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Seconds From Disaster Premieres on National Geographic

National Geographic Channel employs some of the best CGI techniques to help explain to viewers how but not always why an unimaginable disaster can happen, from the crash of the Concorde to the Oklahoma City bombing and more in a new series, SECONDS FROM DISASTER, that premieres at 8:00 pm on Aug. 31, 2004 on NGC.

From two jumbo jets colliding in one of the worlds worst aviation disasters to a massive dam collapse that sent sludge plummeting 55 mph into a town, viewers will see how disasters are caused by an incredible sequence of events, locked together in time. Each hour-long program employs a blend of advanced CGI, re-enactments, archive footage, forensic science, dramatic eyewitnesses and accounts plus expert testimony.

The two episodes that premiere Aug. 31 at 8:00 are Crash of the Concorde and at 10:00 pm, The Bomb in Oklahoma City. The series moves to its regular timeslot Tuesdays at 8:00, beginning September 14.

Investigators and experts from around the world contribute to this scientifically fascinating series. Other subjects include the explosion in the Mont Blanc Tunnel, a raging inferno caused by a cable railway fire in Austria, a series of explosions along a sewer line in Mexico that left a five-mile trail of destruction littered with demolished buildings and collapsed roads, as well as the accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Other locations include Norway, Germany, the North Sea, Italy, Spain, Mobile, Alabama plus Arlington, Virginia, when the airplane hijacked by terrorists crashes into the Pentagon.

Events like thee can occur anywhere at anytime, without warning, said John Ford, evp of programming for NGC. The series gives viewers the opportunity to understand these disasters from a scientific point of view, leading to new insights into how these tragic events occurred in the first place. To now exactly what happened, and to see it through the magic of CGI, is a stunning new application.

Scenes are often broken down into wireframe animatics, sort of 3D versions of digital chalk on a blackboard, to show viewers the dimensions and angles and possibilities of a particular action.

SECONDS FROM DISASTER is produced by Darlow Smithson Prods. for National Geographic Channel. Exec producers for Dawlow Smithson are John Smithson and Tom Brisley. The NGC exec producer is Jenny Apostol, vp of production is John Bowman and exec in charge of production is John B. Ford.

Based at National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the NGC is a joint venture between National Geographic Television & Film and Fox Cable Networks. The channel ( is available via major cable and satellite television providers to almost 509 million homes I the U.S.