Great Disasters

Great Disasters
Whether natural or man-made, disasters attract a strange mixture of horror and fascination. However, the spectacle of devastation is only ever one part of the story. Take a closer look, and you will find tales of extraordinary human endurance and heroi…
Galveston Hurricane 1900
Apr 12 • 36 min
The people of Galveston thought that their city was safe from storms, but the devastating hurricane of 1900 proved them very wrong.
The Bradford City Stadium Fire
Mar 29 • 37 min
In front of television cameras, a deadly fire swept through the Valley Parade stadium with terrifying speed.
Haiti Earthquake 2010
Mar 15 • 30 min
Striking at the heart of a beautiful but impoverished country, the 2010 Haiti earthquake was the worst disaster the 21st century has so far seen.
The Flying Scotsman, 1947
Mar 1 • 34 min
The famous Flying Scotsman service was steaming along at some sixty miles per hour when calamity struck; it left the rails, killing 28 people.
Morecambe Bay Cocklepicking Disaster
Feb 15 • 33 min
They left China to try and make their fortune - but the gangmasters took their profits, and the tides took their lives.
The de Havilland Comet
Feb 1 • 26 min
Three deadly crashes involving the first commercial jet airliner revealed a deadly flaw in the plane’s design.
Piper Alpha
Jan 18 • 27 min
More than 200 men were aboard the Piper Alpha platform, 120 miles out at sea, when it was abruptly rocked by an explosion.
1955 Le Mans Crash
Jul 13, 2018 • 31 min
The disaster at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1955 marked the beginning of a slow revolution in safety for the fastest sport.
Apollo 1
Jul 1, 2018 • 31 min
In the race to set foot on the Moon, three men died on the Earth.
Seveso Chemical Disaster
Jun 15, 2018 • 33 min
A sunny Saturday in Italy was marred by a single cloud - one that came from the local chemical plant.
North Sea Floods 1953
Jun 1, 2018 • 25 min
One Saturday night at the end of January, a storm in the Atlantic wreaked havoc on the coasts of the UK and the continent.
The Goiânia Incident
May 18, 2018 • 30 min
They all thought that the blue glowing powdery stuff was pretty. Some painted their bodies with it, like carnival glitter. They didn’t know that it was deadly.
The Station Nightclub Fire
May 4, 2018 • 33 min
It was the fourth-deadliest nightclub fire in American history, but what ultimately made the blaze at The Station so lethal?
Apr 20, 2018 • 34 min
Coal mining was always a dirty job, but somebody had to do it to keep the machines turning. For the men - and boys - of Monongah, it was more than dirty. It was deadly.
Mount Tambora
Apr 6, 2018 • 24 min
What has the weather in America or Switzerland got to do with a volcano in Indonesia?
Exercise Tiger
Mar 23, 2018 • 31 min
Around seven hundred American troops were killed in one night - but it was supposed to be only a practice run.
Everest Avalanche and Nepal Earthquake
Mar 9, 2018 • 29 min
A massive earthquake brought devastation to the people of Nepal and Western climbers on Mount Everest.
Feb 23, 2018 • 41 min
An enjoyable afternoon on the terraces turned tragic for Liverpool fans, as a deadly crush in the stands of Hillsborough Stadium took 96 lives.
San Francisco Earthquake 1906
Feb 9, 2018 • 27 min
Shortly after five am on the 18th April 1906, San Francisco was rudely awoken by a major earthquake.
The Spanish Flu
Jan 12, 2018 • 22 min
The flu pandemic of 1918 was an outbreak of unprecedented proportions - and it was deadly.
Air France 358
Dec 29, 2017 • 31 min
The crash of Air France 358 was called a miracle - for good reason.
The London Smog
Dec 15, 2017 • 20 min
The smog which fell over London in December 1952 wasn’t just bad weather - it was deadly.
The Sinking of the Titanic (Part One)
Dec 15, 2017 • 26 min
The sinking of the Titanic in 1912; one of the best known disasters in the world, but still one of the most tragic.
The Munich Olympics Massacre
Dec 15, 2017 • 29 min
The 1972 attack on Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympic Games captured the attention of the world.
The Sinking of the Titanic (Part Two)
Dec 15, 2017 • 28 min
The sinking of the Titanic in 1912; one of the best known disasters in the world, but still one of the most tragic.
Dec 8, 2017 • 11 min
What is it about disasters that makes us want to look?