Discovery Channel to air Everest tragedy doc on May 4

The U.S. network will air the 90-minute documentary Everest Avalanche Tragedy in lieu of a planned live event that was to feature wingsuit jumper Joby Ogwyn (pictured).
April 25, 2014

U.S. net Discovery Channel is to air the 90-minute documentary Everest Avalanche Tragedy in lieu of the previously announced live special Everest Jump Live (pictured).

The live special was to feature wingsuit jumper Joby Ogwyn’s leaping off the summit of the world’s tallest mountain, but the network pulled the plug after an avalanche killed more than a dozen mountain guides – or Sherpas – on April 18.

Everest Avalanche Tragedy will air instead on May 4 at 9 p.m. EST/PST in the U.S. and around the world in 224 countries.

In a statement, the network promised the doc will feature eyewitness accounts, “real-time footage” of the tragedy and “unprecedented access” to the ensuing rescue effort, as well as interviews with Ogwyn and expedition leader Garrett Madison, among others.

An NBC News team was at the base camp preparing to produce the Discovery special when the avalanche struck.

“We were at Mount Everest to make history, but instead we were there as eyewitnesses to history,” said Eileen O’Neill, group president of Discovery, Science and Velocity Networks. “It is essential to tell this story and honor all the Sherpas who lost their lives.”

Discovery will also contribute to the American Himalayan Foundation Sherpa Family Fund, which is collecting donations for the families of the deceased.

Everest Avalanche Tragedy is produced by NBC News’ Peacock Productions for Discovery. Exec producers are Liz Fischer, Betsy Wagner, Gretchen Eisele, Colleen Halpin, Benjamin Ringe and Knute Walker. Howard Swartz, Denise Contis, Andrew Jackson and Julie Meisner Eagle are exec producing for Discovery.

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