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tv   Caught on Camera  MSNBC  May 27, 2012 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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thank you for watching this edition of "caught on camera." all the world may be a stage, but there's no telling when life will radically depart from the script. in illinois, a man is trampled by a panicked horse while another in north carolina struggles to escape from a deadly inferno. then, a 4th of july celebration goes explosively off course. while taking off in a jet turns into a fight between life and death. and falling from 9,000 feet, two skydivers struggle to free themselves before it's too late. >> you have to do something or your you're going to die.
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>> sometimes the best-laid plans can take a turn for the weird. >> caught on camera, what went wrong. welcome to "caught on camera." i'm contessa brewer. in a split second, a routine event can escalate into a life or death drama leaving folks to wonder what went wrong. it can happen at work or at play or as these people found out, during a leisurely day at a horse show. an official at a horse competition gets trampled by an out of control horse. may 2nd, 2001, springfield, illinois, at the arabian breed finals, they compete in a class called country pleasure driving. videographer rick is there to capture the event.
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>> it's a very neat class. it should look like a pleasure to drive. >> one of the riders here to compete on this day is paul hyman. >> riding a horse, you sit on top of the horse, on the saddle. and you really control the horse with your legs and with your arms. it's much easier to control them that way. when you drive, you only have reins and the horse is way up in front so you really don't control as much as when you are
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riding. >> the competition begins as planned when paul drives his horse into the ring with the others. but then his horse begins to speed up. >> all of a sudden he started to cantor and that's a big sign that something is wrong. >> walk, please. walk your horse. time-out. >> he pulls the reins to stop but it's no use. >> he hit the other cart and i got thrown out and he was on his own and he really freaked out. >> the horse went into a total panic because he had a loose
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cart behind him that's banging and turning upside down. >> veteran horse trainers trained paul's horse for the event. >> bring the horses to the inside. bring the horses to the inside, please. >> the tipped cart panics the horse even more. paul and the others scramble to the center to avoid the one-ton animal. the buggy finally shakes loose but paul's horse still won't stop. >> there's nothing scarier than a horse that's totally lost his mental capabilities. he doesn't care what he did or who he ran over. >> he almost runs over a man and then another man tries to grab the loose reins but that only makes matters worse. paul's horse crashes into another horse. his horse falls down and then gets back up and bolts again. >> the horse was scared to death. no one was going to stop him unless they grabbed his head and pulled him to the ground. >> everyone's shocked by what happens next. >> the horse comes underneath my camera location, one of the ringmen threw himself in front of the horse. that's a ton of animal coming at you. it was a brave act. he was doing what he could as a ring man to save the rest of the class. >> he is uncle bob. all of the horsemen love him to death. had he just had open heart surgery that spring. we were all concerned. >> uncle bob is okay but paul's horse is still completely out of control. it runs straight at a horse
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whose driver is disabled and can't exit the buggy but a judge scares it off by tossing papers at it. >> all horses are hurt animals when they are in a panic situation. they actually want comfort in another animal or a person. the horse that was running free just wanted to get near another horse and have the comfort of that. >> shouts and screams by onlookers spooks paul's horse even more. >> keep quiet. please keep quiet. leave the horse on the outside. >> it makes another run at the same horse and this time it slams right into it and its disabled driver. a judge grabs paul's horse, finally stopping him. and the disabled driver is free just as the second horse bolts. >> we need a medic, please. >> my son matt was there in the ring. he had an instinct to go and grab her out of the cart before the horse took off or that could have been a life-threatening situation. it was a miracle. >> watching this unfold, like i say, it's surrealistic.
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the second horse takes off. my mind is, oh, good, a fresh horse. that's all we need. >> the startled animal runs over the buggy. >> keep the horse on the outside, if you can. >> ring officials try to keep it away from people in the center. >> keep quiet. keep the horse on the rail if you can. keep him on the outside if you can. >> one of the horses goes through the center ring, could have had major serious injuries. >> the horse avoids the center but then loops back around. it knocks a man over and narrowly misses the disabled driver. >> what goes through someone's mind at that time is total panic. and then a lot of prayer because you don't know what the outcome is going to be. >> the buggy tips helping slow the horse just enough to enable a few other animals to be removed from the ring. >> take the horses out. take them out. can we get that far gate open? don't open it now.
