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Posts Tagged ‘Bizarre Disasters’

The Chandka Forest Elephant Stampede – Top 10 Bizarre Disasters

August 24th, 2011 § in Bizarre

In the spring of 1972, the Chandka Forest area in India – already suffering from drought – was hit by a searing heat wave as well. The local elephants, who normally were no problem, became so crazed by the high temperatures and lack of water that the villagers told authoritie[...]

The Basra Mass Poisoning – Top 10 Bizarre Disasters

August 24th, 2011 § in Bizarre

In September 1971 a shipment of 90,000 metric tons of seed grain arrived in the Iraqi port of Basra. The American barley and Mexican wheat – which had been chemically treated with methyl-mercury to prevent rot – were sprayed a bright pink to indicate their lethal coating, and[...]

The Texas City Chain Reaction Explosions – Top 10 Bizarre Disasters

August 24th, 2011 § in Bizarre

On April 15, 1947, the French freighter Grandcamp docked at Texas City, Texas, and took on some 1,400 tons of ammonium nitrate fertiliser. That night a fire broke out in the hold of the ship. By dawn, thick black smoke had port authorities worried because the Monsanto chemical pl[...]

The Tunguska Event – Top 10 Bizarre Disasters

August 24th, 2011 § in Bizarre

On June 30, 1908, a huge explosion occurred near the Podkamennaya (Under Rock) Tunguska River in what is now Krasnoyarsk Krai of Russia. The airburst was most likely caused by a meteor or comet fragment about 20m (60ft) across. Although the meteor or comet is considered to have b[...]

The Empire State Building Crash – Top 10 Bizarre Disasters

August 24th, 2011 § in Bizarre

On Saturday morning, July 28, 1945, a veteran Army pilot took off in a B-25 light bomber from Bedford, Massachusetts, headed for Newark, New Jersey, the co-pilot and a young sailor hitching a ride were also aboard. Fog made visibility poor. About an hour later, people on the stre[...]

The Gillingham Fire Demonstration – Top 10 Bizarre Disasters

August 24th, 2011 § in Bizarre

Every year the firemen of Gillingham, in Kent, England, would construct a makeshift ‘house’ out of wood and canvas for the popular fire-fighting demonstration at the annual Gillingham Park fête. Every year, too, a few local boys were selected from many aspirants to take part[...]

The Pittsburg Gasometer Explosion – Top 10 Bizarre Disasters

August 24th, 2011 § in Bizarre

A huge cylindrical gasometer – the largest in the world at that time – located in the heart of the industrial centre of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, developed a leak. On the morning of November 14, 1927, repairmen set out to look for it – with an open-flame blowlamp. At about [...]

The Great Boston Molasses Flood – Top 10 Bizarre Disasters

August 24th, 2011 § in Bizarre

On January 15, 1919, the workers and residents of Boston’s North End, mostly Irish and Italian, were out enjoying the noontime sun of an unseasonably warm day. Suddenly, with only a low rumble of warning, the huge cast-iron tank of the Purity Distilling Company burst open and a[...]

The Shiloh Baptist Church Panic – Top 10 Bizarre Disasters

August 24th, 2011 § in Bizarre

Two thousand people, mostly black, jammed into the Shiloh Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, on September 19, 1902, to hear an address by Booker T. Washington. The brick church was new. A steep flight of stairs, enclosed in brick, led from the entrance doors to the church pro[...]

The St. Pierre Snake Invasion – Top 10 Bizarre Disasters

August 24th, 2011 § in Bizarre

Volcanic activity on the ‘bald mountain’ towering over St Pierre, Martinique, was usually so inconsequential that no one took seriously the fresh steaming vent-holes and earth tremors during April, 1902. By early May, however, ash began to rain down continuously, and the naus[...]