20 Survivors Of Plane Crashes, Shipwrecks, And Other Gruesome Disasters Tell Their Story

These stories from Ask Reddit will make you thankful for every single breath.

12. A tornado swept across our state

“I survived a nearly EF-5 tornado.

A few years ago, living in rural Arkansas, the weather got bad. This is hardly an uncommon occurrence. My now-fiance and I had just gotten a puppy that very day, and we also had two cats at home. We lived in a duplex. Around, 7:30ish? our phones started alerting to severe weather, and we switched on the TV to watch the radar. Tornado. Heading our way. I threw my cats in the bathroom, while my partner went outside to watch the weather. It was pouring rain. Never heard such heavy rain before. And then – the rain stopped. He rushed in, threw everything out of the innermost closet, and we hunkered in there with the puppy. He texted his parents: Tornado. And we waited.

They say it sounds like a freight train, and they’re right. The building was shaking, and there was this roar. I was terrified. Holding the puppy and my phone with one arm/hand, holding my partner’s hand with the other, just waiting for the building to collapse on me. He said he was quite certain we were about to die.

And then… it stopped. We came out of the closet, and out of the house to look around, dazed, just like the neighbors. I called my parents a few towns over – they owned the property, so I was telling them what was damaged. Our duplex was fine, some minor stuff only. A tree had fallen within inches of both another duplex and a neighbor’s vehicle. Another tree had fallen on a third duplex – that one was totalled by the insurance company, it’s an empty slab now. But no one in our immediate neighborhood was killed or injured. A lady in the destroyed one had been luckily sheltering in her bathroom, as the tree came down right over her bed.

We were all unhurt, but it was the most terrifying experience of my life, because the tornado – which did cause several deaths elsewhere – had literally jumped over our little neighborhood. Had it stayed on the ground, we’d surely be dead now.” — hockeypup

13. My house blew up after a gas leak near the fireplace

“When I was 10 years old, less than 10 days before Christmas time there was a gas leak at my house. We had no idea it was leaking, but it had been building up behind our wall near the gas fireplace for a while. In the morning I was getting ready to go to school. My mom was almost ready to go to work, and I was tying my shoes to head out the door. My mom comes out of the bathroom and is putting on her earrings, grabbing her self phone, etc and is heading toward the door. She tells me to unplug the christmas tree lights (we love decorating). When I did the spark from unplugging them ignited the box around the socket, and then the pocket of gas behind the wall. It all blew up. The fire place was pushed out of the wall in one whole piece. The wall was destroyed. The mantle over the fireplace flew clear across the room. The Nutcrackers we left on the fireplace flew across the room and 2 got embedded in the wall. The Christmas tree (luckily a fake plastic one) was knocked over. The side facing the wall was curled, melted, and burned. Almost every ornament made of breakable stuff was shattered. Rather from the boom, or the fall, hard to tell. The shock wave traveled through the house, down the hallway into my moms room and blew out the sliding glass door, and blew it into the pool in pieces the size of pennies or smaller. All throughout the house were stress cracks in the sheet rock. Cracks in windows. Various things. We were lucky. I got minor burns on my face. I was just off to the side of said blown up wall. My mom was sitting on a chair near the door, far away from it all. Had she sat on the couch to put on her shoes (as she does sometimes) she may have been severely injured or worse. There was no real fire. It was more of a blast of really hot air, really fast. The fireman chief called it a “flash fire” There was no fire because there was nothing close enough to the hottest part that could ignite. (good thing we got a fake reusable tree that year to save money) If we had not, it DEFINITELY would of blown up.” — BloodySpies

14. Our boat crashed while my mother-in-law was pregnant

“My husband’s parents lived on a boat off the coast of Asia for a while about 20something years ago. Well when my mother-in-law was about 8 months pregnant with my brother-in-law, the boat sank in the middle of the ocean. It happened slowly, over the course of a day or so, so the couple sent out a bunch of distress calls, packed the important things, and camped out in the lifeboat while the ship sank. They saved a few nice things for their eventual rescuers: a nice canned ham and a good bottle of wine. Well, they were eventually picked up by the Exxon Valdez, which was fortunate. Unfortunately, at the time the crew was entirely Muslim, and as such the canned ham and nice wine weren’t ideal gifts.” — LatrodectusGeometric

15. I broke my nose and a tooth when a deck collapsed

“I don’t know if it counts, but I was in a deck collapse that made national news about 7 years ago.

About 10 of my friends were at a party at a buddy’s house for the 4th. The deck was about 30 feet off the ground (2nd floor deck, sloping back yard). I’d just sat down and I heard what sounded like a tree falling. I remember looking a friend to ask, ‘What was that?’ but I barely got ‘what’ out of my mouth when the deck went out from under us. Turns out, it was the deck separating from the house. We hit the ground, and then the deck, still attached to two supports flipped over on top of us. Luckily, they had metal patio furniture which kept the deck off of us or we’d have been crushed. I busted my lip, broke my nose and a tooth. Friend that owns the house busted her whole face open and had to have reconstructive surgery. Another friend landed on the hot grill we’d just finished with and now has grill marks scarred into his ass. That was the worst of it though. We’re super lucky no one died. Some other friends that didn’t show up would have had their two toddlers with them, which would have been horrific.” — cyberlich

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