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Great Disasters

History Podcasts

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 heroism, stories that veer from the horrific to the oddly humorous, and lessons that can be learned to make our world safer. From the Titanic to the Costa Concordia, the Station nightclub fire to the Pulse nightclub shooting, these extraordinary events – and the people involved – are examined on the Great Disasters podcast, written, researched, recorded and produced by me, Kari Fay. From official reports, first-person accounts, and contemporary media, I delve into the often-appalling details of these events to bring you the full story.

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 heroism, stories that veer from the horrific to the oddly humorous, and lessons that can be learned to make our world safer. From the Titanic to the Costa Concordia, the Station nightclub fire to the Pulse nightclub shooting, these extraordinary events – and the people involved – are examined on the Great Disasters podcast, written, researched, recorded and produced by me, Kari Fay. From official reports, first-person accounts, and contemporary media, I delve into the often-appalling details of these events to bring you the full story.

Location:

United Kingdom

Description:

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 heroism, stories that veer from the horrific to the oddly humorous, and lessons that can be learned to make our world safer. From the Titanic to the Costa Concordia, the Station nightclub fire to the Pulse nightclub shooting, these extraordinary events – and the people involved – are examined on the Great Disasters podcast, written, researched, recorded and produced by me, Kari Fay. From official reports, first-person accounts, and contemporary media, I delve into the often-appalling details of these events to bring you the full story.

Language:

English

Contact:

+447985529783


Episodes

Hyatt Regency Skywalk Collapse

7/17/2020
It should have been a fun evening of music and dancing - but it abruptly turned into a gruesome scene of tragedy. Drawing from contemporary reporting, eyewitness accounts, and official reports, I'll tell the story of the Hyatt Regency Skywalk Collapse. Visit www.greatdisasters.co.uk for the full transcript and more. Check out the Great Disasters Podcast on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram - let me know what you think of the show. Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/greatdisasters)

Duration:00:45:24

The Tulsa Race Massacre

6/28/2020
An incident in an elevator led to an outpouring of hatred, gunfire and flame. It was America's worst single incident of racial violence, yet for decades many had never even heard of it. Drawing from contemporary reporting, eyewitness accounts, and modern research, I'll tell the story of the Tulsa Race Massacre. Visit www.greatdisasters.co.uk for the full transcript and more. Support: https://blacklivesmatter.com, https://www.standuptoracism.org.uk. Check out the Great Disasters Podcast...

Duration:01:07:05

Herald of Free Enterprise

6/5/2020
A crowded ferry set sail from Zeebrugge on a cold March evening - but just outside the harbour walls, tragedy struck, and a straightforward crossing turned into a fight to survive. Drawing from contemporary coverage, official reports and eyewitness accounts, I'll tell the story of the Herald of Free Enterprise. Visit www.greatdisasters.co.uk for the full transcript and more. Check out the Great Disasters Podcast on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram - let me know what you think of the...

Duration:00:49:12

Carrollton Bus Crash

5/22/2020
After a church outing to an amusement park, an old yellow school bus full of sleepy kids made its way home along the interstate. At the same time, a pickup truck was driving the other way - in the same lane. Drawing from contemporary coverage, official reports and eyewitness accounts, I'll tell the story of the Carrollton Bus Crash. Visit www.greatdisasters.co.uk for the full transcript and more. Check out the Great Disasters Podcast on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram - let me know what...

Duration:00:51:44

The Boston Molasses Flood

5/8/2020
A wave of black, sticky molasses engulfs a Boston neighbourhood, wreaking a sweet-tasting but deadly kind of havoc. It's one of history's more unusual disasters, but that doesn't mean it should be treated lightly. Drawing from both modern and contemporary reports and eyewitness accounts, I'll tell the story of the Boston Molasses Flood. Visit www.greatdisasters.co.uk for the full transcript and more. Check out the Great Disasters Podcast on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram - let me know...

Duration:00:53:06

Harrow & Wealdstone Rail Crash

2/7/2020
It should have been an ordinary Wednesday morning commute, with the biggest worry being whether there would be any seats free on the train. Instead, it was described as being akin to the battlefields of the war just seven years past. Drawing from contemporary reports and eyewitness accounts, I'll tell the story of the Harrow & Wealdstone rail crash - Britain's deadliest peacetime train disaster. Visit www.greatdisasters.co.uk for the full transcript and more. Check out the Great Disasters...

Duration:00:41:07

The General Slocum

1/24/2020
A bright, sunny New York morning turned to disaster in a matter of moments - and it would be the city's most deadly disaster for almost a hundred years. This heartbreaking disaster literally decimated a community, with a death toll of over a thousand, mostly women and children. Drawing from contemporary reports and eyewitness accounts, I'll tell the story of the General Slocum disaster. Visit www.greatdisasters.co.uk for the full transcript and more. Check out the Great Disasters Podcast...

Duration:00:42:16

The Victoria Hall Disaster

1/10/2020
It was supposed to be a fun afternoon; hundreds of children packed into Sunderland's Victoria Hall for a magic show. Their tickets promised the greatest treat ever given, and the chance of presents, too. However, for many it would end in the most heartbreaking tragedy possible. Drawing from contemporary and modern accounts, I'll tell the story of the Victoria Hall disaster. Visit www.greatdisasters.co.uk for the full transcript and more. Check out the Great Disasters Podcast on Facebook,...

