Massive Engineering Mistakes

Massive Engineering Mistakes

Series 1 - Episode 1



Sometimes engineering and building projects do go wrong: a bad calculation at the design stage can have potentially life-threatening consequences. Take 601 Lexington, a vast skyscraper in Manhattan that the Red Cross estimated could have killed up to 200,000 people had it toppled in the late 1970s. Thankfully, the thesis research of an architecture student averted disaster.

It’s just one of the stories featured in this rather breathless documentary about building blunders. There’s the Leaning Tower of Pisa (rather obviously), and we learn what links a household broom to the much-vaunted pedestrian crossing over the Thames linking Tate Modern to St Paul’s Cathedral that nearly 20 years since it opened, people still call “the wobbly bridge”.


Experts and witnesses analyse a series of engineering disasters, including what happened when a Baltimore street collapsed onto a railroad.