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10 Worst Man-Made Environmental Disasters





From honest mistakes to blatant disregard for the consequences, read on for 10 terrifying examples of the damage people are capable of causing.

#10 Deepwater Horizon oil spill

#10 Deepwater Horizon oil spill

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill began on April 20, 2010, in the Gulf of Mexico on the BP-operated Macondo Prospect.

An explosion on the Deepwater Horizon Macondo oil well drilling platform tragically killed 11 workers and started the largest marine oil spill in U.S. history, releasing millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

#9 Tragedy of the love canal


#9 Tragedy of the love canal

It is a cruel irony that Love Canal was originally meant to be a dream community. That vision belonged to the man for whom the three-block tract of land on the eastern edge of Niagara Falls, New York, was named--William T. Love.

Love felt that by digging a short canal between the upper and lower Niagara Rivers, power could be generated cheaply to fuel the industry and homes of his would-be model city.



#8 Minamata disease

#8 Minamata disease

Minamata disease (M. d.) is methylmercury (MeHg) poisoning that occurred in humans who ingested fish and shellfish contaminated by MeHg discharged in waste water from a chemical plant. It was in May 1956, that M. d. was first officially "discovered" in Minamata City, the south-west region of Japan's Kyushu Island.

The marine products in Minamata Bay displayed high levels of Hg contamination. The Hg content in the hair of patients, their family and inhabitants of the Shiranui Sea coastline were also detected at high levels.



#7 Guiyu Waste Spill In China

#7 Guiyu Waste Spill In China

Guiyu as an e-waste hub was first documented fully in December 2001 by the Basel Action Network, a non-profit organisation that combats the practice of toxic waste export to developing countries in their report and documentary film entitled Exporting Harm.

The health and environmental issues exposed by this report and subsequent scientific studies have greatly concerned international organisations such as the Basel Action Network and later Greenpeace and the United Nations Environment Programme and the Basel Convention. The Chinese government, for fear of exposure or legal action, tightly regulates Media documentation of Guiyu.

Click here to read more…

#6 Castle Bravo Explosion

#6 Castle Bravo Explosion

The result of the extensive fallout, Nevil Shute wrote the novel On the Beach which was released in 1957. The novel is about a war that released so much radioactive fallout that all the life in the Northern Hemisphere disappeared, while the Southern Hemisphere awaited a similar fate.

However, the American government voiced a criticism of this premise—a threat of extinction from nuclear war—because they did not have enough nuclear weapons to cause human extinction

#5 Gulf War Spill

#5 Gulf War Spill

The Gulf War oil spill was one of the largest oil spills in history, resulting from the Gulf War in 1991, the apparent strategic goal was to foil a potential landing by US Marines. It also made commandeering oil reserves dangerous for US forces as visibility and movement were inhibited.

The environmental impacts of the Gulf War Crisis were felt immediately at the onset of the Iraqi invasion. Humans began suffering on day one of the invasion and the atrocities towards humans continued during the war. Thousands were either killed, wounded, raped, or taken prisoner before the war terminated.

#4 Jilin Chemical Explosion

#4 Jilin Chemical Explosion

The Jilin chemical plant explosions were a series of explosions, which occurred on November 13, 2005, in the No.101 Petrochemical Plant in Jilin City, Jilin Province, China, over the period of an hour. The explosions killed six, injured dozens, and caused the evacuation of thousands of residents.

The cause of the blasts was initially determined two days after the blast: an accident site is a nitration unit for aniline equipment. T-102 tower jammed up and was not handled properly, hence the blasts.

#3 Seveso Toxic Gas Release

#3 Seveso Toxic Gas Release

The Seveso disaster was an industrial accident that occurred around 12:37 pm on July 10, 1976, in a small chemical manufacturing plant approximately 20 kilometres (12 mi) north of Milan in the Lombardy region of Italy.

The Seveso disaster gives valuable comparative insight into the effects of Agent Orange on flora and fauna in Vietnam, not to mention the Vietnamese people, as TCDD was a significant contaminant in Agent Orange.

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#2 Kaprun Disaster

#2 Kaprun Disaster

The Kaprun disaster was a fire that occurred in an ascending train in the tunnel of the Gletscherbahn Kaprun 2 funicular in Kaprun, Austria, on 11 November 2000. The disaster claimed the lives of 155 people, leaving 12 survivors from the burning train. The victims were skiers on their way to the Kitzsteinhorn Glacier.

Thirty-seven of the victims were under the age of 20. It was an international disaster, but it was also a very local tragedy. Thirty-two of the victims were from the nearby town of Wels, while in Kaprun, candles were lit in shop windows. Austria observed two days of national mourning.

#1 Al-Mishraq Fire

#1 Al-Mishraq Fire

Al-Mishraq is a state-run sulphur plant near Mosul, Iraq. In June 2003, it was the site of the largest human-made release of sulphur dioxide ever recorded when a fire (thought to have been deliberately started) gained control and burned for about three weeks.

Sulphur dioxide gas is created when fuels that contain sulphur dioxide are burned; these fuels include oil and coal. Although most industrial sulphur dioxide gas production occurs due to smelting and other manufacturing or industrial processes, this serious pollutant was also released in large quantities during the Al-Mishraq State Sulfur Plant fire.





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