World

Photos: Industrial disasters through history

Updated 3:06 AM ET, Mon December 1, 2014
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Deadly train derailment: At least 38 people were killed and 37 are still missing in the small town of Lac Megantic, Quebec, where a runaway train exploded in the downtown district on Saturday, July 6, 2013. Police suspect that some of the victims were vaporized in the explosion. Look back at some of the worst industrial disasters in modern history: MATHIEU BELANGER/reuters/LANDOV
Louisiana chemical plant explosion: A June 13 explosion at a chemical plant in Louisiana killed one person and forced authorities to ask people as far as 2 miles away to stay inside to avoid exposure to potentially deadly fumes. At least 75 people were injured in the blast. From WAFB
China poultry plant fire: A fire which broke out in a poultry plant in northeast China on June 3 killed at least 119 people and injured another 54. EPA/HE YU **CHINA OUT** /LANDOV
Garment factory collapse: More than 1,000 people died in the May 10 collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Savar, Bangladesh, making it one of the world's worst industrial disasters. ANDREW BIRAJ/Reuters/LANDOV
West, Texas, fertilizer plant explosion: 35 people died in a massive explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, on April 17. Included among the dead were 10 first responders who were trying to put out a fire at the plant before the explosion. Reuters /Landov
Fukushima nuclear plant: In March 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake caused a tsunami that killed nearly 16,000 people in northeast Japan and damaged backup generators at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Though all three reactors were successfully shut down, the cooling systems failed causing a nuclear meltdown and radiation leaks. The disaster was the second worst nuclear accident in history. JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images
Bhopal chemical leak: In December 1984, almost 4,000 people died in the immediate aftermath of the leak of methyl isocyanate from a chemical plant in Bhopal, India. More than 10,000 other deaths have been blamed on related illnesses, with adverse health effects reported in hundreds of thousands of survivors. Found guilty in 2010 of negligence over the disaster: Union Carbide India Limited, which was the now-defunct subsidiary of the U.S. chemical company; the subsidiary's head; and six of his colleagues. Stringer/AFP/Getty Images/file
Chernobyl: The initial death toll was 32, from the 1986 explosion in the core of a nuclear reactor at Chernobyl in Ukraine, then part of the Soviet Union. But the International Atomic Energy Agency estimates the total number of deaths from contamination will reach about 4,000. The disaster sent a cloud of radioactive fallout over hundreds of thousands of square miles of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. The radioactive effects of the explosion were about 400 times more potent than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima during World War II. ZUFAROV/AFP/Getty Images/file
Halifax Harbor explosion: In December 1917, the French ammunition ship Mont Blanc and the chartered Belgian steamer Imo collided in Halifax Harbor in Nova Scotia, causing a massive explosion. Officials put the death toll at 1,950. US Army Signal Corps/Getty Images/file
Benxihu/Honkeiko Colliery explosion: Guinness World Records lists the April 26, 1942, coal dust explosion at the Benxihu/Honkeiko Colliery in Benxi, China, as the world's worst coal mining disaster. It says the blast at the facility killed 1,549 people. Stewart Scott-Curran/CNN
Boston Molasses Disaster: In January 1919, a tank containing 2.3 million gallons of molasses ruptured in Boston, causing a 15-foot high wall of molasses to pummel houses and leave 21 people dead and 150 injured. The Boston Globe via Getty Images
Triangle Shirtwaist Factory disaster: In March 1911, a fire broke out at a factory in Greenwich Village, New York, as employees were leaving for the day. Most of the exits were locked with chains and the fire escape had collapsed; 146 people died in the fire. Buyenlarge/Getty Images
Courrieres mining disaster: On March 10, 1906, 1,099 people died and hundreds more were injured in an explosion at the Courrieres mine in northern France, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. The encyclopedia said smoke and toxic gas had been detected at the site days before the explosion but work had continued. Roger Viollet Collection/Getty Images