Disasters timeline

  • Ashtabula River Railroad Disaster

    The Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway Train No. 5, The Pacific Express, left a snowy Erie, Pennsylvania, on the afternoon of December 29,... Read more

  • Sinking of the SS Princess Alice

    The lifeless frames of men and women lay about, and out on the balcony, from which the directors had so often looked upon their fleet through the... Read more

  • Tay Bridge Disaster

    At approximately 7:15 p.m. on the stormy night of 28 December 1879, the central navigation spans of the Tay bridge collapsed into the Firth of Tay... Read more

  • Naval Steam Colliery Disaster

    The explosion occurred at 1.30 am, when one hundred and seven men and boys were at work below ground and claimed one hundred and one lives.... Read more

  • Wreck of the SS Tararua

    The second greatest loss of life in New Zealand waters came in 1881 when 131 people died in the wreck of the Tararua. On a voyage from Port... Read more

  • Great Thumb Forest Fire

    In the Lower Peninsula of the state of Michigan, a widespread drought had begun to dry out pastures, crops, wells and, eventually, forests. The... Read more

  • Ring Theatre Fire

    A fire at the Ring Theater in Vienna, Austria, kills at least 620 people and injures hundreds more on this day in 1881. The luxurious, ornate... Read more

  • Hugstetten Rail Disaster

    The Hugstetten rail disaster occurred on the railway line between Freiburg im Breisgau and Breisach am Rhein on 3 September 1882. With 64 killed... Read more

  • Eruption of Krakatoa of 1883

    It was 6am on August 26 in 1883, when the volcano on Krakatoa, a small island in Indonesia, catastrophically erupted. This earth-shattering event... Read more

  • Victoria Hall Disaster

    About 1,500 children crammed into Victoria Hall; most of these were occupying the gallery. At the end of Fay’s performance, toys and other prizes... Read more

  • 1883 Eruption of Krakatoa

    The best known eruption of Krakatoa culminated in a series of massive explosions on August 26–27, 1883, which was among the most violent volcanic... Read more

  • Enigma Tornado Outbreak

    The 1884 Enigma outbreak is thought to be among the largest and most widespread tornado outbreaks in American history, striking on February 19–20,... Read more

  • Charleston Earthquake of 1886

    This is the most damaging earthquake to occur in the Southeast United States and one of the largest historic shocks in Eastern North America. It... Read more

  • The Bussey Bridge Train Disaster

    The recent terrible disaster at the White River bridge, on the Central Vermont railroad, was paralleled, and, with the exception of the fire... Read more

  • Nanaimo Mine Explosion

    The Nanaimo mine explosion on May 3, 1887, in Nanaimo, British Columbia killed 150 miners. Only seven miners survived and the mine burned for one... Read more

  • Great Chatsworth Train Wreck

    The scene that followed it is impossible to describe. The hapless passengers of the forward cars were, almost inextricably mingled in the shattered... Read more

  • Theatre Royal Fire

    On the 5th September 1887, on the first night of a romantic comedy called Romany Rye, and with an audience of 800, a naked gas flame ignited some... Read more

  • Yellow River Flood of 1887

    China has had a particularly long and terrible history of flooding. In the last 2000 years, the Yangtze River has flooded more than 1000 times. But... Read more

  • Schoolhouse Blizzard

    In one (blizzard) which visited Dakota and the States of Montana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas and Texas in January, 1888, the mercury fell within... Read more

  • Great Blizzard of 1888

    The notorious "Blizzard of 1888" literally paralyzed The Northeast after three days of snow, wind and freezing temperatures. Two-and-a-half to four... Read more

  • Mud Run Disaster

    The full length of the lead engine telescoped into the rear car and drove it two thirds of its length into the next car; which was in turn pushed... Read more

  • Borki Train Disaster

    On October 17 [N.S. October 29], 1888, the imperial train returning from the south derailed at the station of Borki, leaving twenty-one dead and... Read more

  • The Johnstown Flood

    The Johnstown Flood disaster (or Great Flood of 1889 as it became known locally) occurred on May 31, 1889. It was the result of the failure of the... Read more

  • Armagh Rail Disaster

    The Armagh rail disaster happened on 12 June 1889 near Armagh, Ireland when a crowded Sunday school excursion train had to negotiate a steep... Read more

  • Sinking of the Ottoman Frigate Ertuğrul

    After sailing in Asian waters for more than a year, a time filled with various mishaps and difficulties, the Ertugrul arrived in June of 1890 in... Read more