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hold on. no. no. wait. >> but this horse shows no signs of stopping. then a man lassos to holt it. when the buggy falls off, the exhausted animal trips and goes down. if the horse is critically injured, it will have to be put down. fortunately, it's not hurt. >> the horse was absolutely fine. he went on at the end of that year and was national champion horse under saddle. he was find after that. just exhausted and terrified. >> miraculously, other than a few bruises and one broken thumb, no people are critically injured either.
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so what went wrong to initiate all this chaos? it wasn't driver error. paul was an expert horseman and his horse has plenty of competition experience. stinging bees. >> that particular day, as the horses entered the ring on the far side, several of them were irritated by something. i personally think it was some kind of bees that were in there and then paul came through there and his horse just panicked and took off at a full dead run. >> after this happened, my trainer recommended i stop driving that horse. and if i want to keep driving i should get a different horse and i bought his brother z this is lucky. because he brings me luck. >> lucky also brought luck to matt, the trainer who saves the
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disabled woman in this video. at the 2011 nationals, matt and the horse take the ribbon. >> national champion. >> he's the best horse in the country here to date and i'm happy. coming up, a skydiving formation goes bad leaving one man in a death defying downward spiral. >> i didn't know if allen was going to make it. i've never seen anything that violent. >> when "caught on camera: what went wrong" continues. [ male announcer ] can febreze set & refresh make even this place smell fresh?
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the stakes are high for more than three dozen skydivers attempting a world record. but the risks climb even higher when two skydivers find themselves in a life threatening downward spiral. october 1994, 18,000 feet above davis, california. a group of skydivers is
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determined to make it into the record books. their goal? build a 46 parachute diamond or canopy and then separate and land safely. it will hold eight more skydivers than the world's best of eight. this morning is their last test before the next day's big jump. skydiving cameraman, brian scott, tapes the practice session. the skydivers will use the tape later to analyze the jump. >> canopy formation is multiple parachuters flying in formation. he will put a foot in the line and hold that parachute while someone else holds up the formation and you will form a diamond of parachutes. >> it's a risky jump. >> canopy formation is a very
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fragile formation. >> the idea of someone grabbing ahold of your parachute scares experienced jumpers even more than new jumpers. because if they get all tangled up in your parachute, it's done. you can't land. >> will you wis is in charge of mapping out every detail. he knows that even the smallest miss cue can be a disaster. >> it's much like choreographing a dance. because everyone has an assigned place to fly to and take ahold of the other canopy. you have to have your hand and feet in the right place. you have to plan out the entire jump and then the challenge is to do it. >> for today's world record attempt, lewis assembles the best in the field. all seems to be going smoothly until something captures cameraman's eye. >> he had fallen out of
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formation and that sent through the formation and this kind of went to the opposite side of formation. >> sure enough, as the skydiver attempts to join the right side of the formation, the wave reaches him. still, he manages to hold tight as another team member approaches from the below. the man beneath should help stabilize the right side. >> you want to see a man come in underneath the wing dock like that otherwise it's a free floating parachute. >> before the skydivers on the right can stabilize, the man on the left reapproaches row six. as he joins, he pulls down on the formation, amplifying the wave again. when the wave reaches the chutes on the right, they are pushed forward. >> as i come forward, the parachutes start collapsing like an accordion.
