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The Worst Car Crashes In History

Updated October 8, 2018 48.3k views14 items

Automobile accidents are one of the biggest killers in America, and worldwide there are millions of car crash casualties every year. While more advanced safety features increase the likelihood of survival during impact, no one is completely immune to the dangers of the road. Deaths can be caused via injuries accrued in the accident, but crashes that result in explosions often lead to victims burning to death. The damage a single person can do behind the wheel of a car can be catastrophic, and the worst car crashes in history show us just how bad we can screw up. 

Around the world, car crashes occur each year. Oftentimes, accidents are minor, but often people are killed in particularly nasty crashes. While fatal car crashes are common, the deadliest car accidents in history are much more than your average fender bender. They involve deadly explosions, treacherous driving conditions, and a run of bad luck that would put any gambler out of business. This list will expose the horrifying realities of history's deadliest auto accidents, and hopefully shine a light on the dangers of gas siphoning. 

  • Photo: U.S. Army / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    1991 Thung Maphrao Truck Explosion

    Date: February 15, 1991

    Location: Thung Maphrao, Phang Nga, Thailand

    Deaths: 122

    After a dynamite truck tipped to its side in rural Thailand, there did not appear to be any danger near the crash site so many onlookers gathered out of curiosity. Unfortunately, the truck exploded a few hours later and killed over 100 people. Most of those who lost their lives were people who had gathered to view the damage. The truck was on route to deliver the dynamite package to a nearby quarry. Not only were lives lost in the explosion, over 50 houses were were destroyed in the blast. 

  • 2012 Okobie Road Tanker Explosion

    Date: July 12, 2012

    Location: Okobie, Nigeria

    Deaths: 121

    In July 2012, a Nigerian fuel tanker flipped over and ruptured its tank near a petroleum station located near the small village of Okobie. As people gathered to steal the leaking fuel, an explosion erupted, which killed and injured hundreds of people. The truck driver had reportedly crashed the car after losing control of the vehicle. He also warned people to evacuate repeatedly for over 40 minutes while people gathered around the accident site. 

  • Photo: Bagong Lipunan IV / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

    1967 Manila Bus Collision

    Date: January 6, 1967

    Location: Manila, Philippines

    Deaths: 115+

    A horrifying accident in the Philippines led to the deaths of dozens of Catholic worshippers after two buses collided near a ravine. One of the buses tumbled into the ravine. Only 15 of the 130 passengers survived. 

  • 2009 Molo Road Tanker Fire

    Date: 31 January 2009

    Location: Molo, Kenya

    Deaths: 111

    An oil spill in Kenya left over 100 dead when a truck carrying oil tipped over onto a busy street. Hundreds were killed in the fires that followed. Many of those killed were locals gathering to scoop up fuel from the spill. Police had suspicions that a local commuter may have started the blaze in outrage at the roads being closed. However, other theories stipulated the blaze was caused by mistake when someone dropped a cigarette.