Railway transport is one of the most inexpensive, convenient and safe. That’s why it is often chosen by passengers. Nevertheless, accidents happen on the railways. When the trains at full speed collide or fall under a slope, it turns out that powerful destructive forces come into play.
Rumbling compositions become unmanageable, and a person can no longer stop a catastrophe. Inside the cars there is a real hell that makes a real mess of human bodies. People are discussing aircraft crashes, forgetting about the biggest accidents on the railways. And after all, these catastrophes took hundreds of lives.
Ignition of a train in Egypt, 2002.
This accident happened with a passenger train, which on February 20, 2002, followed from Cairo to Luxor. In one of the cars at 2 o’clock in the morning a gas cylinder exploded – with its help the passengers were heated. The driver, however, did not notice that his composition was on fire and continued to drive at full speed. In total, seven wagons burned, and almost to the bottom. Six of them belonged to the cheap third class. Each of them was designed for 150 people, in fact, they were twice as many passengers. The catastrophe has acquired such proportions because of the congestion of the convoy. The unhappy had to jump out at full speed to jump out of the burning wagons, which also led to deaths and injuries. According to official information, about 383 people were burned by the fire, several hundred were seriously injured. However, the exact number of victims was never found out, as there was not a complete list of passengers. The fire was so intense that many of the corpses turned into ashes, which did not allow them to be identified. Rumors say a thousand victims, which can not be proved. As a result of this incident, the Egyptian Minister of Transport was forced to resign.
Accident in Awash, 1985.
This railway accident is considered the largest in the history of Africa. It happened in Ethiopia on 14 January 1985 with a train following the Addis-Ababa-Djibouti route. The train entered a curved bridge at high speed. The driver could not or forgot to slow the course of the train. As a result, four out of five express cars with a thousand passengers and seven cars collapsed into a ravine. At least 428 people died, the number of wounded people exceeded five hundred. Almost all the victims were in serious condition. The nearest decent hospital was a hundred kilometers from the site of the accident. If earlier local separatists attacked trains in Ethiopia, then in this case there was not any sabotage of speech from the beginning. Guilty appointed driver, who was immediately sent to court.
Torre del Bierzo, 1944 year.
January 3, 1944, not far from the Spanish village of Torre del Bierzo, the postal train with the failed brakes began to enter the tunnel number 20. There was a shunting train with three cars, which did not manage to get out of the way. Two cars were inside the tunnel, when there was a collision with the courier staff. The fire immediately devoured the wooden structures and destroyed the first six cars of the postal train. On the other hand, a steam locomotive with 27 loaded wagons entered the tunnel. The driver of the shunting train signaled as best he could, but he was ignored. The alarm system was damaged due to a fire. The catastrophe turned into a major fire, which could not be extinguished for two whole days. This made it impossible to deploy a rescue operation. The exact number of victims could not be calculated – the Franco regime officially announced 78 dead. However, the train had many stowaways, and the fire destroyed human remains. Today it is considered that the number of victims was estimated in the hundreds – the train was overcrowded, because many went to the Christmas market. Already in the 40’s talked about 200-250 dead, today it is believed that they could be 500-800.
During the Second World War, disruptions in the supply of goods led to the flourishing of the black market.By 1944, speculators and just small businessmen were hiding in freight trains to get to their suppliers’ farms. But in those years on the railroad there was a situation with a lack of quality coal. As a result, low-order substitutes were supplied to the furnace, which produced a huge volume of carbon monoxide. He was extremely poisonous, but had no smell, which made him unnoticed. On March 2, 1944, the heavily congested 8017, carrying cars, was stuck inside a steep tunnel. His crew, passengers and several hundred passengers, including those illegally snuggled outside, fell under the influence of those most carbon monoxide. The only survivors were those who rode in the last wagons and did not manage to enter the tunnel. That accident took the lives of officially 426 people, but in reality the victims were one and a half times more.
Ufa, 1989 year.
This railway accident is considered to be the largest in the history of the USSR and Russia. It occurred on June 4 on the Asha-Ulu-Telyak stretch. Nearby was the Western-Siberia-Ural pipeline, through which a liquefied mixture of gas and gasoline was transferred. It formed a narrow gap, through which the gas accumulated in the lowland. It was there that the Trans-Siberian Railway ran. Shortly before the catastrophe, the instruments showed a drop in pressure, but the duty officer decided not to look for a leak, but increased the gas supply even more. As a result, even more combustible hydrocarbons flowed through the crack, which could catch fire from any spark. Engineers also knew about the gas pollution on the site, but the railwaymen did not attach much importance to this. At 01:15 am two passenger trains – traveling from Novosibirsk to Adler and back – met on the runway. It is possible that as a result of inhibition a spark formed, which caused a volumetric explosion. His strength was such that in the city of Asha, at a distance of 10 kilometers, a blast wave knocked out the windows. In total there were 1,244 passengers in the trains, 383 of them were children. The shock wave dropped 11 wagons from the tracks, seven of them completely burnt. According to official data, 575 people died (unofficially, 645), almost all the survivors became disabled and received severe burns. Rescue operation was difficult due to inaccessibility of the area.