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that's when several people let go on the right side. the right row six wing was so far when they let go of him, his parachute flew across the formation. his parachute did a 90-degree left turn and came right into the formation. >> the entire pyramid collapses and two skydivers end up in a treacherous tangle. the unlucky man who gets wrapped up is brian scott's friend. >> it was alan and he's one of my best friends in the world. i got right on it and started spiralling two of them. it kind of looked like a bi-plane. it was two parachutes like this together. >> chutes that are tangled can't function properly. now they spin out of control 9,000 feet above the ground. and the other man's chute is wrapped around his neck. >> in that case, the person who
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has the parachute wrapped and you, they need to go into free fall and that takes the tension off. >> falling at nearly 50 miles an hour, the skydivers have less than two minutes before they hit the ground. the first guy manages to break free. the parachute remains behind and wrapped around alan's neck. >> the parachute's line has wrapped around him twice. the tension stayed on him when he cut away. the parachute was still partially opened and wrapped around alan so it was pulling those lines tight like a chinese finger trap. it sticks to you. >> with time running out, alan has only one option. cut the other skydivers chute line but as he does that it causes another problem.
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>> once alan cut the line, the other parachute started spinning. now it's wrapping alan's parachute lines up into a coil. >> alan's chute was spinning out of control and time was running out. >> i didn't know if alan was going to make it. i had never seen anything that violent before. i knew we were getting quite low and i could see the numbers on the runway. i thought he was the way i watched him through this ordeal. >> with the lines twisted so thick and tight, alan's problems go from bad to worse. his knife breaks. alan reaches for another knife which he wouldn't have been carrying that day if it hadn't been for his friend brian scott. >> the day before i went to the pro shop and bought him a metal hook knife and i think alan had
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a knife that was already in his rig. it was kind of like on his harness right here. but it was plastic. i bought him a better knife. it was just a present to my buddy the day before. >> with his new knife, alan finally frees himself of both chutes. now in free fall, he has less than ten seconds until impact. >> that was it. he pulled out of that at about 700 feet. >> with little time to spare, he coasts to a landing completely unscathed. luckily his reserve chute deployed even though he was so close to the ground. >> we all gathered at the ground and he was just laughing and carrying on. he was back up in the air that day. i mean, alan is just my hero. he never gave up for one second. >> the very next day, the team beats the world record for canopy formation. one of those skydivers? alan.
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coming up, rescuers spot a man whose time was running out. >> he was in the midst of it and i knew he wasn't doing well. >> when "caught on camera: what went wrong" continues. [ female announcer ] removing facial hair can be irritating. challenge that. olay smooth finish facial hair removal duo. first a gentle balm then the removal cream. effective together with less irritation and as gentle as a feather. olay hair removal duo.
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a factory worker clings to life hoping rescuers can reach him before it's too late. january 2003, the west pharmaceutical factory in north carolina manufacturer of rubber stoppers for syringes blows sky high. calls pour in to 911. >> what is your emergency? >> there's been a big explosion. >> some callers report that a plane struck the building. kinston search and rescuer sees it from miles away. >> i heard an explosion and saw the smoke rising above the trees.
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i thought it was a plane crash into the building. i thought there would be a lot of casualties. i've never been in a fire or any incident of that size before. >> the north county fire marshal is also called in that day. >> we're in rural eastern north carolina, a small town. when this happened, it took every resource within our county. for the fire service, this is our world trade center. >> a little more than a year after the 9/11 attack, has small town kinston been the target? with 130 employees on site at the time of the accident, officials quickly rule out that an airplane is to blame. >> within the first hour of being on the scene and contacting the tower at the airport, no evidence of any plane striking the building was seen. so we ruled out a plane going into the building fairly early. >> officer woody spencer of the kinston police department documents the scene on video. >> it was total chaos.
