6 July 2004
13 July 2004
20 July 2004
A recounting of Timothy McVeigh's terrorist bombing of a US federal government building in Oklahoma City in 1995.
27 July 2004
3 August 2004
10 August 2004
When a boat in southern Alabama gets lost and bumps into a small bridge, a Amtrak train going at high speed derails into a small canal outside of Mobile.
17 August 2004
An explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant kills 56 people while the health of thousands more continue to be affected.
24 August 2004
Days after residents of Guadalajara complained of a foul smell, a series of gasoline-fueled explosions in the sewers kills 206 people.
31 August 2004
In Kaprun, Austria, a mountain train to bring skiers up the mountain erupts in fire as it passes through a tunnel. 155 people die. The cause is an electric heater that catches fire and ignites hydraulic fluid dripping from a leaky line.
5 October 2004
12 October 2004
19 October 2004
On Tenerife, a Pan Am flight taxied on the runway, while a KLM flight took off. But miscommunication caused one of the worst aviation disasters when the two jumbo jets collided, killing 583 people. The second by second analysis with interviewed survivors is covered in this episode.
26 October 2004
28 June 2005
Space shuttle Columbia disintegrated at re-entry as the result of a hole in its left wing after being struck by a piece of foam at lift-off.
5 July 2005
The Town of Galtür in Austria was devastated by an enormous avalanche, that penetrated a zone that should have been safe according to computer models.
12 July 2005
After severe engine trouble on a new Boeing 737-400, pilots shut down the wrong engine and crash just 900 m away from the runway on a motorway embankment.
26 July 2005
In 1980 Mount St. Helens erupted sideways instead of the expected upwards and caused large devastation and killed 57 people.
16 August 2005
On March 6. 1987 a British Ferry, the Herald of Free Enterprise capsized just 1 km out of the Harbour of Zeebrugge because her bow doors were left open and let water enter the car deck.
30 August 2005
On January 17th 1995 Kobe was hit by a 7.2 earthquake. Although the city had been build to withstand a much stronger earthquake over 6000 people lost their lives, mainly due to the Japanese wooden frame houses.
13 September 2005
On July 19, 1989, a United Airlines DC-10 experienced a catastrophic failure of the titanium fan disk in its tail engine, resulting in fluid loss in its three hydraulic systems and thereby becoming uncontrollable.
20 September 2005
Series of terrorist explosions tear through night clubs on the popular island resort of Bali killing 202 people. What made this peaceful paradise a target?
27 September 2005
On 15 March 1986, a six storied building containing a bank, a hotel and a night club collapses in Singapore killing 33 people. 17 people can be rescued. It turns out a catastrophic miscalculation at the time of construction had been made.
18 October 2005
After an hour delay, TWA Flight 800 takes off from JFK then 12 minutes later explodes south of Long Island killing all 230 passengers and crew on-board. What caused it to blow out of the blue?
1 November 2005
On 27 June 1988, a runaway train crashes into a commuter train killing 56 people. A passenger pulling the emergency brake at an earlier station and the train driver mishandling the situation cause the crash.
15 November 2005
On May 6, 1937 the Hindenburg was completely destroyed while attempting to land at Lakehurst, NY, in stormy weather. It is concluded that sharp turns caused straps to snap rupturing hydrogen tanks that were ignited by static electricity.
13 December 2005
On November 21, 1996 a gas explosion resulting from a leaking line in the street destroyed the Humberto Vidal shoe shop in San Juan leaving 33 people dead. The gas company failed to detect the gas because personnel was improperly trained.
10 January 2006
A recreation of the Hyatt Regency walkway collapse, the deadliest structural failure in US history before 9/11.
On October 4, 1992, a 747 cargo plane of Elal crashes into an apartment house in Bijlmermeer near Amsterdam killing 43 people including the 3 man crew caused by losing two engines due to metal fatigue in the engine suspension.
During a naval exercise, an exploding torpedo rips through the torpedo bow and the ensuing fire explodes cruise missiles which sinks the submarine and kills all aboard.
