“20/20: In an Instant” Airs Saturday, July 23rd at 9:00pm ET on ABC Returning for its second season, “In an Instant” does more than just re-tell heart-pounding first-person accounts of the world’s most harrowing tales of survival; it brings them to life with breathtaking dramatizations of the moments before and after life was forever changed. The powerful series features the trials and triumphs from every angle, and includes gripping first person interviews with the people who lived to tell their stories - and those who were instrumental in helping rescue everyone they could. What key decisions did they make to save their lives? “20/20: IN AN INSTANT” airs on SATURDAY, JULY 23rd (9:00 – 11:00 pm ET) on the ABC TELEVISION NETWORK.
Episode 6: “Buried by Bonfire”
Texas A&M’s “Aggie Bonfire” was an annual spectacle, symbolizing the school’s “burning desire” to defeat its main college football rival, the University of Texas at Austin. On November 18 at 2:42 a.m., eight days before the big football game, students and volunteers were hard at work when the entire bonfire collapsed, killing 12 students and trapping 27 others.
John Comstock, the last victim pulled out of the bonfire, was painfully pinned down by fallen logs for over seven hours. Firefighter Darrin Allen helped Comstock hang on for life before a crane was able to eventually lift enough logs to free him. Though John ultimately lost a leg, he went on to triumph over his injury.
Bill Davis was the second to last student pulled out and while he was miraculously rescued, he had many broken bones. In a remarkable act of selflessness, student Tim Kerlee was heard saying, "help my buddies first," before being rushed to the hospital where he sadly passed away. The rescue would eventually involve the help of over a hundred volunteers and end with 16,000 mourners gathering within 17 hours of the tragedy.
Additionally, “In an Instant” season one’s episode “Flying Blind” will re-air this Saturday, July 23rd at 8:00pm, featuring the heroic family that survived a plane crash in the Alaskan wilderness.
“20/20: In an Instant” is executive produced by Maria Awes and Andy Awes for Committee Films in association with ABC’s Lincoln Square Productions. Rudy Bednar is Executive Producer on behalf of Lincoln Square Productions.