National Geographic Channel Seconds From Disaster

Season 3 Episode 11

Superstore Collapse

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Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Sep 20, 2006 on National Geographic
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Superstore Collapse
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June 29, 1995 in Seoul, South Korea. The exclusive Sampoong Superstore is open for business and has 1,500 staff and shoppers moving around inside. At 5:52pm a massive blast from the top floor rocks the entire building and in less than 20 seconds the entire store crashes to the ground. Over 500 people are killed as the mass of twisted steel and concrete comes crushing down. Now investigators must determine the cause of the catastrophe to explain to the public how it happened and whether it could happen elsewhere in the booming economic hub. Was there a gas explosion? Were North Korean bombs to blame? Did the air conditioning keeping the summer heat at bay cause it? Or were structural flaws in the building's design and construction at fault?moreless
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