Top 10 Most Expensive Accidents in The History

Take a look at the below list of Top 10 Most Expensive Accidents in The History. The noun definition of an accident is: “an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury.” Their expense is measured in dollar amounts. This includes property damage and the expenses incurred as a result of the cleanup and industry losses. The top 10 most expensive accidents in the world are shown below.

List of Top 10 Most Expensive Accidents in The History

10. Chernobyl – 1986 ($2 Billion)

Chernobyl - 1986 Top Popular Expensive Accidents in The History 2018

The Chernobyl reactor accident is still in effect today. This nuclear reactor in the Ukraine, is the worst, most environmentally devastating accident in history. It took 125,000 lives, many passing away soon after the accident, from cancer. Its accident affected 1.7 million people. The true cost is not known, but to replace the steel shelter at the Chernobyl nuclear plant had a cost of $2 Billion.

9. Space Shuttle Columbia Explosion – 2003 ($13 Billion)


On February 1, 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded over Texas upon its re-entry, killing all crew on board. A hole in its wing was the cause and it is believed that the hole was made during the shuttle’s launch 16 days earlier. According to the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronotika Sciences, the accident cost $13 billion.

8. Prestige Oil Spill – 2002 ($12 Billion)

Prestige Oil Spill - 2002 Top 10 Most Expensive Accidents in The History

A storm at sea damaged the Prestige Oil Tanker ship. The ship requested the Spanish, Portuguese and French governments to dock for repairs. The countries denied their request. Without repairs, the tanker split into two in Galicia, Spain, polluting the sea with 20 million gallons of oil. The clean-up cost was around $12 Billion, the most costly accident on international waters.

7. Space Shuttle Challenger Explosion – 1986 ($5.5 Billion)

Space Shuttle Challenger Explosion - 1986 Top 10 Most Expensive Accidents in The History

The space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after lift off, killing all seven crew members, on January 28, 1986. The explosion was revealed to have been caused by a mechanical problem. The 1986-1987 investigation, including the problem correction and equipment replacement all gobbled up $450 million, which is equivalent to $1 billion in today’s dollars. Replacing the shuttle cost $2 billion, about $4.5 billion today.

6. Piper Alpha Oil Rig – 1988 ($3.4 Billion)

Piper Alpha Oil Rig - 1988 Top Most Popular Expensive Accidents in The History 2019

Due to technical negligence by staff, the Piper Alpha disaster off the coast of Aberdeen claimed 167 lives of workers and cost $3.4 Billion. The Piper Alpha Oil was one of the world’s largest producer of oil. On July 6, 1988, a staff member forgot to replace of one the 100 safety valves and later that night, its 300-foot platform exploded in flames. This was one of the Top 10 Most Expensive Accidents in The History.

5. Exxon Valdez Oil Spill – 1989 ($2.5 Billion)

Exxon Valdez Oil Spill - 1989 Top Famous Expensive Accidents in The History 2018

In 1989, American Exxon spent $2.5 billion in cleaning up an oil spill, caused by the sinking of their tanker, the Exxon Valdez on March 24th. The spill occurred in Prince William Sound, Alaska, and the 11 million gallons of oil spilled polluted the waters, extending to the Gulf of Alaska. More than 10.8 million gallons of oil spilled and polluted surrounding waters, spreading until it reached the Gulf of Alaska. Exxon Valdez tanker owners spent $2.5 billion US dollars and the company went bankrupt.

4. B-2 Bomber Crash – 2008 ($1.4 Billion)

B-2 Bomber Crash - 2008 Top 10 Most Expensive Accidents in The History 2017

One of the only 21 Stealth Bombers built in 2008, crashed as soon as it took off from the Andersen Air Force Base runways in Guam. The February 23, 2008 crash reportedly was due to a computer data system error. The pilot survived, but the most expensive plan in history was a complete lost at $1.4 Billion.

3. Chatsworth Train Collision – 2008 ($500 Million)

Chatsworth Train Collision - 2008 Top Most Expensive Accidents in The History 2017

On September 12, 2008, a Union Pacific freight train collided head-on with a Metrolink commuter train in Chatsworth, in Los Angeles, California. The cause of the accident was largely blamed on the conductor of the Metrolink train who said that he did not see the red signal. Twenty-five lives were lost. Metrolink experienced a loss of $500 million.

2. Tanker Truck Explosion – Wiehltal Bridge – 2004 ($358 Million)


The country of Germany had its most expensive accident on August 26, 2004 when a large tanker truck filled with fuel, had a head-on collision with a car on The Wiehltal Bridge. The Bridge was completely destroyed in a vast explosion, sending the truck 90 feet down on the A4 Autobahn roadway. Final repairs to the Bridge which required a rebuild and repairs to the Autobahn road reached $358 million.

1. The Titanic – 1912 ($150 Million)


The Titanic was designed to be the most luxurious ship on the ocean and one of the worlds amazing wonders. It was designed to link Great Britain and the United States. On April 15, 1912, the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank. Fifteen thousand people lost their lives. The Titanic cost $150 million to build.

Many of the accidents identified above, involve life casualties to which there is no possible dollar value. War, natural disasters or terrorism are not accidents. Everyday, there are accidents that occur somewhere in the world which causes damage to different types of properties. Those above are the top 10 list of the most expensive accidents in the world.

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