Aviation has transformed the way we travel and connect with the world, but it has also seen its share of tragic disasters. Throughout history, there have been plane crashes that have left indelible marks on the collective memory, reminding us of the importance of safety and vigilance in the skies. Here are the top 10 worst plane crashes in history, ranked by the number of casualties, each marked by its own unique set of circumstances and the loss of many lives.
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Casualties: 583 people killed.
Details: Two Boeing 747s, operated by KLM and Pan Am, collided on the runway of Los Rodeos Airport in Tenerife, Spain. The accident occurred due to miscommunications and heavy fog, making it the deadliest aviation accident in history.
Casualties: 520 people killed (only four survivors).
Details: This flight suffered an explosive decompression, leading to a crash in the mountains of Japan. It remains one of the highest death tolls in a single-aircraft accident.
Casualties: 349 people killed.
Details: A Saudi Arabian Airlines flight collided with a Kazakhstan Airlines flight over Charkhi Dadri, India. It remains the deadliest mid-air collision in history.
Casualties: 273 people killed.
Details: This aircraft lost an engine during takeoff from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport and crashed, making it one of the deadliest aviation disasters in the United States.
Casualties: 346 people killed.
Details: A cargo door failure caused this DC-10 to crash in France, resulting in significant changes in aviation safety regulations.
Casualties: 329 people killed.
Details: A bomb planted by Sikh extremists exploded on this flight, making it one of the deadliest terrorist attacks involving an aircraft in history.
Casualties: 298 people killed.
Details: This flight was shot down by Russian troops over eastern Ukraine, leading to international outrage and ongoing investigations into the circumstances of the crash.
*Not to be confused with MH370, which disappeared on March 8, 2014, while en route from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing, China. It carried 239 people on board and is considered one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history.
Casualties: 270 people killed.
Details: Pan Am Flight 103 was destroyed by a terrorist bomb over Lockerbie, Scotland, in one of the deadliest acts of terrorism involving aircraft.
Casualties: 230 people killed.
Details: TWA Flight 800, a Boeing 747, exploded shortly after takeoff from New York’s JFK Airport. The cause was determined to be a fuel tank explosion.
Casualties: 225 people killed.
Details: A structural failure caused this Boeing 747 to break apart mid-flight, resulting in the deaths of all passengers and crew on board.
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