14 Of The Most Expensive Accidents In Human History

History, Lists, Shocking

Everyone has a small accident or two throughout their lifetime, though some people tend to have far more than others. Unfortunately, there are some major accidents happening around the world that end up costing someone out there millions upon millions of dollars. These are fourteen of the most expensive accidents known to mankind. These disasters ended with dollar amounts well above what a human can count, loss of life well into the thousands – sometimes more – and enough history for everyone to remember.


The Titanic is easily known as one of the most famous accidents to happen in the maritime world. On April 12th, 1912, the Titanic sank on its first voyage across the ocean, costing over 1,500 people their lives. The ship cost $7 million to build, which is $150 million in today’s money.

Tanker Truck vs. Bridge

In 2004, a car collided with the side of a tanker truck holding 32,000 liters of fuel on the Wiehltal Bridge in Germany. The tanker went through the guardrail and fell over 90-feet to the A4 Autobahn below, resulting in a massive explosion. Repairs cost $40 million and the cost of replacing the bridge was around $318 million.

On September 12th, 2008, one of the worst train crashes in California history occurred. 25 people were killed instantly when a Metrolink commuter trainer collided with a Union Pacific freight train outside of Los Angeles. The entire wreck was said to cost the company $500 million due to wrongful death lawsuits.

B-2 Bomber Crash

After taking off from an air base in Guam in 2008, a B-2 stealth bomber crashed due to distorted data in the flight control computers. This was one of twenty one stealth bombers to have ever been built. It cost $1.4 billion.

Exxon Valdez

When it comes to the world’s largest oil spills, the Exxon Valdez was one of the most costly. On March 24, 1989, 10.8 million gallons of oil spilled from the tanker, due to the ship’s captain, Joseph Hazelwood, leaving the controls. Cleanup cost the oil company around $2.5 billion.

Piper Alpha Oil Rig

The worst off-shore oil disaster occurred on July 6, 1988. 317,000 barrels of oil were produced every single day. Within a few hours, the 300 foot platform was engulfed in flames. It collapsed, killing 167 workers and costing the company $3.4 billion.

Challenger Explosion

The Space Shuttle Challenger exploded exactly 73 seconds after taking off on January 28th, 1986. A faulty O-ring is said to be the cause of the accident, which resulted in $5.5 billion in damage — the cost of replacing the shuttle was $2 billion alone.

Prestige Oil Spill

November 13, 2002, the Prestige oil tanker burst during a storm near Galicia, Spain. The tanker spewed 20 million gallons into the ocean. Reports claim the cleanup for the oil spill was around $12 billion in total. No country would help the tanker while it was damaged and seeking refuge.

Space Shuttle Columbia

The Space Shuttle Columbia was the first space-worthy vessel from NASA’s orbital fleet. Unfortunately, it was destroyed upon re-entering the atmosphere above Texas on February 1st, 2003. A hole was punctured in the wing 16 days before re-entry. In total, it cost $13 billion.


Chernobyl is easily remembered as one of the worst accidents to happen in the entire world. Over 200,000 people were evacuated, but almost 1.7 million people were affected when the nuclear reactor exploded. With cleanup, resettlemen, and compensation to the victims, the total cost of Chernobyl comes in around $200 billion.

Bugatti Veyron

In 2009, a local Bugatti Veyron was totaled when its owner launched it into a Texas lagoon. A low-flying pelican was said to have distracted the driver. The total cost of the crash was about $1.6 million.

McLaren F1

Rowan Atkinson once had a very expensive McLaren F1. The Mr. Bean actor crashed in the vehicle in August 2011 while driving on the A605. He lost control due to a slippery patch on the road. It cost him $1.25 million.

Pagani Zonda F

While driving along a busy street in Dubai, the driver of an extremely rare Pagani Zonda F crashed the expensive high-end vehicle. Pieces of the car were seen all over the road. It cost $1.4 million, and only 25 were made.

Ferrari 250 GTO

The wreck of a Ferraro 250 GTO is easily one of the most expensive automobile crashes in history. 39 of these vehicles were made between 1962 and 1964. One of them was destroyed not too long ago, costing the owner, Ann Cox, around $30 million.