Eight Fatal Software-Related Accidents

By John McCormick Print this article Print

Mishaps in which software-related problems were reported to have played a role.

Date Deaths Detail
2003 3 Software failure contributes to power outage across the Northeastern U.S. and Canada.
2001 5 Panamanian cancer patients die following overdoses of radiation, amounts of which were determined by faulty use of software.
2000 4 Crash of a Marine Corps Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft partially blamed on “software anomaly.”
1997 225 Radar that could have prevented Korean jet crash hobbled by software problem.
1997 1 Software-logic error causes infusion pump to deliver lethal dose of morphine sulfate. Gish Biomedical reprograms devices.
1995 159 American Airlines jet, descending into Cali, Colombia, crashes into a mountain. Jury holds maker of flight-management system 17% responsible. A report from Aeronautica Civil of the Republic of Colombia, digitized by the University of Bielefeld in Germany found that the software presented insufficient and conflicting information to the pilots, who got lost.
1991 28 Software problem prevents Patriot missile battery from picking up SCUD missile, which hits U.S. Army barracks in Saudi Arabia.
1985 3 Software-design flaws in Therac-25 treatment machine lead to radiation overdoses in U.S. and Canadian patients.

This article was originally published on 2004-03-04
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