What is the most tragic moment ever caught on film? 10 moments you would never believe happened

What is the most tragic moment ever caught on film? 10 moments you would never believe happened

Hundreds of millions of films and videotapes have been shot over the last century. Certain moments in time have been captured, preserved, and archived for all to see. People in these clips have suffered as a result of unforeseen tragedy, but many others learn from these experiences. So what is the most tragic moment ever caught on film?

What is the most tragic moment ever caught on film?
The Hindenburg disaster in Lakehurst. Photo: Fine Art Images/Heritage Images
Source: Getty Images

As film technology advanced to include sound and colour, more and more tragic events have been captured. Some of these moments are historic. Most of these films are only a few seconds long, but they give a glimpse of what was going on.

10 most tragic moments ever caught on film

Over the past years, people have managed to capture footage, some of which have made this list, while other incidents were unintentionally recorded on film. On rare occasions, a camera lens has been placed in the ideal location at the perfect moment to capture something so tragic that you would never believe happened.

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Frank Lockhart 1928- A tragedy of speed

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Like many land-speed record racers, Frank Lockhart had talent and boundless determination. The legendary American race car driver's unsuccessful attempt to set a new land speed record in 1928 was caught on camera. Lockhart was violently thrown out of the car and through the air as he was driving down Daytona Beach in Florida when his car abruptly veered off the road. This tragic incident caused the instantaneous death of Lockhart.

Factory death on camera

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A factory worker was tragically strung up by his hands and legs from the ceiling, turned upside down, and brutally beaten with an iron rod in an incident in Amritsar that went viral on social media. The video clip, believed to have been shot on a mobile phone by one of the factory workers, shows the man, identified as Ram Singh, being mercilessly beaten.

Selfie death caught on camera

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Over 20 million people have watched this YouTube video that compiles the 25 most tragic selfies ever. Examples given include a man taking a selfie as a bull charged at him, a man posing with a lion, a person taking a selfie in front of a train, and a woman driving while taking a selfie of herself and her toddler.

Death jump at the Eiffel Tower

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Franz Reichelt balances precariously on a ledge at the top of the Eiffel Tower while wearing a parachute that he designed himself. Later, he launches himself from the tower to test his invention before tumbling to his death. The eerie silent video was recorded in Paris in 1912, and it is just one of many infamous tragic moments that have occurred while Pathe News cameras were rolling in the past.

Ethiopian airlines flight 961

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Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961, which was travelling from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, was hijacked on November 23, 1996, by three Ethiopians who were looking for political asylum in Australia.

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The plane ran out of fuel, but the hijackers didn't heed the captain's warnings. Sadly, it crashed and claimed the lives of 122 of the 172 passengers and crew. A tourist caught the plane crashing into the water on camera. The flight's captain and co-pilot survived the tragic occurrence.

The 1913 derby

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Before World War I, women's rights were a regular feature of Pathé newsreels. Pathe's cameras captured suffragette Emily Davison throwing herself under the King's horse during the 1913 Derby. Crowds of people are seen running onto the track to assist both the fallen rider and Davison. Unfortunately, Davison passed away in the hospital a few days later.

The Hindenburg disaster - 1937

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The German passenger airship, The Hindenburg, is seen in the film approaching the Lakehurst, New Jersey, landing area. First, the aircraft drops water ballast, then the landing lines. When the explosion occurred, Pathé cameraman William Deeke was on the ground with his camera focused on the airship.

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However, because of the force of the explosion, his camera malfunctioned for a brief moment, and the footage resumes when the tail of the zeppelin was well alighted and on the ground. Out of the 97 passengers, 35 perished in this tragic accident.

Indonesian earthquake and tsunami - 26 December 2004

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Earthquakes are nothing new to the people of Indonesia, and they occur regularly. Fortunately, they are usually small and cause little damage, but the December 2004 earthquake off the western coast of Sumatra was something else entirely.

The quake was one of the most tragic moments ever caught on film. It triggered a massive series of tidal waves. Several videos of the tragedy were recorded, showing people clinging desperately to trees before being carried away by the water and debris. A rough estimate of 227,898 people died when the waves stopped, making the earthquake one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded human history.

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Assassination of John F. Kennedy - 22 November 1963

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The assassination of John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, occurred while he was being driven through the streets of Dallas in a motorcade. This is one of the most shocking videos before death. Everything was going smoothly until a shot rang out.

The first shot alarmed very few people because it was difficult to distinguish from the background noise of the event. People didn't notice what was going on until the second shot hit Texas Governor Connally.

The third shot was fatal, as it struck the President's head. Abraham Zapruder was there to document the motorcade, but by chance, his film captured the entire sequence of this tragic moment.

Attacks on the World Trade Center - 11 September 2001

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The United States was attacked on September 11, 2001, by the global terrorist organization, al-Qaeda. The attack was planned by men in Afghanistan to bring down the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a third target, which was thought to be either the Capitol Building or the White House.

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The second plane's impact on the World Trade Center tower was captured on video by several private citizens and media outlets, as all eyes were already focused on the towers following the first attack. The plane that hit the Pentagon was later seen on camera, but the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania was not recorded.


  1. What is the most tragic moment in history? You can't point out just one moment. However, some of the most tragic moments in history caught on film include the Hindenburg disaster and the Indonesia earthquake and tsunami.
  2. What is the most tragic movie ever? What is considered tragic can vary greatly from one person to another. Some believe that Titanic is one of the most tragic movies ever produced.
  3. What are some of the selfie deaths caught on camera? Several selfie deaths are captured on film, including a man taking a selfie as a bull charged at him, and a man posing with a lion.
  4. What are some of the most disturbing movies of all time? August Underground and Martyrs.
  5. Are there factory deaths caught on camera? There was a tragic moment in Amritsar whereby a factory worker was beaten to death at work.
  6. What are some of the most shocking videos before death? There are several, including selfie deaths caught on camera and assassination videos.
  7. Are there parkour deaths caught on tape? Parkour is a risky sport. People have died while participating in parkour and free running.

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Some of the most tragic moments ever caught on film are horrifying. Most of them are fatal but serve as a precautionary measure to the population. Some of them are historic and help you witness some significant events that took place in the past.

Yen.com.gh recently published an article on the biggest defeats in World Cup history. The World Cup's history is full of shocking victories, humiliating defeats, and heroic comebacks.

Brazil's 7-1 defeat to Germany at home may have been the most humiliating World Cup defeat. Argentina's 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia was yet another crushing defeat.

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Source: YEN.com.gh

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Racheal Murimi (Lifestyle writer) Racheal Murimi is a content creator who joined Yen in 2022. She has over four years of experience in creating content. Racheal graduated from Dedan Kimathi University of Technology with a bachelor's degree in BCom, Finance. She has amassed sufficient knowledge working on various topics, including biographies, fashion and lifestyles, guides, and more. In 2023, Racheal finished the AFP course on Digital Investigation Techniques. You can reach her at wambuimurimi254@gmail.com

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