Disasters · Illinois

Ship capsized while docked, kills 844

July 24, 1915 Chicago, Illinois The S.S. Eastland capsizes while docked, killing 844 passengers and crew The ship had recently complied to the Seamen's Act which, following the disaster of the Titanic three years before, required passenger vehicles to increase their number of lifeboats. This caused the ship, which was already top-heavy, to become severely… Continue reading Ship capsized while docked, kills 844

Connecticut · Disasters

Circus tent catches fire, kills 168 and wounds 700

July 6, 1944 Hartford, Connecticut A fire ignites a circus tent, killing an estimated 168 and wounding over 700 The exact cause of the fire is unknown. One theory suspects a carelessly discarded cigarette, while another involves Robert Segee who admitted in 1950 to setting the blaze when he was 17. He later recanted this… Continue reading Circus tent catches fire, kills 168 and wounds 700

Crime Scene Photography · Disasters · Georgia

Butane gas explosion kills 23, ignites house as far as a city block away (graphic)

June 28, 1959 Meldrim, Georgia A train carrying a butane tank derails; the resulting explosion kills 23 The train was traveling on a trestle bridge over the Ogeechee River when it derailed. It plunged into the river and exploded, killing and injuring swimmers and fishermen. According to the Associated Press, “A house a city block… Continue reading Butane gas explosion kills 23, ignites house as far as a city block away (graphic)

Disasters · England

Children eager for toys stampede at theater, causing 183 deaths

June 16, 1883 Sunderland, England Children push passed and over each other to get free toys, killing 183 children between 3 and 14 The children had attended a variety show advertising itself as “the greatest treat for children ever given” and featuring “conjuring, talking waxworks, living marionettes, the great ghost illusion, &c.” for the price… Continue reading Children eager for toys stampede at theater, causing 183 deaths

Crime Scene Photography · Disasters · New York

Steamboat catches fire, sinks, killing over 1000

June 15, 1904 East River, New York City, New York The PS General Slocum catches fire and sinks, killing an estimated 1,021 of the 1,342 on board The General Slocum was ferrying a group for an annual church function when a fire started in the steamboat’s Lamp Room. The flames spread rapidly due to oil-soaked… Continue reading Steamboat catches fire, sinks, killing over 1000