Modern Marvels

Season 14 Episode 19

Engineering Disasters of the 70's

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Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM May 30, 2007 on The History Channel
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Engineering Disasters of the 70's
AIRED:
To err is human... But when the error results in the loss of life, it's a disaster. Learn about one of the most mysterious maritime disasters of the decade--the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Was it possible that the nation was on the brink of war due to a faulty circuit board? What caused the Buffalo Creek Dam disaster in West Virginia? Delve into the explosion of a super tanker in Los Angeles harbor.moreless
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    • TRIVIA (4)

      • July 19, 1979. The Atlantic Empress spilled 287,000 metric tones of oil in the Caribbean – the largest oil spill on record.

      • After the original bell was recovered from the wreckage of the Edmund Fitzgerald, a replica bell was put in its place. The names of all 29 crewmembers are inscribed on the replica, which serves as a permanent grave marker.

      • Four days before the disaster, a federal mine inspector and the company safety engineer declared Buffalo Creek's Dams satisfactory.

      • December 27, 1977. Five days after the grain elevator explosion in Westwego, Louisiana, a grain elevator in Galveston, Texas also exploded, taking the lives of 18 people.

    • QUOTES (1)

      • Narrator: The 1970s, a time of great engineering feats: the CN Tower, the Sydney Opera House and the Sears tower, but also a time for engineering disasters. An apartment complex under construction collapses, the Edmund Fitzgerald disappears into Lake Superior, a dam breaks wiping out an entire community and 14 perish when an arena self destructs. What were the flaws and reasons behind such destruction? Engineering Disasters of the 70s, now, on Modern Marvels.

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