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Critical Situation (also known as Situation Critical in the UK) was an American documentary television series. Produced in conjunction with the National Geographic Channel, the series examined various disasters or violent incidents. It replaced Seconds From Disaster, a similar program with a more forensic approach.[citation needed] The main tagline of the show reads, "This is Situation Critical," or some variation thereof. As of November 2007, 13 episodes have been aired.

Critical Situation
Also known as'Situation Critical'
GenreDocumentary, Disaster, Survival
Narrated byN/A
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13
Running time45 minutes
Production company(s)Darlow Smithson Productions, National Geographic Society
DistributorNational Geographic Channel
Original networkNational Geographic Channel
Original releaseDecember 6, 2007 (2007-12-06) –
March 18, 2008 (2008-03-18)
Preceded bySeconds From Disaster
External links


Ep# Episode title Situation Date of situation Nature of situation
1 North Hollywood Shootout North Hollywood shootout February 28, 1997 Bank robbery, gunfight
When two policemen noticed two criminals robbing a branch of the Bank of America in North Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, they called the local police department for support. A gun battle lasting almost 45 minutes ensued; one criminal committed suicide, the other was killed by the S.W.A.T. team.
2 Taliban Uprising Battle of Qala-i-Jangi November 25 – December 1, 2001 Prison revolt
Hundreds of inmates tried to shoot their way out of a makeshift prison for Taliban fighters in Afghanistan with television reporters trapped in the crossfire.
3 Operation Certain Death Operation Barras August 25 – September 10, 2000 Hostage crisis
Twelve soldiers carrying out a patrol through a jungle in Sierra Leone were taken hostage by a group of rebels. They were eventually rescued.
4 Apollo 13 Apollo 13 April 11–April 17, 1970 Oxygen tank explosion, emergency landing
An explosion aboard Apollo 13 in space resulted in the lunar mission being aborted and a subsequent emergency landing.
5 Downed Pilot Mrkonjić Grad incident June 2, 1995 Shootdown, manhunt and rescue
The Serbian and United States military forces hunt for Scott O'Grady after he is shot down while flying over Bosnia and Herzegovina in a F-16 Fighting Falcon.
6 Hell on High Water 1998 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race December 26, 1998 Thunderstorm
A severe storm disrupts the 1998 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race and destroys several yachts.
7 Killing Pablo Capture of Pablo Escobar December 2, 1993 Manhunt, criminal capture
Wanted drug lord Pablo Escobar is shot and killed while trying to evade capture.
8 Moscow Siege Moscow theatre hostage crisis October 23–26, 2002 Hostage crisis
40 armed members of the Special Purpose Islamic Regiment took 850 theatre goers hostage at the Dubrovka Theatre in Moscow, culminating in a rescue operation that resulted in the deaths of the terrorists, but also of many of the hostages due to the gaseous substance used during the counterattack to subdue the terrorists.
9 Assault On Entebbe Air France Flight 139 June 27 – July 4, 1976 Aircraft hijacking, hostage rescue
Air France Flight 139, originating from Tel Aviv, takes off from Athens. Minutes later, it is hijacked by two Palestinians from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – External Operations (PFLP-EO) and two Germans from the German "Revolutionary Cells". The hostages were eventually rescued from the old terminal of Entebbe International Airport in Uganda by Israel Defense Forces special forces troops.
10 Running Out of Air AS-28 training accident August 4–7, 2005 Submarine entanglement, undersea rescue
Priz AS-28, a miniature submarine of the Russian Navy, becomes entangled in sunken fishing nets and the cables of a hydrophone array at a depth of 190 m in Berezovaya Bay off the coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula. 2 days later, the submarine was successfully freed with no loss of life, thanks to the aid of a British remotely operated vehicle.
11 Al Qaeda Ambush Battle of Takur Ghar March 3, 2002 Meeting engagement
Members of United States Navy SEALs are ambushed by Al-Qaeda forces. During the initial ambush and subsequent battle, three Chinook helicopters were lost before the SEALs and reinforcements consisting of units of the 75th Ranger Regiment brought the engagement to a conclusion.
12 Coal Mine Disaster Quecreek mine rescue July 24–28, 2002 Mine shaft flooding
At the Quecreek Mine in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, coal miners accidentally dug into the poorly documented Saxman Mine, causing 500 million tonnes of underground water to flood the Quecreek mine. All nine miners trapped by the water were eventually rescued.
13 Nightmare on Mt. Hood 2002 climbing accident May 30, 2002 Climbing accident, fall into crevasse, helicopter crash
Seven climbers trying to scale the slopes of Mount Hood fall into a crevasse resulting in the deaths of three climbers. Then the rescue operation goes wrong, causing the crash of a rescue helicopter.

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