Train AccidentsThe 5 Most Serious Train Derailment Accidents in the US

October 21, 20230

Although train derailments are pretty common in the US, with over 1475 derailments reported each year, most of these derailments don’t result in serious injuries or deaths. However, that said, some do. Below, we will discuss some of the most severe train derailments that have happened in this part of the world:

1.      The Malbone Street Derailment

All train derailments are horrific, but the most severe derailment was the Malbone train derailment. This derailment occurred at 6:42 p.m. during rush hour traffic on a busy transportation system. On the day of the accident, the train was packed with company clerks, engineers, and a naval operator on his way to France.

The cause of this derailment was the inexperienced driver. The train was making its way towards Brighton Beach. Before it reached its destination, it had to pass through a tunnel that was located just under Brooklyn’s Malbone Street. To safely get through this tunnel, the driver needed to slow the train down, but unfortunately, he could not do this in time. This led to all five train carriages leaving the track and crashing into the steel tunnel walls. When this happened, 93 passengers died, making it the most serious train derailment in US history. On top of this, several other injuries were reported, including broken legs, lacerations across the face, and fractured skulls.

2.      The Great Train Crash of 1918

This unfortunate incident occurred in Nashville, Tennessee, at 7:20 pm on July 9, 1918. Known as the great train crash, this train crash was caused by human error. On this day, two trains collided, killing 101 passengers and injuring 117 others.

3.      The Ashtabula River Disaster

On December 29, 1876, a bridge spanning the Ashtabula River in Ohio failed. The Michigan Southern Railway and the Pacific Express train from Lake Shore were crossing the bridge when it failed. When this happened, all parts of the trains, apart from the lead locomotive, plummeted into the river. These trains carried coal-fired heating stoves and oil lanterns, both of which burst into flames on impact with the river below, setting the wooden train carriages alight.

Unfortunately, firefighters chose not to extinguish the blaze, and although brave onlookers saved some individuals, most people perished. In fact, of 160 passengers, 92 died that day.

4.      The Washington State Derailment

A natural disaster caused the fifth deadliest train derailment. It occurred in 1919 when an avalanche swept two trains into a canyon, killing almost 100 people. This is considered the deadliest derailment caused by a natural disaster.

  1. The Eden Train Disaster

On August 7, 1904, the Missouri Pacific Flyer traveled from Colorado to Missouri. To do this, it had to cross the Dry Creek Arroyo bridge. Unfortunately, this train was hit by a flash flood while on the bridge. This cut off the front of the train, causing the train to plummet into the river below. When this happened, 88 people lost their lives.

Train accidents are thought to kill one person every 100 minutes. Each year in the US, almost 1,000 people lose their lives in train-related accidents. However, very few are caused by derailments.

If you’ve been involved in a train accident, contact our lawyers at Binder Law Group.

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