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  • Episode 1: Space Shuttle Columbia

  • Travelling at 22 times the speed of sound, a few seconds after 9 am, February 1 2003, the Columbia breaks up in a shower of molten metal. Painstaking analysis solves the mystery. Could the tragedy have been avoided?

  • Episode 2: Alpine Tsunami

  • The idyllic Austrian town of Galtur was changed within minutes when 187,000 tons of snow, reaching speeds of 418 km/h, crashed into the safe zone. The resulting investigation changed how experts predict avalanches.

  • Episode 3: Motorway Plane Crash

  • When a London to Belfast flight takes off in 1989, an engine fails, lighting up the sky with flames. The plane struggles to reach a runway, killing 47. Investigators find human error is to blame.

  • Episode 4: Mount St. Helens Eruption

  • It is a beautiful morning in picturesque Washington State, when suddenly and brutally, the mountain violently erupts. Why weren't scientists able to predict with more accuracy the nature and extent of the blast?

  • Episode 5: Zeebrugge Ferry Disaster

  • Less than 30 minutes after leaving port on a calm night in March 1987, passenger ferry, The Herald of Free Enterprise, jolts, tilts to portside then capsizes in the worst peacetime maritime accident since Titanic.

  • Episode 6: Kobe Earthquake

  • January 1995, Kobe, Japan is rocked by its first huge earthquake in 400 years. Within 20 seconds almost 400,000 buildings are destroyed, 250,000 people are homeless & 5500 dead. Why didn't scientists predict it?

  • Episode 7: Crash Landing At Sioux City

  • July, 1989, the number two tail mounted engine of a United Airlines DC10-10 fails. In a dramatic emergency landing it cartwheels, breaks into three parts & erupts in a fireball. Was the split fan disc a fault?

  • Episode 8: The Bali Bombing

  • At 11.07pm a bomb explodes at Paddy's Bar in Kuta Beach, Bali. 30 seconds later, a second blast devastates the Sari Club. The popular place becomes a living hell, many suffer horrific burns & 202 people lose their lives.

  • Episode 9: Paris Train Crash

  • June 1988, a frantic driver calls Gare de Lyon, his train is out of control, heading downhill towards one of Paris' biggest stations. Why did the brakes fail? And why wasn't the train diverted away from the crowd?

  • Episode 10: Hotel Collapse Singapore

  • Hotel New World, a popular budget hotel, bank and nightclub in Little India collapses. In less than a minute 50 people are trapped under a mammoth pile of concrete and debris. Were the warning signs missed?

  • Episode 11: Explosion In Puerto Rico

  • A commercial building explodes due to a natural gas leak. Investigations revealed that an inactive gas line leaked though a corrosion hole caused by excavation damage. Why wasn't it detected earlier?

  • Episode 12: TWA Flight 800

  • Less than 30 minutes after take off TWA flight 800 from JFK to Paris explodes & plummets 16,000 feet, killing all on board. There is no mayday call. The mystery prompts the biggest crash investigation in U.S. history.

  • Episode 13: The Hindenburg

  • Its name is synonymous with disaster, and the newsreel footage of its fiery crash are fixed in memory.

  • Episode 14: Skywalk Collapse

  • Kansas City, July 1981: more than 1,500 revellers are enjoying a dance in the atrium of the brand new $50 million Hyatt hotel. Shortly however this architectural masterpiece will become the scene of a devastating structural failure leaving 114 people dead

  • Episode 15: Amsterdam Air Crash

  • Minutes after take-off in 1992 a fully-loaded Israeli jumbo loses both wings and tries to return to the runway before ploughing into a crowded apartment block. Was this a terrorist attack, catastrophic mechanical failure or a freak accident?

  • Episode 16: Florida Swamp Air Crash

  • On May 11, 1996, Valujet Flight 592 en route to Atlanta is cleared for take-off. Just minutes into the flight, the jet crashes into the Florida everglades, killing all 110 people aboard.

  • Episode 17: Kings Cross Fire

  • At one of Britain's busiest interchange railway stations the evening rush hour passes uneventfully. Just before 7:30pm a carelessly discarded match sparks a chain of events that will cause the worst fire in the Underground's history, killing 31 people.

  • Episode 18: US Embassy Bombings

  • At 10:39am on August 7, 1998, Al Qaeda terrorists detonate a truck bomb at the rear of the US embassy in Nairobi, killing 213 people and injuring 4,000 more. Osama bin Laden rockets to the top of the FBI's most wanted list.

  • Episode 19: Russia's Nuclear Sub Nightmare

  • On August 12, 2000, Russia's Kursk submarine is taking part in military training exercises when two explosions send her plunging to the bottom of the Barents Sea. All 118 men on board eventually perish. What could have caused such catastrophic explosions?

About the Show

Blending advanced CGI, re-enactments, archival footage, forensic science, dramatic eyewitness accounts and expert testimony, we recreate in gripping detail the final moments behind some of the most calamitous disasters of modern time.

Seconds From Disaster reconstructs the events leading up to the Paddington rail collision in London, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and one of the world's worst industrial accidents, in Bhopal, India. Blending advanced CGI, re-enactments, archival footage, forensic science, dramatic eyewitness accounts and expert testimony, experience first-hand, the gripping details of the final moments behind some of the world's most chilling disasters.


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