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World’s Worst Airline Disasters

Airline transport is the safest mode of transport but has the least chances of survival in case of an accident. The world has experienced less airline disasters as airliners improve but there have some tragic crashes over time. Here are 10 of the worst.

Japan Airlines Flight 123

520 died and only 4 survived in this crash. The Boeing 747 crashed on Mt. Takamagahara, Japan after its rear vertical wing was cut off by a mountain ridge. This happened on August 12, 1985.

According to reports, the piloting team tried to keep the plane in the air for an hour before the plane couldn’t be controlled any more. With a wingless rear, the airplane fell on its back and only four women survived the disaster.

World's Worst Airline Disasters

Charki Dadri mid-air collision

According to reports, this is the deadliest mid-air airplane crash that has been recorded in human history. On that fateful 12 November 1996, it is reported that the pilot in control of the Kazakhstani airplane went against the Air Traffic Control (ATC) guidance.

Unfortunately, their decision not to honor the ATC lead meant the Boeing 747 collided with that plane. Those who saw the event narrated how disastrous it was. The result was 349 casualties.

Turkish Airlines Flight 981

On March 3, 1974, 346 people lost their lives after a Turkish airplane crashed. The disaster happened in the Ermenonville Forest, Paris.

It is reported that the plane’s door blew off just a few minutes after the plane took off. Poor fastening of this door before take off led to the blow.

As a result, cables were affected and some were connected to the plane’s engine. The failure of these engines meant the plane couldn’t hold it anymore while in the air. A crash followed and hundreds lost their lives.

The Tenerife Airport Disaster

Three years after the Turkish Airline disaster that happened in 1974, the Tenerife airport disaster happened. The fatalities recorded remains one of the highest in the world. 583 people lost their lives. It was tragic!

Two Boeing 747 planes collided thanks to the foggy weather. According to reports, both airplanes were not required to be at the scene of accident. Again, the issue of not following the planned guidance costed those on board their lives.

Its sad that no one boarding either of the planes survived. At the moment of the disaster, the airport where this happened was called Los Rodeos. This has since changed and the airport renamed to Tenerife North Airport.

American Military Jets

Malaysia Airline

On July 17, 2014, the world was treated to other shocking news. A missile from Russia transported to Ukraine was used to bring down the Malaysian airline. All the 298 lives on board perished, with the plane dropping on Torez field.

This is one of the most recent crashes and a reminder of the deadly Ukrainian airspace. Since then, concerned bodies continue to issue warnings to airlines still using the space.

The disaster was a result of war. Other causes that continue to lead to these disasters include bad weather and collisions.

American Airlines Flight 587

This was another devastating airplane crash that hit US. The crash followed the 9/11 attack that had occurred just a few months earlier. You can imagine the tension the country faced during that period.

The plane’s engine went ablaze after an overused rubber became ineffective amidst unsteady movements in the air. At that point, there’s nothing the piloting team could do. Sadly, 265 people lost their lives. The unluckiest who died out of this crash were the 5 who were not inside the plane.

After the crash, tension rose in US. Thoughts of another terrorist attack rented the air. After investigations were done and the real cause of the accident found, the Americans were relieved. However, the lives lost will never be forgotten.

Air India Flight

On 1 Jan, 1978, a Boeing headed to Mumbai crashed. This was only 1.41 minutes after the plane went off. Bad weather coupled with equipment malfunction led to the crash that saw 213 people die.

According to reports, that crash become the second worst in the history of the Asian based country India. After the crash, reports that sabotage was the cause were heard everywhere. Experts analyzed the situation and ruled out rumors of sabotage.

Saudi Flight 163

August 19, 1980 saw 301 people die in a Saudi flight crash. You have to feel sorry for those who lost their lives. This was no ordinary crash.

So, the plane took off, and had to take an emergency landing. Apparently, evacuation was never done immediately after landing as the pilot lead the plane along the runway. As he was doing this, smoke was engulfing the inside of the plane.

Those on board took in the smoke and all died. You can imagine the pain they underwent before suffocating and dying. It was one of the saddest plane disasters. No war, no collision, and no bad weather was involved in this. Smoke killed them all!

Iran Air flight 655

1988 saw an airplane brought down by a US missile. Unluckily, all the 290 boarding the plane lost their lives. It is alleged that the US crew mistook the plane for a fighter plane and shot it down. This happened after their attempts to reach out to the Iranian airline went unanswered.

Later on, the matter was dealt with in the court of law. According to reports, each of the 290 families who lost their loved ones were compensated at least $213,000. The US also regretted the heinous act but life had been lost already.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

On March, 8, 2014, another Malaysian flight disaster shocked the world. The airplane was destined to Beijing but never made it there. This was another sad disaster as the 275 people on board all were never found.

Three years after the plane went missing, some debris were found. Still, the rest of the plane and those on board were never found. This mystery continues to puzzle many and maybe some of the missing people’s families may never heal.

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