Canceled “Everest Jump Live” special yields 90-minute doc on avalanche tragedy
Discovery Channel will broadcast a 90-minute documentary on May 4, about the Mount Everest avalanche that claimed 13 lives last Friday. The doc will be compiled from footage shot during the network’s aborted “Everest Jump Live” special.
Discovery said the documentary, titled “Everest Avalanche Tragedy,” will air Sunday, May 4 at 9 p.m. in 224 countries and focus on accounts of the avalanche that struck Mount Everest early on the morning of April 18. Thirteen people died in the disaster, which represents the greatest lost of life in a single day on the notoriously dangerous mountain.
Discovery Channel group president Eileen O’Neill told TheWrap on Tuesday that camera crews, which were on site preparing for the “Everest Jump Live” special with wingsuit daredevil Joby Ogwyn, aided with search and rescue efforts immediately following the avalanche. Crews then filmed the aftermath of the disaster, as delicately as possible.
“Immediately the response was to help in any recovery and assistance there, so expedition and production people pitched in wherever they thought it was appropriate,” O’Neill said. “Once the event was over and they had time to catch their breath, they did what they’re trained to do and have experience to do is to start some documenting, but with a large filter of sensitivity.”
The original special was to feature Ogwyn’s attempt at breaking the wingsuit flight record by jumping from the top of the world’s tallest mountain, and was slated to be broadcast live on May 11. Discovery scrapped its plans out of respect for those killed — including three individuals who remain missing — some of whom were part of the NBC News Peacock Productions expedition that was producing the special.