A carelessly discarded match caused the worst fire in London Underground's history, killing 31 people. How did this small fire erupt into a deadly fireball?
27 June 2006
In 1998 Al Qaeda exploded a bomb truck at the rear of the American embassy in Nairobi bringing down a neighboring office building and killing 213 people and wounding a around 4000 others.
11 July 2006
A plane takes off for Atlanta from Miami and explodes just seconds from take off. The Valujet crashes into the Florida Everglades with no survivors. A senseless tragedy that could have been avoided.
Season 3, Episode 7: Titanic25 July 2006
An investigation inti the cause of the sinking of Titanic. The ultimate cause was the use of post-war rivets that showed flaws in the metal and were unable to withstand the massive strain of the collision with the iceberg.
15 August 2006
An accidental release of an old missile on the flight deck of the USS Forestal starts a huge fire and subsequent explosions kill a total of 134 soldiers and injure another 161. The accident came close to sinking the Forestal.
6 September 2006
On November 12, 2001 an American Airlines Airbus crashed in Queens. The investigation showed that the tailfin was sheared off following fierce rudder corrections by the co-pilot.
13 September 2006
20 September 2006
A large department store collapses in Seoul, South Korea killing 502 people and injuring another 937. Safety margins were ignored during construction and several people were jailed for corruption and criminal negligence.
27 September 2006
Potomac air disaster in which Florida Flight 90 left Washington and almost immediately crashed in to a bridge.
25 October 2006
In December 2004 the subduction fault between the Indian and Burma tectonic plates ruptured along 1600 km causing a 9.1 - 9,3 magnitude earthquake and a giant Tsunami that killed around 230'000 people.
15 November 2006
The 1954 investigation of the crashes of de Havilland Comets due to structural flaws that encourage catastrophic metal fatigue.
29 November 2006
On May 25, 1979, an American Airlines DC-10 loses an engine at take-off and crashes into a trailer park killing all 271 on board. The investigation shows that short-cuts at maintenance resulted in damaged attachments of the engine pylon.
6 November 2006
On March 23, 2005 restarting a distillation tower results in a massive explosion, destroying large parts of the Texas City refinery. The cause is relayed to short-cuts in safety procedures and generally a poor safety record over many years.
2 January 2007
In 1974, 148 tornadoes hit 13 states causing millions of Dollars of damage injuring 5500 people and killing 330. At the time the weather service couldn't give precise warnings where the tornadoes would strike.
In 1997, the Soufrière Volcano on Montserrat erupted killing 17 people and destroying the capital Plymouth.
31 January 2007
On January 28, 1986, Challenger exploded 73 seconds after lift-off. The official report named failing O-rings in the booster rockets as the cause of the disaster, but bad communication and decision procedures also played a role.
Season 4, Episode 1: 9/119 September 2011
Remembering 9/11 and reconstructing the moments before the catastrophe. Showing new evidence and knowledge in the moments leading to the events of 9/11.
12 September 2011
An examination of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and how it turned out to be a disastrous strategic blunder for Japan.
3 October 2011
In 1998 a US Marine Corps jet took off for a routine training mission through the Italian mountains. On the final leg of its flight through a picturesque valley filled with skiers the aircraft's right wing sliced through the supporting cable of a ski gondola filled with tourists, sending it plummeting over 350 feet to earth. While the aircraft made it back to base the 20 gondola passengers perished. Seconds from Disaster investigates the causes and repercussions of the crash and speaks exclusively with a member of the aircrew who, alongside the investigators and victims' families, are all still haunted by this tragedy.
19 September 2011
October 5th 1999, a passenger train leaving London Paddington during the morning rush hour collides with an incoming train at a combined speed of 130 mph. The impact, and an unprecedented 30-foot high fireball, that sweeps over the mangled carriages, kills 29 passengers and both drivers, and leaves hundreds injured and trapped in the twisted wreckage. The original lead investigators recreate their analysis of how two trains came to be travelling towards each other on the same stretch of track, and why automatic warning systems and fully functioning brakes were not enough to prevent one of the worst rail accidents in British history. Step by step reconstruction of the circumstances reveals a startling history of near misses that should have made one of the worst rail accidents in British history avoidable.