Duration:00:34:31

Fukushima Daiichi

12/20/2019
The Tohoku earthquake and tsunami brought unspeakable devastation to Japan, but they were only part of the story. A third disaster followed when the first two cut off power to one of the world's largest nuclear power plants. Now a race was on to contain the meltdown and save the country. Drawing heavily from eyewitness accounts, I'll tell the story of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. Visit www.greatdisasters.co.uk for the full transcript and more. Check out the Great Disasters...

Duration:00:39:14

2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami

11/29/2019
Japan is a country that's accustomed to earthquakes, and one you might have thought would be prepared for anything. However, they were not prepared for the scale of the megathrust earthquake that happened one Friday afternoon in March. Drawing heavily from eyewitness accounts, I'll tell the story of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Visit www.greatdisasters.co.uk for the full transcript and more. Check out the Great Disasters Podcast on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram - let me...

Duration:00:36:03

Air New Zealand Flight 901

11/15/2019
More than 250 people boarded a DC-10 airliner for a luxurious sightseeing trip in one of the most remote parts of the world. Their trip came to an unexpected and tragic end on the side of a mountain. Using contemporary news reports, the accounts of those involved in the investigation, and the two official reports produced, I'll tell the story of the Erebus Disaster. Visit www.greatdisasters.co.uk for the full transcript and more. Check out the Great Disasters Podcast on Facebook, Twitter,...

Duration:00:43:07

1931 China Floods

11/1/2019
The Yangtze River is the third longest in the world - and when it breaks its banks, its power should not be underestimated. Using contemporary accounts and modern analysis, I'll tell the story of the 1931 China Floods. Visit www.greatdisasters.co.uk for the full transcript and more. Check out the Great Disasters Podcast on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram - let me know what you think of the show. Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/greatdisasters)

Duration:00:31:08

Vesuvius

10/18/2019
It is perhaps the most famous volcano in the world - but the event it’s best known for happened almost two thousand years ago. So what is it about Mount Vesuvius that allows its story to endure? Using the eyewitness account of Pliny the Younger and other historic and modern material, I'll tell the story of Vesuvius and Pompeii. Visit www.greatdisasters.co.uk for the full transcript and more. Check out the Great Disasters Podcast on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram - let me know what you...

Duration:00:32:17

Pearl Harbor

10/4/2019
In December, 1941, thousands of American servicemen were enjoying themselves on the idyllic Hawaiian island of Oahu, where the Pacific Fleet was in port. Then, on a date that would "live in infamy", they were abruptly and dramatically pulled into the Second World War. Using eyewitness accounts and contemporary material, I'll tell the story of Pearl Harbor. Visit www.greatdisasters.co.uk for the full transcript and more. Check out the Great Disasters Podcast on Facebook, Twitter, and...

Duration:00:43:04

Space Shuttle Columbia

9/20/2019
On January 16th, 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia launched on its 28th mission, a scientific expedition that would see the crew spend sixteen days in orbit carrying out research. All went well - until it was time to come home. Drawing on contemporary news items, witness accounts, and official reports, I'll tell the full story of the tragic loss of Columbia. Visit www.greatdisasters.co.uk for the full transcript and more. Check out the Great Disasters Podcast on Facebook, Twitter, and...

Duration:00:45:26

The Carrington Event

9/6/2019
In 1859, a spectacular auroral display astonished people all around the world - it was visible far beyond the usual latitudes for such a sight. At the same time, the nascent telegraph system went haywire, and an English astronomer gazing at the sun spotted the connection. Drawing on contemporary news reports and modern research, I'll tell the story of the Carrington Event - and how it could be a warning of future disaster. Visit www.greatdisasters.co.uk for the full transcript and...

Duration:00:30:31

The Sampoong Department Store Collapse

6/21/2019
In the glamorous Gangnam area of Seoul, South Korea, hundreds of shoppers browsed through luxury goods or stopped to grab a couple of things on their way home from work. Then, with a loud bang, the store literally collapsed around them. Drawing on contemporary news reports and accounts from survivors, witnesses and investigators, I'll tell the full story of the Sampoong Department Store collapse. Visit www.greatdisasters.co.uk for the full transcript and more. Check out the Great...

Duration:00:31:15

The Great Hunger, Ireland 1845-50

6/7/2019
Also known as "an Gorta Mór" in Irish, or the Irish Potato Famine to those outside the Emerald Isle, the Great Hunger created a dividing line in Irish history. It was triggered by the potato blight, but the true depth of misery that it brought was largely created by the politics of the British government. Drawing on contemporary news reports and historical research, I'll tell the full story of the Irish Famine. Visit www.greatdisasters.co.uk for the full transcript and more. Check out the...

Duration:00:43:09

The Princess Alice Disaster

5/24/2019
The Princess Alice was a popular pleasure steamer plying the waters of the River Thames. The Bywell Castle was a collier ship from Newcastle, making its way out to sea after repainting. When the two met on the river, hundreds died. Drawing on accounts from eyewitnesses and survivors, as well as contemporary news reports, I'll tell the full story of the sinking of the Princess Alice. Visit www.greatdisasters.co.uk for the full transcript and more. Check out the Great Disasters Podcast on...

Duration:00:39:12

Chernobyl Part Two

5/10/2019
The people of Pripyat knew something had happened at the nearby power plant - but they only realised how serious it was two days later, when they were ordered to evacuate the city. Drawing on accounts from eyewitnesses and survivors, as well as contemporary news reports and expert assessments, I'll tell the full story of the horrifying Chernobyl disaster. This is the second of two episodes on this topic. Visit www.greatdisasters.co.uk for the full transcript and more. Check out the Great...

Duration:00:46:07