoning 7 Chicago Tylenol murders Chicago, Illinois Investigation still underway, as of 2012
2012 Mass murder-

School shooting

7 Oikos University shooting Oakland, California
1976 Mass murder-

School shooting

7 California State University, Fullerton massacre Fullerton, California
1922 Accident - Railroad 7 1922 Winslow Junction Train Derailment Winslow, Arizona
1995 Bridge - Accident 7 Coalinga, California
1983 Fire - Explosion 7 Propane explosion 12/27/83 Buffalo, New York Blast killed 5 fireman and 2 civilians
1901 Fire (urban conflagration) 7 Great Fire of 1901 Jacksonville, Florida
2011 Accident - collapse 7 Indiana State Fair stage collapse Indianapolis, Indiana 58 injured
1986 Explosion Space Shuttle 7 Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster Kennedy Space Center, Florida The first in-flight deaths in the U.S. Space Program. Faulty booster design and engineers overruled by administrators.
2003 Accident Space Shuttle 7 Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster Texas, Louisiana Heat shield damage due to debris strike during liftoff.
1974 Mass murder 6 "The Amityville murders" committed by Ronald DeFeo, Jr. Amityville, New York "Butch" DeFeo told investigators that "voices" told him to kill his parents Louise and Ronald, Sr., and his siblings Dawn, Allison, Marc, and John Matthew. All the children were 18 and younger. The murders were exploited and fictionalized and later turned into a novel by Jay Anson called "The Amityville Horror" which was later turned into a popular movie.
1987 Mass murder 6 The Flint Crack Murders Flint, Michigan
1993 Terrorism 6 1993 World Trade Center bombing New York City, New York at least 1,042 injured
1995 Flood 6 $1,360,000,000 May 8th 1995 Louisiana Flood New Orleans, Louisiana area
1999 Fire (Building) 6 Worcester Cold Storage Warehouse fire Worcester, Massachusetts Six firefighters lost their lives while searching for two homeless victims, they are now commonly referred to as the Worcester 6
2008 Mass murder 6 Northern Illinois University shooting DeKalb, Illinois Includes the gunman who killed himself; 21 people were injured
2011 Mass murder 6 2011 Tucson Shooting Arizona Attempted assassination of US representative Gabrielle Giffords. Among the fatalities is the Chief Judge for the US district court of Arizona John Roll and a ten year old girl.
2013 Collapse (building) 6 22nd and Market Building Collapse Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 14 other people were injured, 1 seriously. During the disaster, at least ten people were trapped under the rubble.[8][9]
1863 Mass murder 5 Wiseman Massacre Wynot, Nebraska
1946 Bridge failure

Accident - Maritime

5 John P. Grace Memorial Bridge Disaster Charleston, South Carolina
2001 Bioterrorism 5 2001 anthrax attacks New York City, New York

Boca Raton, Florida Washington, District of Columbia

17 Others Infected
2013 Avalanche 5 2013 Loveland Pass, Colorado avalanche Loveland Pass, Colorado
2010 Accident - Explosion 5[10] 2010 Connecticut power plant explosion Middletown, Connecticut 12 or more injuries[11]
1959 Accident - Aircraft 4 The Day the Music Died Clear Lake, Iowa Musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson were killed along with their pilot Roger Peterson.
1970 Direct action (military) 4 Kent State shootings Kent, Ohio An additional 9 injured. Students were fired upon when protesting the Vietnam War by the Ohio National Guard.
2013 Terrorism 3 Boston Marathon bombings Boston, Massachusetts 3 immediate fatalities; 2 more people (including one of the perpetrators) were killed a few days later. An additional 264 people were injured by two separate bombings, which were 13 seconds apart. 17 others were injured in a gunfight a few days later (16 police officers and the other perpetrator).
1845 Fire (urban conflagration) 2 $267,000,000
(est., 2006)
Great Fire of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Destroyed much of city.
1891 Accident - Railroad 2 Great East Thompson Train Wreck Thompson, Connecticut hundreds injured
2010 Suicide Attack 2 2010 Austin suicide attack Austin, Texas An additional 13 injured when a man tried to crash into the field office of the Internal Revenue Service in Texas.
2013 Accident - Explosion 2 Williams Olefins Plant explosion Geismar, Louisiana 114 injured
2014 Accident - Aircraft 2 2014 KOMO-TV news helicopter crash Seattle, Washington
2014 Fire (Building) 2 2014 Boston Brownstone Fire Boston, Massachusetts
1995 Accident - Railroad 1 1995 Palo Verde, Arizona derailment Palo Verde, Arizona 78 injured
2000 Accident - Explosion 1 Phillips explosion of 2000 Pasadena, Texas 71 injuries
2011 Tsunami 1 >$50,000,000 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami California, Oregon, Hawaii 7 people swept out to sea, 1 fatality. Major damage to harbors, especially in Crescent City and Santa Cruz, California with tsunami waves reaching 8.1 feet. Extensive damage also reported in three Hawaiian islands, with tsunami waves up to 12 feet high.

Unknown number of fatalities[edit]

Year Type Fatalities Damage (US$) Article Location Comments
1816 Famine (caused by volcano) Unknown Year Without a Summer Volcanic dust from a massive eruption by Mount Tambora in the Dutch East Indies (present Indonesia) in 1815 led to an abnormally cold summer in 1816 in the northeastern United States and eastern Canada. Cold weather inhibited crops, and frosts and snowstorms killed what did grow, leading to a localized famine.
1835 Fire (urban conflagration) Unknown $20,000,000
(1835)
Great Fire of New York New York City, New York
1888 Cold wave Unknown 1888 Northwest Cold Wave Northwest
1914 Fire (urban conflagration) Unknown $325,000,000
(2008)
Great Salem Fire of 1914 Salem, Massachusetts
1931–1939 Drought Unknown Unknown Dust Bowl Great Plains Compounded by unsustainable agricultural techniques
1929-37 Economic Unknown Unknown The Great Depression Worldwide

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Indiana Plane Crashes
  2. ^ Williams, Reed; Morrison, Shawna (April 26, 2007). "Police: No motive found". The Roanoke Times. Retrieved September 24, 2008. 
  3. ^ "Keansburg, NJ Boarding Home Fire, Jan 1981 | GenDisasters ... Genealogy in Tragedy, Disasters, Fires, Floods". .gendisasters.com. Retrieved 2013-05-13. 
  4. ^ Memories of UE plane crash still linger
  5. ^ Lawrence Messina (April 5, 2010). "West Virginia Coal Mine Explosion: 25 Dead After Massey Blast". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  6. ^ "Documents: New details on Newtown school massacre". CNN. March 28, 2013. Retrieved March 28, 2013. 
  7. ^ Joseph, Channing; Nirappil, Fenit. College visit turns tragic for students in Northern California bus crash, Associated Press, April 11, 2014.
  8. ^ Boyette, Chris; Lear, Justin (June 5, 2013). "6 dead in Philadelphia building collapse, 13 injured". CNN. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  9. ^ Hurdle, Jon (June 5, 2013). "Workers Seek Survivors in Philadelphia Collapse". New York Times. Retrieved June 5, 2013. 
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ "5 dead in Conn. power plant blast - US news - Life | NBC News". MSNBC. 2010-02-07. Retrieved 2013-04-22.