Top 10 Most Expensive Accidents in History

By | June 27, 2015

There have been many tragic and costly accidents in history. But there’s nothing like the ten man-made accidents you’re about to see below.

10. Sinking of The Titanic, 1912 ($150 Million)

This is the most famous in the list thanks to Hollywood. The ship alone cost $7 million to build. That is $150 million in today’s dollars. But the lives of over 1500 passengers that were lost are beyond monetary value


9. Tanker Truck Explodes on Wiehltal Bridge, 2004 ($358 Million)

On August 26, 2004, on the Wiehltal Bridge in Germany, a car crashed into a tanker truck that carried 32,000 liters of fuel. The explosion was enormous. It destroyed the huge bridge. It cost around 358 million dollars to repair and rebuild it.


8. Chatsworth Train Collision, 2008 ($500 Million)

This is one of the worst, and the costliest, train crashes in history. The accident happened because the Metrolink train ignored a red signal while the train conductor was busy receiving messages. It caused Metrolink $500 million in total losses.


7. B-2 Stealth Bomber Crash, 2008 ($1.4 Billion)

On February 23, 2008, the B-2 Stealth Bomber crashed right after taking off from an air base in Guam. It’s the most expensive accident in the history of aviation.



6. Exxon Valdez oil spill, 1989 ($2.5 Billion)

On March 24, 1989, a tanker crashed into a Reef because the ship’s master left the control. 10.8 million gallons of oil was spilled into the ocean. The cleanup cost Exxon $2.5 billion.


5. Piper Alpha Oil Rig, 1988 ($3.4 Billion)

This is the world’s most expensive off-shore oil disaster ever recorded. The cause was a human error when one of the technicians forgot to replace one of the safety valves. The result was catastrophic. It killed 167 workers and cost $3.4 billion in damages.


4. Space Shuttle Challenger Explosion, 1986 ($5.5 Billion)

Just 73 seconds after takeoff, the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded with all the seven highly trained members inside. All damages totaled around 5.5 billion in today’s dollars.


3. Prestige Oil Spill, 2002 ($12 Billion)

November 13, 2002, a storm was raging off Galicia, Spain, the captain of the huge oil tanker asked for help from the Spanish authorities to aid them to take the ship into harbor. The said authorities ordered them away. The captain turned for help from the French and Portuguese, they too ordered them away from their shores.

As the captain feared, the storm was too much to handle for the ship and split it into two spilling 20 millions of gallons of oil into sea. The total cost of damage is $12 billion.


2. Space Shuttle Columbia Explosion, 2003 ($13 Billion)

This is easily the costliest aircraft accident in history. The Space Shuttle Columbia exploded during a re-entry over Texas on February 1, 2003. According to the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the total cost of accident is $13 billion.


1. Chernobyl, 1986 ($200 Billion)

On April 26, 1986, the most expensive and catastrophic accident in history happened when a nuclear reactor at the Chernobyl power station exploded. The death toll is estimated at 125,000. Over 200,000 people had to be evacuated. The total cost of cleaning up, resettlement, and compensation to the victims is estimated around $200 billion.