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flames and smoke billowing from the building. when i started the videotape, there was a piece of wood impaled into the ground. the come bust of explosion was not as immense. >> 20 minutes after the blast, officials believe dozens of employees may still be trapped inside. firefighters search desperately in the thick, black smoke. and then a worker manages to climb out of the devastation. firefighters help the badly burned man down from the hot roof. with other workers still missing, rescuers have to jump right back in. >> they are still searching for people that weren't accounted for. >> rumors were everywhere, that people were trapped inside and
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dead. >> one hour after the start of the fire, authorities know the prospect of finding survivors is grim and that's when they see a sight they can hardly believe. >> the wind kind of shifted and started pushing smoke a different direction and all of a sudden he appeared out of the smoke. everybody was speechless. >> i've been a shooter for 20 something years and that right there was probably -- i felt as helpless as i've ever felt in my life. there was nothing i could possibly do. all i could do was videotape him from a surface. >> he's perched just above the epicenter of the fire. and appears severely burned on his arms and legs. now officials have to figure out how to pull him from the inferno. >> he had already been up there
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for a while. we knew that time wasn't in his favor. >> with time running out, rescuers must quickly devise a safe way in and out. >> something of that magnitude, just not sure what is going to happen walking on the roof or inside the building with all of the structural collapse. one little thing could fall and create a domino effect. >> the man is there for 20 more minutes before firefighters reach him and pull him to safety. he is machinist and he survives. >> they said, i'm with you jim, relax, everything will be fine. i'm be right with you. nothing is going to happen to you.
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>> edwards is burned over 60% of his body. trapped inside the blaze, he had wondered if his time had come. >> the fire and everything was about ten foot away from me and from all of that heat and everything it was heating me alive and i couldn't go know where it was scary and i was just wondering if i was ever going to see the next day or not. i figured this was the end. >> over the next three years, edwards undergoes a dozen surgeries. along the way he contracts an infection that ultimately claims his eyesight. despite his hardships, edwards remains positive. >> the good lord felt like it was not my time to go. i feel like i still have something to offer, to give to people. i'm blessed to be here still today. i talk to people about how important it is to not take anything for granted because you can lose everything in a flash. >> in ail, six people die in the fire. what went wrong to start this deadly blaze in the first place? turns out it's something that went unnoticed. accumulating for years. dust, polyethylene dust, a nonstick coating applied to the raw rubber produced at the factory. >> it's not like house dust. it's like a real fine, powdery kind of a texture of a talcum
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powder and when it's suspended and hanging in the air, it's very explosive and very flammable. if it accumulates over time and in a drop ceiling, it takes something very minor to make that dust airborne and once it finds an ignition source, it's airborne. >> a light switch, static, a tool spark, but authorities were never able to confirm the source in this case. after this incident, north carolina passes stricter fire regulations to allow inspectors access to examine confined areas where dust can accumulate. the aim is to safeguard the lives of workers and first responders. with west pharmaceuticals now rebuilt nearby, jim edwards expects the new rules will help
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avoid future catastrophes. >> i felt what happened that day was a tragedy for everybody and i hope that west company has learned from the fire. coming up -- >> oh, my god. >> -- a fireworks display malfunctions and speculators run for their lives. when "caught on camera: what went wrong" continues. ♪ ♪ why do you whisper, green grass? ♪ [ all ] shh! ♪ why tell the trees what ain't so? ♪ [ male announcer ] dow solutions use vibration reduction technology to help reduce track noise so trains move quieter through urban areas all over the world. together, the elements of science and the human element can solve anything. [ all ] shh! [ male announcer ] solutionism. the new optimism. i'm here to unleash my inner cowboy. instead i got heartburn. [ horse neighs ] hold up partner. prilosec isn't for fast relief. try alka-seltzer. it kills heartburn fast. yeehaw!
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here's what's happening. at this hour, the u.s. security council is meeting to discuss the growing civil unrest in syria after an attack killed more than 100 people. tropical storm beryl is packing winds at more than 60 miles per hour. crews in new mexico are battling wildfires and are dropping water by helicopter. now back to "caught on camera." welcome back to "caught on camera." i'm contessa brewer. when you attend a fireworks display, you expect fireworks but not like this.
