All you Seattleites out there, count your blessings that you don’t live in Shondaland. Over 17 Grey’s Anatomy seasons so far, dozens of disasters have befallen the Emerald City, as you can see below.
This isn’t an exhaustive list of Shondaland Seattle disasters, of course, since we’re not including many of the Seattle 19 emergencies. And these are just the major calamities, not the smaller tragedies that claimed the lives of George (T.R. Knight), Derek (Patrick Dempsey), DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti), and other fan favorites.
Train derailment (Season 2)
In “Into You Like a Train,” a train derailment sends scores of injured passengers to Seattle Grace, including two people impaled on the same pole.
Hospital explosion (Season 2)
Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) helps a bomb squad extract unexploded ammunition from a patient’s sucking chest wound in “As We Know It,” but as the team members cart the bomb away, it detonates.
Restaurant shooting (Season 2)
A disgruntled restaurant employee opens fire at his workplace in “17 Seconds,” wounding many people, one fatally. But that isn’t the end of the story…
First hospital shooting (Season 2)
That same restaurant employee ends up shooting his manager—and Burke (Isaiah Washington)—in the Grey Sloan ambulance bay at the end of “17 Seconds.” Burke survives; the manager does not.
Ferry crash (Season 3)
A three-episode event during Season 3—starting with “Walk on Water”—has the Seattle Grace surgeons working triage after a container ship hits a ferry. During the crisis, Meredith gets knocked into the water and almost doesn’t resurface.
Ambulance crash (Season 4)
In the “Crash Into Me” two-parter, an ambulance driver suffers a seizure and crashes her rig into another one, sending the other ambulance cartwheeling and injuring patients and EMTs alike.
Hospital flood (Season 5)
“Here Comes the Flood,” indeed. A burst pipe inundates Seattle Grace with water, and the ceiling comes crashing down on Alex (Justin Chambers) and Erica (Brooke Smith) in the OR. (But in an ironic twist, the ceiling collapse ends up saving their patient’s life.)
Restaurant collapse (Season 6)
In “Valentine’s Day Massacre,” countless restaurant patrons and employees are injured when a roof caves in at a popular eatery.
Second hospital shooting (Season 6)
Gary Clark exacts revenge on the hospital he blames for killing his cancer-patient wife by returning to Seattle Grace Mercy West with a gun in “Sanctuary.” Among his victims are two doctors recently transplanted from Mercy West, Charles Percy (Robert Baker) and Reed Adamson (Nora Zehetner).
School shooting (Season 7)
Still traumatized from Gary Clark’s rampage, the SGMW surgeons have to swing into action when a student open fires on the campus of Pacific College in “Disarm.” Thanks to their heroics, the docs don’t lose a single patient that day.
Plane crash (Season 7)
The hospital braces for an influx of patients in Season 7’s finale, “Unaccompanied Minor,” after a jetliner goes down in Puget Sound. But the silence in the ER is deafening, and ultimately, only one survivor is found.
Second ambulance crash (Season 8)
In “Dark Was the Night,” Meredith and Alex are trapped with a newborn in an ambulance stalled on a dark, twisty road. After the driver goes to find help, a van crashes into their vehicle and, they later find, ejects its deceased passengers onto the road.
Sinkhole (Season 8)
Season 8’s premiere, “Free Falling,” opens on a husband and wife, characters we’ve never seen before. Only when they are swallowed by the earth do we realize they’re the patients of the week.
Second plane crash (Season 8)
Some of the hospital’s finest surgeons are aboard a Boise-bound flight that crashes in the woods in the Season 8 finale, “Flight,” and eventually, Lexie (Chyler Leigh) and Mark (Eric Dane) succumb to their injuries.
Gas tanker explosion (Season 9)
A gas tanker explodes on a busy Seattle highway in “Can’t Fight This Feeling,” and April’s boyfriend Matthew (Justin Bruening) is caught in the blast.
Superstorm (Season 9)
In the Season 9 finale, “Perfect Storm,” a superstorm hits Seattle, and a bus crashes right outside the hospital door. Meanwhile, in the basement, two docs are electrocuted: Richard (James Pickens Jr.) survives, but intern Heather Brooks (Tina Majorino) does not.
Mudslide (Season 10)
Picking up where the Season 9 finale left off, Season 10’s opener, “Seal Our Fate,” features a mudslide that impacts a group of first responders.
Mall explosion (Season 10)
On Cristina’s (Sandra Oh) last day at Grey Sloan Memorial, an explosion at a mall sends many patients to the hospital. As viewers see in that Season 10 finale, “Fear (of the Unknown),” the culprit isn’t a terrorist attack, as initially believed, but a gas line leak.
Earthquake (Season 11)
The Season 11 episode titled “I Feel the Earth Move” might as well have been a line of dialogue: A trembler interrupts Meredith’s surgery.
Third plane crash (Season 11)
Richard is driving through Seattle when a small plane careens down before his eyes in “One Flight Down.” Even worse, the aircraft crashes into a neonatal yoga class.
Tunnel collapse (Season 11)
Building collapse (Season 13)
Carpooling to the hospital in “You Haven’t Done Nothin’,” Meredith, Alex, and Maggie watch with mouths agape as a building collapses right in front of them.
Second hospital explosion (Season 13)
Stephanie (Jerrika Hinton) escapes an attempted rapist by setting him on fire in “True Colors,” but he collapses in a flaming heap next to oxygen tanks, and she’s nearly killed in the ensuing blast.
Roller coaster accident (Season 14)
In the 300th episode, “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story,” a roller coaster derails, injuring patients who bear a certain resemblance to some O.G. interns.
Windstorm (Season 15)
A windstorm in “Blowin’ in the Wind” causes many injuries around Seattle, and even Nico (Alex Landi) is battered by a gust. He and Schmitt (Jake Borelli) take cover in an ambulance and end up having sex, though, so it seems there’s a silver lining?
Bar crash (Season 16)
Many surgeons and firefighters are imperiled in “Let’s All Go to the Bar” when a car comes crashing through the front of Emerald City Bar.
COVID-19 (Season 17)
The surgeons aren’t immune to what will perhaps be the biggest public health crisis of our times. Koracick (Greg Germann) and Teddy (Kim Raver) both come down with COVID-19 during Season 17, while Meredith’s case nearly kills her.
Grey’s Anatomy, Season 18 Premiere, Thursday, September 30, 9/8c, ABC