Belfast Telegraph

167 men killed in North Sea oil rig disaster remembered

By Lucy Christie

The names of 167 men who lost their lives in the Piper Alpha disaster 30 years ago will be read aloud at a memorial service this week.

July 6 marks three decades since explosions ripped apart the oil installation off Aberdeen in the world's worst offshore industry catastrophe.

Families and friends of those who died will join industry representatives for an Act of Remembrance on Friday in the Piper Alpha Memorial Garden at Hazlehead Park, Aberdeen.

The vast human tragedy of that day sent shockwaves around the world and forced the industry to take a painstaking look at its practices.

On that night, there were more than 220 men on board Piper Alpha.

Shortly before 10pm there was a gas leak on the North Sea platform.

A series of explosions followed and, minutes later, it was engulfed in a fireball.

By the time the rescue helicopters arrived flames were reaching 300ft and could be seen from 70 miles away. The smoke and fire made evacuation by helicopter or lifeboat impossible

There were only 62 survivors in what remains the world's worst offshore disaster.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph