Top 10 worst mine disasters in the world
Thousands of lives have been lost in the mining industry over the centuries, and while every disaster is a tragedy, some are far worse than others.
- 1942, Benxihu Colliery
The world’s worst mine disaster claimed 1,549 lives after administrators sealed a Chinese mine to extinguish a fire. The miners were left to suffocate.
- 1906, Courrieres
The French disaster resulted in the deaths of 1,099 miners in Europe’s worst mine disaster. While the cause is not known, we do know there was an explosion.
- 1960, Laobaidong Colliery
682 miners were killed in this Chinese mine after a serious gas explosion.
- 1963, Mitsui Miike Coal Mine
This Japanese disaster killed 458 miners and was due to an underground explosion that ripped through its tunnels.
- 1931, Hawks Nest Tunnel
476 miners died after they were asked to mine silica in this West Virginian mine. They used no safety precautions and the deposits congested their airways leading to death.
- 1899, Sumitomo Besshi Mine
This Japanese bronze mine experienced a landslide which claimed 512 lives.
- 1913, Senghenydd Colliery
An explosion led to a fire in the UK’s worst mining accident and the Welsh disaster resulted in 440 deaths.
- 1960, Coalbrook Colliery
This South African mine accident was due to a roof collapse and it was responsible for 435 deaths.
- 1972, Wankie Coal Mine
This Zimbabwean disaster killed 426 miners and is thought to be caused by dynamite.
- 1975, Chasnala Mine
An explosion in this Indian mine set off a flood that would take the lives of 372 miners. Those who were not killed in the initial explosion were victims of drowning.