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spectators were left scared, scarred, and wanting to know, what went wrong? in southeastern pennsylvania, a holiday celebration goes from festive to fearsome in the blink of an eye. >> oh, my god. >> what the -- what the -- >> july 4th, 2010, the town is celebrating more than american independence. they are also celebrating their home town's big birthday. lifelong natives look forward to the evening festivities. >> palmyra was celebrating and it was a big deal for the community. >> the night will be topped off by a fireworks display at the
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buck swank football field, a first in the town's history. >> adea's son doesn't want to miss it. >> that day i was hanging out with my girlfriend all day. we met up with my mom right before we watched the fireworks. >> the lawn is crowded with scores of spectators but she and her kids find a spot in the grass upfront. they sit just behind the tape separating them from the fireworks launch site, 250 feet away. hundreds more grab seats from farther away. >> about 10:00 the fireworks started going off. it was beautiful. >> my girlfriend and i were just laying down in the grass looking up. it was cool because we could watch them going off overhead. >> from the bleachers, spectators record the show with their video cameras and phones. about 20 minutes into the show, the finale begins. >> this is the finale. this is the song they always play on the 4th of july. >> but no one is prepared for what happens next.
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>> oh, my god. >> fireworks started going off at ground level. they just started shooting outsideways. they were coming out towards the crowds and towards the people. >> they started going off quickly in all kinds of direction and towards us. >> the crowd begins to panic. >> it happened so quickly that there was really not time to react or even realize what was going on around us. you could hear the screams and people yelling and crying and everything in total chaos. >> sitting in the open grass to the left, adia and her kids and scores of others are more exposed than those in the bleachers. so the air and fireballs reach them first, along with the container used to light the fireworks with a lit shell. >> the box was coming ends over end towards us and it landed two feet from my son's leg. for the split second i thought we're okay.
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>> but then a shock -- tyler takes a direct hit from a 3,000-degree shell launched out of the mortar box laying right next to him. >> i wasn't sure quite what happened. it just felt like i got kicked really hard in the back of the leg and my ears were ringing. i heard my girlfriend running away screaming. i went after her. i wasn't really sure anything was wrong with me yet. i wanted to make sure that she was all right. it was only after paramedics checked her out that i was like, hey, something's wrong with my leg. >> his summer clothes expose his legs to the full force of the blast. >> i have my shorts right here and then down at the bottom all you see they are all shredded up from where the firework blew up next to my leg. >> his injuries are most severe on the back of the left leg. he sustains third-degree burns and shrapnel causes a gaping hole in his calf.
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>> had he a hole that a golf ball could have fit in. bad cuts on his ankle and his foot and up the back of his leg. >> so why did a summer evening of family celebrating turn to horror? what went wrong? the state police investigation reveals that a shell explodes inside its launch tube setting off a chain reaction, blasting a mortar straight towards tyler and his family. the company is fined $3700. the company did not return our calls for comment. >> oh, my god! >> with such powerful shells fired by the company, the federal report insists they should have used sturdier steel mortar boxes instead of the weaker wooden ones. ten others get hurt that night
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but tyler's injuries are the worst. he endures several surgeries and months of therapy to heal his leg. but emotional scars remain. >> i haven't been to any fireworks shows since. it makes me nervous. i don't want to get near them. coming up, a single bird causes a lot of chaos. >> when that bird went in the engine, i knew i had to eject and i was not looking forward to doing it. >> and, later, a building dips but doesn't tip. >> there it goes, there it goes, and then it just stops. >> when "caught on camera" continues.
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rethink possible. an ordinary training flight becomes a fight for life.