The wreck in the state of Bihar, 1981.
A catastrophe occurred between the cities of Mansi and Sahars. In June, the rainy season is in India. A hurricane wind rose to overflow the seven cars of the train into the river, which ran across the bridge. According to another version, the flood just washed away the train. There were eight to three thousand people in it. They also talk about a cow that appeared inappropriately on the way. The driver braked sharply, and the wagons began to slide along the wet rails, breaking off the bridge. The help was an hour’s drive from this place, and most of the passengers drowned or were carried away by the stormy river long before the arrival of the rescuers. In the first five days were found two hundred dead, and the fate of several hundred passengers and remained unknown. Guadalajara, 1915.
That year the Mexican revolution was in full swing. Despite the change of power, President Carranza continued to fight armedly with his opponents. On January 18, 1915, government forces captured the city of Guadalajara in the south-west of the country. The president ordered that families of soldiers be transported there by rail from the city of Colima on the Pacific coast. On January 22, 1915, a special train with 20 overloaded wagons set out on its way. People were sitting on the roofs and clinging to the outside. Somewhere along the road the driver lost control of the train on a long and steep descent. Many people flew out of the cars on sharp corners. As a result, in a deep canyon the train finally came down with a rail. Of the 900 passengers, less than a third survived. It is known that many Mexicans even committed suicide, having learned about the death of all their loved ones. Were wishing to take revenge and the traveling brigade, that’s just the one who also died in the course of the disaster.
A catastrophe near Churya, 1917.
The transfer between the Romanian Churia and Barlad is marked by a steep 15-kilometer slope, which in some places is up to 6.7%. On January 13 at one o’clock in the afternoon there was a train with 26 carriages, driven by two locomotives. He was carrying wounded Russian soldiers and refugees who were hiding from the advancing Germans. And in this case the train was crowded – people rode on the roofs and even between the cars. Such an abundance of people led to the fact that they simply damaged the brake lines. As a result, when descending, the drivers found that they can not slow down the course. The power of braking two locomotives was not enough. The drivers noticed that they were heading straight for another train, standing at the platform. When trying to go to another path at a huge speed, the train went off the track. Under the escarpment, 24 cars left. In the pile of twisted metal, a fire broke out, which killed 600 to 1,000 passengers. Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne, 1917.
This railway accident was the largest in the history of France. On 12 December, more than a thousand soldiers returned home at No. 612 on Christmas day. The train was made up of different wagons, mostly Italian. It turned out to be so long that two locomotives were supposed to carry it. In addition, part of the way ran through a steep descent in 33%. But we managed to find only one locomotive, the second was requisitioned for the transportation of ammunition. And of all the cars, the air brakes were only on three, in the rest the special brakes were distributed. The driver agreed to conduct such an overloaded composition only under the threat of a tribunal. At first it was possible to control the speed, but on the descent the train accelerated to 135 kilometers per hour. In one of the sharp turns the hitch was torn, and the first car came off the rail. The others began to crash into it and the wooden structures broke out. The fire intensified due to the fact that many soldiers carried ammunition and grenades. Despite the help quickly arrived, there was no one to save. In total, about 700 people died in that catastrophe, many bodies could not be identified at all. People were buried in a common mass grave. At first the catastrophe was hushed up as a military secret, but four days later the press reported to the whole world and an unprecedented accident. Six railwaymen were brought to court, but they were acquitted.
Crash in Peralia, 2004 year.
This disaster was the largest in the history of rail transport. The fault was not the human factor, as in most other cases, but the natural element. The passenger train “Queen of the Sea” made regular flights to the southern part of the island. Obeying the signals of the semaphore, the composition stopped in an open area 170 meters from the sea. On the train there were more than one and a half thousand passengers. At that moment, a tsunami hit the island, up to 9 meters high. There was a panic, the locals began to flock to the train, seeing in it a refuge from the water. The second 7-meter wave broke the train. Because of the crush, passengers could not get out of the cars, which turned from a shelter into a deadly trap. 30-ton wagons were thrown into the jungle for a hundred meters, even 80-ton diesel locomotive was carried away by 50 meters. Those of the unfortunate passengers who were not crushed by the train, just drowned. Survived only 150 lucky ones. Because of the scale of the disaster caused by the tsunami of rapid assistance, and it did not go. And the main road to the accident site was a damaged railway track. It is believed that the number of victims was from 1,700 to 2,000 people. Identifying most of them was not possible, besides two cars in general carried away to the ocean.