It was a period during which the power and scale of industrialization changed the planet, an unforeseen consequence being the creation of more human-created catastrophes than ever before experienced.
The events recorded here include the needless carnage of history’s worst air disaster when two jumbo jets collided on the island of Tenerife. We recall the horrors of Aberfan, the Welsh village in which schoolchildren were buried alive. The story of the explosion aboard the Challenger space shuttle reveals how warnings that were ignored led to the deaths of seven astronauts. And we report on the failings that caused the nuclear nightmare at Chernobyl, a poisonous blot on the face of the globe.
These and the other misadventures in this book were all man-made and, it seems, just waiting to happen. A further link between these horrific events is that they were all caused by either folly or greed – or both.
But despite the tales of monstrous misfortune, many also produced heart-lifting stories of human resilience, selflessness, sacrifice and heroism.
About the Author
Table of Contents
1 The 'Unsinkable' Titanic (1912) 9
2 Five-Train Catastrophe (1915) 21
3 Brought Down by Pride (1930) 31
4 End of a Nazi Dream (1937) 43
5 Nightmare in a Tunnel (1944) 53
6 Child Victims of Aberfan (1966) 61
7 Price of the Space Race (1960s) 75
8 Soccer's Nightmares (1970s-1980s) 85
9 Town's Cloud of Death (1976) 97
10 Jumbo Jets Collide (1977) 103
11 Shattered Dream of Space (1986) 115
12 The Nuclear Nightmare (1986) 123
13 Calamity in the Channel (1987) 133
14 Alaska's Toxic Tragedy (1989) 141
15 Ferry Families' Icy End (1994) 151