Exclusive: Discovery ‘When Buildings Collapse: Disaster in Surfside’ Preview

Discovery Channel, Exclusives

Discovery announces a compelling television event, When Buildings Collapse: Disaster in Surfside, that showcases the events and circumstances that lead to the Champlain Towers’ collapse in Florida.

Champlain Towers South was a 12-story condominium in Surfside, Florida, that collapsed on June 24, killing 98 people and leaving dozens homeless. The building was readying for a 40-year structural review when it collapsed without warning in the early morning hours.

The condo structure was an older building built on porous and unstable limestone ground and in need of routine repairs and maintenance. Still, it was not until excavation and construction began on the high-rise condominium project next door that experts contend made the fated building unsafe.

The collapse set off multiple federal and state investigations with many lawsuits by victims, families, and surviving condo owners who were left without a home and destroyed their possessions.

When Buildings Collapse: Disaster in Surfside

When the Surfside, Florida condo building crumbled to the ground without warning, it was surreal. Until the reality hit: the disaster killed 98 people. Discovery will examine what could cause a modern structure like this to fail so catastrophically.

Why it happened is an ongoing investigation as eyewitness accounts provide crucially relevant information. In addition, the investigators hunt for clues among the debris using forensic analysis to discover how and why this deadly event occurred. But fears that other buildings similar to this one are actual, and the experts are trying to ensure that a large-scale building collapse never happens again.

Discovery says:

Teams of investigators are searching for answers to what went wrong. Through eyewitness accounts, dramatic user-generated footage, news archive and CGI animation, this special pieces together a moment-by-moment account of the disaster, recounts the rescue and recovery efforts and explores factors that could have contributed to the building collapsing. Did a sinkhole cause the collapse? Was the building’s design flawed? Could the constant exposure to the elements or poor maintenance be responsible? Or could this be a perfect storm of issues that caused the collapse?

Discovery brings Out of Stock: Supply Chain Crisis limited series

Another special coming to Discovery examines why we cannot buy things in real-time anymore, specifically construction goods, imported goods, and other items we are used to buying readily.

A revelation from the pandemic has been that systems in place for decades will fail. The prevalence of empty shelves in stores and daily news stories about barges with goods stuck offshore highlight a supply chain that can no longer serve the globe.

And a catastrophic building disaster amid the pandemic shows how weather and erosion to outdated construction standards exacerbate all of this. Discovery explores how critical infrastructure failures can lead to devastating disasters, inflation, a lack of necessities, and other problems that affect day-to-day living.

Discovery says:

In a three-episode limited series, Discovery will pull back the curtain on the complexities of the global supply chain explaining how factors like canal blockages and labor shortages caused by the pandemic have had a domino effect on getting products and food on the shelves and fuel into our cars.

Creatives behind the two specials

The When Windfall Films produce buildings Collapse special for Discovery Channel. For Windfall Films, the Series Producer is James Franklin, and Executive Producers are Carlo Massarella and John Fothergill.

Out of Stock is produced by Wag Entertainment. Executive Producers are Steven Green and Mark Carter. For Discovery Channel, the executive producer is Lindsey Foster Blumberg.

Discovery Announces a New Special and Limited Series That Examines What Has Gone Wrong

‘When Buildings Collapse: Disaster in Surfside premieres Saturday, December 4 at 8 PM ET/PT on Discovery

Follow the conversation on social media with #WhenBuildingsCollapseDisasterInSurfside and #OutOfStockSupplyChainCrisis, and follow Discovery Channel on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more updates.

And, the three-episode Limited Series’ Out of Stock: Supply Chain Crisis premieres Saturday, December 18 at 8 PM ET/PT on Discovery.

April Neale

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