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he has flown for more than two decades. with thousands of hours logged, he's among canada's best. >> i was transferred to the flight instructor school where i was an instructor. >> in instructors fly with students in the hawk 155. this jet is a one-engine two-seat aircraft. on training missions, the student pilot flies in the front seat and instructor pilots like hut fly in the back seat. >> when we sign the plane out, the instructor is in charge of the plane for the mission. we have a tape in the airplane to see how the student pilot is flying so we have that for debref later. >> among the movements that they practice is touch and go. that's when a pilot touches wheels down briefly and then returns to the air in one fell
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swoop. without stopping. for firefighters, the maneuver is routine, one that can change their lives if a landing must be aboarded for any reason. in may 2004, the captain supervises a touch and go performed by a british pilot. >> he was a fully-winged pilot. he was just getting recognition of the plane. >> once the british pilot completes the touch and go, hut takes over. >> i said, okay, he's been flying for an hour and a half, i've got to have a minute on the stick and that's exactly when i put the wheels up after the touch and go. >> but then both pilots are rocked by what happens next. a single bird gets sucked into the jet's engine. >> when you have a landing gear up and no runway in front of
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you, the option of putting the aircraft back down when you've lost all of its thrust is gone. >> with no thrust from his only engine, hut has only one option. >> when that bird went in the engine, i knew i had to reject and i just was not looking forward to doing it. the ejection system is designed to get your body away from the crash site. you're not expected to get out of the situation unscathed. it's a very violent thing. i know pretty well every situation where two people have ejected out of the same plane, at least one of them is hurt, if not fatally. >> hut takes advantage of the speed he has to tilt nose up and gain altitude. that could increase their chances for survival. with more altitude, their parachuts will have more time to deploy. hut has one other thing going for him. >> the fuel state was low so the
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aircraft was light. i had that advantage. >> with altitude gained, hut tries restarting the engine. >> restart. >> no luck. and now they have another problem. they've lost too much speed. >> because i was too aggressive with that initial climb, my air speed bled quickly and i was trying to keep the airplane flying. if they fly too slowly, they stall. >> a stall plane has no lift and falls out of control. to prevent that, hut drops his right wing trading altitude for air speed. the gear is not down for the landing. >> gear not down. gear not down. >> hut must level the aircraft before ejection. >> what is pair month is to be wings level. it really helps your chances of survival. it lessens in the lower level environment. so all i was thinking about is
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we were wings level before we ejected. >> the pilots tried to restart one last time. >> okay. >> with time running out, hut prepares to eject. his last task is to aim the jet where it will do the least harm when it crashes. >> i took a quick look around to see where the airplane was going. straight ahead looked good. i set the throttle back to idle and we were ready. the ground was coming up pretty fast now so it was time to go. >> i'm ready. >> prepare to abandon the aircraft. >> eject, eject, eject. >> it's an explosive situation. you're literally sitting on a rocket. >> the jet is completely
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destroyed but both pilots survived the violent ejection process. >> it has minute ter debt minute na tur debt ton nating commitment. >> i remember the explosion. it was a big white flash right in my face. it felt like i exploded my face. and then the seat goes up to up to a 20 g acceleration. i remember a small pain in my back and when the chute opened up again, that reconfirmed the pain in my back. i hit the ground pretty hard and i did further damage to myself. i broke my femur. it shattered on contact. >> having better luck, the british pilot escapes with minor injuries and captain hut cheats death. >> i was probably doing about 33
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feet per second when i hit the ground and all of the data out there says that anything more than about 35 feet per be second is probably a fatal arrival at the site. >> so what went wrong? investigators find the wing of a small bird in the wreckage. it's a franklin gall common to the air field but not common to do this kind of damage. so that's not the only thing that the engine ingested. >> as the bird came down my side, it hit the probe before it ended up going into the engine. >> and the metal probe, it detects the sensor and chewed up the inside of the engine, causing the failure. it all proves that sometimes the smallest creatures can cause the biggest problems. >> they can do lots of damage. you just have to be aware of them. >> eject.
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eject. eject. coming up, 11 stories become nine stories and this would-be demolition becomes another kinds of story >> things did not go quite according to plan on saturday. >> i don't think they really knew what to do or how to react. >> when "caught on camera: what went wrong" continues. [ female announcer ] removing facial hair can be irritating. challenge that. olay smooth finish facial hair removal duo. first a gentle balm then the removal cream. effective together with less irritation and as gentle as a feather. olay hair removal duo.
