Chain of Events. Cause and Effect. We analyse what went right and what went wrong as we discover that many outcomes can be predicted, planned for and even prevented
Dec 6 • 37 min
In 2000 the small township of Walkerton Ontario witnessed the largest outbreak of E.Coli infections in Canada’s history. The water utility claimed the town water was safe, but it wasn’t and many people paid with their lives.
31: Black Energy
Oct 3 • 26 min
The evening before Christmas Eve in 2015 saw a widespread blackout of the power grid across the Ukraine. We look at how a cyber-attack on electric utility companies in Europe, changed how cyber-security is regarded in control systems, forever.
30: Tim Maia
Jul 4 • 25 min
As part of Rio’s preparations for the Olympics in 2016 a cycling pathway was built adjacent to a narrow, congested roadway along a picturesque shoreline. When a section collapsed only months before the opening ceremony killing two people, the world looked…
29: Flight 1549
Jun 4 • 27 min
In 2009 an AirBus A320 departing LaGuardia Airport in New York suffered a dual engine failure due to a bird strike during takeoff. In a highly improbable event an equally highly improbable landing in the Hudson River shocked and amazed the world. We look…
28: Hotel New World
May 9 • 28 min
In 1986 an unremarkable building in Singapore collapsed killing dozens of people. We look at how the supervision of the construction and the design itself resulted in a structure that was at best critically stable, and ultimately one that could only ever…
27: Gare de Lyon
Apr 4 • 31 min
On the 27th of June, 1988 in central Paris a runaway train collided with a stationary train in Gare De Lyon station, claiming 56 lives and injuring 60 more. Whilst the court found the driver guilty and sent him to jail, was he solely to blame? We look at…
Feb 7 • 38 min
In December, 1984 in the city of Bhopal in central India, a Union Carbide Pesticide plant would fail and release tonnes of toxic gas into the city, killing thousands of people. It was the worst industrial disaster in human history. We follow the threads…
25: Deepwater Horizon
Jan 8 • 51 min
In 2010 an Oil Drilling Rig suffered a catastrophic well blowout, killing 11 people, destroying the rig and leading to the worst maritime oil spill in history. It all happened a few hours after the well was declared safe and ready for handover. We look at…
Dec 13, 2018 • 30 min
In 2003 the Space Shuttle Columbia launched successfully but after its mission was completed burned up on re-entry with the loss of all onboard. We look at how normalisation of deviation blinded many at NASA to a risk that had existed since 1981.
Aug 31, 2018 • 19 min
When two trains collided head on at Kipton, Ohio in 1891, it was a wake up call for the railroad industry in North America whose impacts would be far-reaching and would lead to a new timekeeping standard that was unprecedented.
Jul 8, 2018 • 50 min
The largest nuclear incident in human history released an estimated 400 times the radioactive material compared to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It all happened because of a test that was delayed by one shift, or was it the ultimate inevitability of a flawed…
21: Milford Haven
Apr 29, 2018 • 35 min
A turning point in control systems user interface design and alarm management happened in an unlikely place that few have ever heard of. We look at what went wrong at Milford Haven.
20: Stava Dam
Feb 24, 2018 • 21 min
On the 19th of July, 1985 in Tesero, Northern Italy, a tailings dam gave way and killed 268 people. With the most common tailings dam design in the world, what went wrong and how widespread are the risks?
Nov 22, 2017 • 20 min
In 2015 at Alton Towers in the UK, The Smiler Rollercoaster experienced a major incident leading to severe injuries for multiple riders. We look at how pressure to get the ride running again and mis-communication defeated the system designed to protect…
18: The Fog
Sep 14, 2017 • 20 min
In 1952 a fog in London left 4,000 dead in just 4 days but many more would die before the causes could be rectified. Worse than that, it had happened before and it’s happening again right now, somewhere else.
17: Three Mile Island
Jun 2, 2017 • 43 min
On March 28, 1979 Unit 2 of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant in the United States of America an incident would lead to a partial reactor core meltdown. Many blamed the operators for stopping the reactor cooling system but the real root causes showed a…
Mar 10, 2017 • 39 min
In 1977 on the small island of Tenerife two 747 Jumbo Jets collided on the runway in poor visibility. A miscommunication clearly occurred, but even today, the same elements still exist and it could happen again.
15: Sampoong Department Store
Jan 27, 2017 • 38 min
The Sampoong Department Store in South Korea collapsed in 1995 killing over 500 people. The investigators were shocked to find just how many rules had been broken but the true root cause might have been something more innocuous.
Dec 22, 2016 • 36 min
The Concorde was the first commercially successful supersonic aeroplane that flew for nearly 25 years without a fatality and was considered the safest aeroplane in the world at the time until it crashed. The incident ended the lives of 113 people and it…
13: Costa Concordia
Nov 13, 2016 • 34 min
A near-new modern cruise liner with all the navigational aids and maps struck rocks and sank killing over 30 people and the man most responsible still walks free today.
12: Mont Blanc Tunnel
Sep 29, 2016 • 33 min
The Mont Blanc tunnel cut hours off the journey between Italy and France and in 1999 in a fire emergency services were unable to save 38 lives. We look at why.
11: Flint Michigan
Jul 3, 2016 • 38 min
For decades Flint Michigan derived safe drinking water from Detroit. When the supply was switched to save money a series of events unfolded and their supply became undrinkable. How could this happen?
10: The Comet
Jun 5, 2016 • 42 min
The Comet was the worlds first commercial jet aeroplane and those that flew aboard it formed the so-called JetSet. When they started to crash, the world of aviation changed forever.
Apr 27, 2016 • 27 min
The largest airship ever constructed burst into flames when trying to land in 1937 in New Jersey in what has become one of the most striking disasters of modern times.
Mar 10, 2016 • 37 min
The Challenger Space Shuttle was directed to launch on the coldest day on record in Florida and 73 seconds after launch it exploded but the engineers saw it coming.
7: Piper Alpha
Feb 11, 2016 • 28 min
The Piper Oil field in the North Sea became the site of one of the worst Offshore Oil Rig disasters in history when Piper Platform Alpha went up in flames.
Jan 29, 2016 • 23 min
The Amagasaki rail crash was entirely caused by human error but was it a fear of punishment by the company that was ultimately the cause.
Dec 23, 2015 • 22 min
The 15th Maccabiah Games in 1997 had a temporary bridge for the opening ceremony. The world was shocked when it failed and it did so on every level.
Dec 11, 2015 • 26 min
The Titanic famously sank on her maiden voyage with a huge loss of life. No ship is unsinkable.
Nov 13, 2015 • 44 min
What went wrong with Fukushima 1 Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in 2011.
2: Don’t Roll On Me
Oct 30, 2015 • 25 min
Roll cages in cars are supposed to improve safety but do they actually cause the problem they’re trying to protect you from?
1: BP Texas City
Oct 16, 2015 • 51 min
The BP Texas City Oil Refinery disaster in 2005 shocked the world. With safe-guards in place and lost-time injury rates so low, how could so many people be killed in a wholly preventable disaster?
Sep 15, 2015 • 1 min
Chain of Events. Cause and Effect. We analyse what went right and what went wrong as we discover that many outcomes can be predicted, planned for and even prevented. This is Causality. How can we design things better? How can prevent incidents from…
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