26 September 2011
For the forty-five schoolchildren who boarded the Bashkirian Airlines flight from Moscow to Barcelona it was going to be the trip of a lifetime - a reward for their academic success. But two and a half hours into the flight their Tupolev 154 collided with a Boeing 757 cargo plane over the small German lakeside town of Überlingen, sending all aboard to a horrifying death. With both aircraft equipped with collision avoidance systems and being monitored by Zurich's state of the art flight control centre, how was it possible for such an accident to occur? Seconds from Disaster counts down to the moment of impact and investigates the perfect storm of failures that led to a tragedy that echoed around the world - and even continued to claim lives years later.
Season 4, Episode 6: Bhopal10 October 2011
December 3rd 1984. Evening descends on Bhopal, a bustling Indian city of nearly 1 million people, many factory workers living in the slums surrounding the city. As they cook, eat and prepare for bed, few have any inkling that, in a few terrifying hours, more than 3,000 of them will choke to death in clouds of toxic gas. 'MIC' used at the plant to create the pesticide 'Sevin', is one of the most toxic substances known to humans; a deadly gas able to shut down the human respiratory system causing suffocation by drowning. After years of investigation and analysis; industry experts, workers and survivors testify to what happened as Seconds From Disaster uncovers the astonishing chain of events that led to the biggest man-made disaster of all time.
18 March 2012
The Royal Navy's battle with Bismarck is a pivot point in the Second World War. If Bismarck succeeded in attacking the British convoy system, then Britain would be forced to surrender and there would have been no bridgehead for an Anglo American liberation of Europe. In losing Bismarck the Germans lost their opportunity to defeat Britain and turn the tide of war. Naval historian Andrew Lambert has studied this famous sea battle and sheds new light on the reasons for Bismarck's fate. He believes the sinking follows a catalogue of errors on both sides but ultimately he finds fault with the core German war strategy.
25 March 2012
In 1960 construction of Europe's tallest dam is completed in the Vajont Valley in Northern Italy - the jewel in the crown of an ambitious hydro-electric generation scheme. But as the new reservoir fills, a vast section of mountainside is dislodged and creeps towards the lake. The power company know the landslide has the potential to cause a devastating tsunami if it hits the water at speed, so they develop a plan to ease the landslide down by adjusting the level of the lake. For two years there are no problems, but in October 1963, the landslide suddenly accelerates - and slams into the reservoir as fast as a formula one car - creating a tsunami 250 metres high which overtops the dam and swamps the valley below - killing more than 2000 people. Seconds from Disaster reveals the systematic errors that led to tragedy - and sheds new light on the landslide mechanism that has baffled scientists for 50 years.
Season 5, Episode 3: Waco Cult1 April 2012
Waco, Texas. On February 28th 1993 the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms raid a compound belonging to a religious cult called the Branch Davidians. They attempt to arrest cult leader David Koresh for alleged firearms offences. A gunfight breaks out that leaves six Branch Davidians and four ATF agents dead. The FBI arrives to take control but the situation escalates into one of the Americas longest sieges. After a fifty-one day stand off the FBI launches a dawn assault. Using military tanks they inject tear gas through the walls and windows in an attempt to force the Branch Davidians out. Rather than surrender, besieged cult members set fire to their compound. In less than twenty minutes the entire building is alight. Seventy-six people including two pregnant women and twenty-eight children were killed during the fire. Seconds from Disaster counts down to the moment fire breaks out and investigates whether the Branch Davidians were led to their deaths by charismatic cult leader David Koresh or killed by murderous Federal agents.