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at just over 200 feet, the zip tower feed mill in south dakota stood as the tallest building for 50 years. but in 2005, it becomes the tallest leaning building. this sioux falls native has something in common with the leaning tower.
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>> it was built in 1935, the year i was born. it was the largest feed manufacturing plant in the united states. there was still a lot of pride in it. >> over the years, hundreds of sioux falls residents worked there. but by 2000, the work moved on and that's when the building closed. >> i'm a long time sioux falls resident. i'm dedicated to my community. i needed more space for my growing business and i started looking for available properties. >> the zip tower mill land on the east of the sioux river fits the bill. in 2005, jeff purchases the property, determined to demolish the 11-story landmark. >> we were looking at bids for exploding it and for bids for just taking it down the old-fashion way with the ball and chain. >> but the zip is one story taller than the highest wrecking crane in the state. so it must be taken down with explosives.
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jeff ceases the opportunity to raise funds for a cause dear to his heart. >> my daughter was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis so i said i'm going to turn this into a fund-raiser. >> a rookie reporter at the time jumps at the time to cover the event. >> we knew it was for a great cause. the tallest building in dakota is coming down and you want to be here for that. >> so we went out and sold tickets for the person who pushes the button. >> they call the event boom and print thousands of raffle tickets to sell. >> in a little less than six weeks' time, we sold 50,000 tickets. >> they were expecting thousands and thousands of people. how exactly are they going to do this, to blow up the biggest building in south dakota?
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is anybody going to get hurt? >> authorities set up a wide perimeter. because there is so much land around the building, the plan is to tip the zip over like a tree rather than implode it straight down. that way, fewer explosives are required, according to demolition site manager, eric schuller. >> it was a very solid structure. to install enough explosives would have been a pretty big feat. to tip it over, it was a lot easier method. the explosive experts removed concrete in between the columns and then installed explosives in those columns. the plan was then to remove that support structure similar to falling a tree, creating a wedge for a tree to fall down to the east. >> on december 6th, 2005, with tens of thousands watching in person and on tv, the zip's time has come. >> 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 -- >> whoa.
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>> the zip dips but it doesn't tip. >> instead of going over like i knew it was supposed to, it fell into this hole. a story and a half was blown out of it and there was really only one metal pipe that broke off. otherwise, the entire structure stood. had the contractor said, what's going on? we said, we don't know. we're not sure why it didn't go down. it may still fall. so we've got to be real careful. >> so why did the building tip but not topple? when the blast knocks out the lower floor, the remaining floors rush down and crush a foundation softened by years of standing water. once in the hole, the zip just sticks. >> this has been great because it says, i'm not going down without a fight. >> there was a 15-foot deep basement under the structure that was actually blasted into
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quartzite. quartzite is like granite, very solid. it came down and sat in that footprint. >> people were still just kind of dumbfounded by the whole situation. i don't really think they knew what to do or how to react as opposed to just laugh at it. well, we'll see what they do now. can they blow it up again? can they bring any more dynamite? can they bring in more explosives in how long is it going to stay like this? will it be the leaning tower of sioux falls? no one knew. >> things did not go quite according to plan. >> the explosion shortened approximately 40 feet in mere seconds. so the building went from 205 feet to roughtly 160 feet tall, so the wrecking ball could reach the rest of the building and bring the top of it down. >> it takes three weels to finish the job. during that time, the leaning tower of zip makes national news.
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and thousands more make donations to the ms foundation, totaling more than $150,000. >> i would say another 20, 30% came in after the fact because of the way this thing all turned out. >> if it had just fallen over, okay, it's over. it's what we expected. it was the blooper of it all. >> the initial demolition may have been a bust but that blooper led to something quite progressive. the zip's soft concrete is crushed, recycled, and laid into the foundation of the new building. >> it's not the tallest building in south dakota anymore, but it's still there. it's still part of south dakota. >> the zip may be down, but it's legend has only grown. and that's physical proof that the best laid schemes of men and men often go askew.

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