Modern Marvels

Season 13 Episode 56

Engineering Disasters 20

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Dec 06, 2006 on The History Channel
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Episode Summary

Engineering Disasters 20
In March of 2005, the BP Refinery in Texas City, Texas, suffered a series of explosions that decimated a large portion of the facility and killed 15 workers. Then the unusual series of events that caused American Airlines flight 587 to fall from the sky. What happened in Times Beach, Missouri, when a local waste hauler oiled down dusty roads with oil that was laced with dioxin? Look at what went wrong with NASA's Skylab in 1974 and finally examine the fire that destroyed the gas company, Praxair, in June of 2005.moreless
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    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (4)

      • According to a study by the United Steelworkers Union, there are at least 33 refineries in the United States utilizing unflared vents to dispose of volatile hydrocarbon materials.

      • According to the EPA, uncontrolled burning, especially of household products that contain chlorine, accounts for 57% of all dioxin releases into the environment.

      • Flight 587 is the second American Airlines jet to crash shortly after taking off from JFK. It's also the second to crash from rudder failure. In 1962, American Airlines Flight 1 crashed into Jamaica Bay after a wiring failure caused its rudder to deflect uncontrollably.

      • On July 11, 1979, Skylab returned to Earth in an uncontrolled trajectory. It crashed in a remote area of Western Australia killing one cow.

    • QUOTES (1)

      • Narrator: One of the world's largest oil companies suffers a series of catastrophic explosions at its Texas City refinery, a jumbo jet mysterious crashes off Long Island days after 9/11, a deadly toxin kills the town of Times Beach, Missouri, NASA's multi billion dollar Skylab space station is crippled seconds after takeoff, and a fire at a St. Louis gas company turn pressurized cylinders into flying missiles. Now: Engineering Disasters, on Modern Marvels.

    • NOTES (1)

      • Commentators:

        Michael Economides, PhD
        Editor in Chief, Energy Tribune

        Carolyn Merritt
        Chairwoman, Chemical Safety Board

        Donald Holmstrom
        Investigator, Chemical Safety Board

        Marilyn Leistner
        Last Mayor of Times Beach, MO

        Russell Martin Bliss
        Former President, Bliss Waste Oil Co.

        Robert Feild
        Project Manager, EPA Superfund

        Robert Benzon
        Investigator, NTSB

        Peter Garrison
        Aviation Writer

        Joseph Kerwin
        Scientist Astronaut, Skylab 2

        Jack Kinzler
        Technical Services Department, NASA

        Robert Hall
        Investigator, Chemical Safety Board

        April Breeden
        Resident, Lafayette Square District

        Captain Michael Merchant
        St. Louis Fire Department

        Scott Edmundson
        Resident, Lafayette Square District

    • ALLUSIONS (0)

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