Season 5, Episode 4: Fukushima11 March 2012
In March 2011, as Japan reels from the most powerful earthquake in its history, a 14 metre-high tsunami surges over the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, knocking out its power supply and essential cooling systems. With the plant blacked out, engineers face nuclear meltdown. The reactors begin to overheat leading to two huge explosions that tear the plant apart and dispersing radiation. As Japan faces the worst nuclear emergency since Chernobyl, an international nuclear expert will investigate exactly what happed at Fukushima and see what, if anything, could have been done to prevent it.
15 April 2012
The Deepwater Horizon rig has finished drilling the Macondo Well for BP in the Gulf of Mexico. The well, in water 1500m deep, extends to a depth of 4000m. The crew test the well to ensure it is safely sealed so the Deepwater Horizon rig can move on before another rig starts oil extraction. But just hours after the well passes its safety test, flammable gas and crude oil shoot out of the well, enveloping the rig in flames and killing 11 workers. Seconds from Disaster investigates the series of decisions and failings that culminated in the catastrophe and the world's biggest accidental marine oil spill.
22 April 2012
At 9.20pm on 26 November 2008 gunmen burst into Mumbai's luxury Trident Oberoi hotel, firing indiscriminately. Jewish study centre Chabad House, popular with American and Israeli Jews, is next, followed by tourist hangout Café Leopold, the city's most luxurious hotel, the Taj Mahal Palace, and the CST, one of the world's busiest rail stations. These unprecedented commando-style attacks, which leave 166 dead, have clearly targeted both the Indian public and Western visitors. Seconds from Disaster reveals the failings that allowed 10 terrorists free reign of India's largest city - killing at will - in front of the world's cameras for nearly 3 horrifying days.
Seconds from Disaster reveals how a charismatic church leader from San Francisco, was able to lead over 900 US citizens to their deaths, in what became one of the most famous cases of mass suicide in world history.
12 November 2012
Seconds from Disaster reveals how a tiny mechanical fault was able to bring a modern commercial airliner crashing into the sea, killing everyone on-board.
19 November 2012
Seconds from Disaster reveals how a US mission in Somalia quickly turns from a raid to a search and rescue mention leaving 18 American soldiers are dead and another 73 are injured.
26 November 2012
Seconds from Disaster reveals the contributing factors to that made the 11th of May, 1996 the most deadly day on Everest.
3 December 2012
Seconds from Disaster reveals the contributing factors that contributed to the deadliest single-aircraft accident in history.
10 December 2012
Seconds from Disaster investigates the sequence of events that led to a seven car Japanese commuter train to derail and ram into a nearby apartment building.
17 December 2012
The use of the atomic bombs still excites controversy, and in particular the necessity for the second bomb on Nagasaki. The argument that it was the only way to bring a swift end to the war, and save thousands of American lives, wins the day - in public. But did President Truman have another secret agenda?
22 July 2012
On July 22, 2011, lone gunman Anders Behring Breivik emerges from a western Norwegian suburb to commit one of the worst terrorist atrocities in Europe since World War II. The massacre starts with an explosion in Oslo and finishes with the slaughter of dozens of teenagers at a youth camp on the isolated island of Utoya. But was Breivik a lone extremist or was this attack the first warning of a world terror?
24 December 2012
May 25 1982, The Falklands War. HMS Coventry is on operations with HMS Broadsword. They are tasked with shooting down Argentinian jets. They face a low level attack from 4 fighters which leads to the loss of Coventry. Her main weapon system, the Sea Dart missile can't engage the targets as they are flying too low, and Broadsword's Sea Wolf Close in weapon system powers down at a crucial moment. Both ships are bombed and Coventry sinks in 20 minutes. However most of the crew, although badly injured manage to escape.
Season 6, Episode 10: Chinook31 December 2012
June 2nd 1994 and RAF Chinook helicopter was engaged in a routine, although important, task transporting 25 members of the Northern Ireland security and intelligence community from RAF Aldergrove in Northern Ireland to Fort George near Inverness. This journey was brought to a dramatic end when the Chinook crashed into the Mull of Kintyre, the accident was one of the worst losses of life sustained by the RAF in a peacetime accident.
1 May 2004
9 August 2010
5 November 2012
4 May 2010
16 September 2007
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