Modern Marvels

Season 13 Episode 56

Engineering Disasters 20

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



  • Trivia

    • 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

    • 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

    • 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