This Day in Failure: September 20

2002: A 400-foot-tall chunk of ice breaks free from a large glacier and plunges down the side of a mountain, causing an avalanche that travels 20 miles, burying the Russian village of Karmadon under tons of ice and stone. Twenty-seven individuals are rescued, while approximately 150 people perish.

1973: Singer/songwriter Jim Croce is killed when the twin-engine Beechcraft D-18 in which he was riding crashes upon takeoff in Natchitoches, Louisiana. His recording career spanned a mere 23 months and reached its commercial peak several years after his death. Croce’s cousin, Steve Angelucci, has speculated that the pilot suffered a heart attack during takeoff.

1911: While beginning her fifth Atlantic crossing under the command of Captain E.J. Smith, the ocean liner Olympic collides with the HMS Hawke, punching a triangular hole eight feet by fifteen feet in Olympic’s side. Two of the massive liner’s compartments are flooded, but thanks to her watertight doors, she remains afloat. A subsequent inquiry concludes that Smith—who goes on to captain Titanic on its maiden voyage—is guilty of recklessness.