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Technology Disasters

Technology Disasters


Aleksandrs Cudars

April 07, 2013

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  2. Seven people died with the Space
    Shutter Challenger flew apart in flight
    on January 28, 1986, including Christa
    McAuliffe the "first teacher in space."
    Like the disintegration of the Space
    Shuttle Columbia, which also resulted
    in the deaths of seven crew members,
    Challenger's end shook the American
    psyche and marked the beginning of the
    decline of American's manned space
    program. The accident is blamed on the
    failure of an O-ring that sealed the
    shuttle's rocket booster. The failure
    of China's Intelsat 708 resulted in
    more deaths but information about the
    accident remains sketchy and the public
    impact was more limited.

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  4. The sinking of the Titanic serves
    as a reminder of human hubris.
    Deemed to be virtually
    unsinkable, she sank nonetheless,
    despite engineering designed to
    keep the ship afloat. The
    presence of enough lifeboats to
    carry only about 1/3 of the
    people on board made ship's
    technical shortcomings deadly.

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  6. In August 1975, the Banqiao dam
    on China's Ru River collapsed in
    under the heavy rain from Typhoon
    Nina, a failure foreseen by
    project critics and in part
    attributable to inadequate
    engineering. The death toll has
    been estimated to be 26,000 from
    flooding and 145,000 from
    subsequent hardships, though
    official statistics of such
    events in China are difficult to

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  7. In 1976 the catastrophe in
    Seveso, an Italian town
    contaminated by leaking of
    dioxine from a chemical plant,
    caused the evacuation on 600
    people and 2,000 had to be
    treated for sickness due to the
    contamination. This accident led
    to a new European directive to be
    put into place on industrial
    sites at risk; it is called the
    Seveso directive.

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  9. Less than 60 deaths have been directly
    attributed to the Chernobyl nuclear accident
    in 1986. Though various groups have made
    unverified claims that anywhere from 4,000 to
    more than 200,000 people have died as a
    result of radiation exposure in the years
    that followed, the United Nations Scientific
    Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation
    (UNSCEAR), following decades of study, has
    concluded that apart from increased thyroid
    cancers, "there is no evidence of a major
    public health impact attributable to
    radiation exposure 20 years after the
    accident." However, the effects of the
    accident continue to be felt on a personal
    and environmental level, inside and outside
    of Ukraine. Though the extent to which human
    error versus design flaws contributed to the
    accident remains open to debate, there's a
    strong case for bad design.

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  11. Death estimates range from about 4,000
    to 30,000 for the 1984 release of
    poison gas at a Union Carbide Facility
    in Bhopal, India. But like Chernobyl,
    the health effects have lasted decades
    and continue to this day. A variety of
    equipment failures and design flaws are
    believed to have contributed to the
    accident. Eight Indian plant employees
    were convicted of negligence in June
    2010, in Bhopal. An arrest warrant for
    former CEO Warren Anderson, now 90, was
    issued by Indian authorities last year
    but the U.S. will not extradite him.

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  12. Before the Texas City disaster, there
    was the Port Chicago disaster in which
    320 Navy sailors and civilians died
    from a munitions explosion. The
    explosion occurred on July 17, 1944, at
    the Port Chicago Naval Magazine in Port
    Chicago, California. Most of the dead
    were African-Americans and the incident
    sparked a mutiny over the dangerous
    conditions. As World War II was
    underway, disciplinary action was harsh
    and the incident continues to be a
    racial sore point. Inadequate attention
    to safe munitions handling, in terms of
    tools and training, led to the

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  14. The deadliest single-aircraft
    accident to date occurred in 1985
    with the crash of Japan Airlines
    Flight 123. The cause of the
    accident has been attributed to
    improper repairs following damage
    to the tail of the 747SR-46 in
    1978. A single metal plate with
    the a few more rivets could have
    saved 520 lives.

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  15. • http://www.goodplanet.info/eng/Society/Disaster/Technological-disasters
    • http://www.informationweek.co.uk/11-epic-technology-disasters/
    • http://en.rian.ru/infographics/20110128/162352749.html
    • http://clikhear.palmbeachpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/challengerexplode.jpg
    • http://didyouknowarchive.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/titanic-anniversary-3-that-which-
    • http://bigbluetechnews.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/titanic-sinking.jpg
    • http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5a/Banqiaomap.png
    • http://cerch.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Seveso-masks.jpg
    • http://outnow.ch/Media/Movies/Bilder/2005/Gambit/movie.fs/01.jpg
    • http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/multimedia/archive/00144/T2_Chernob_01_144384b.jpg
    • http://chernobylgallery.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Chernobyl-Disaster-October-86-
    • http://www.bhopalonline.org/place_of_tourist/Bhopal-Union_Carbide_2.jpg
    • http://www.nps.gov/poch/images/20090501184941.jpg
    • http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/17/Portchicago.jpg

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