Explosion in the North Sea Piper Alpha Disaster

Piper Alpha was an oil platform located in the North Sea approximately 120 miles (190 km) north-east of Aberdeen, Scotland. It was operated by Occidental Petroleum (Caledonia) Limited[1] and began production in 1976,[2] initially as an oil-only platform but later converted to add gas production.


Piper Alpha exploded and sank on 6 July 1988, killing 165 of the men on board, thirty of whose bodies were never recovered.[3] A further two rescue workers after their rescue vessel, which had been trapped in debris and immobilised, was destroyed by the disintegrating rig.[4] Sixty-one workers escaped and survived. The total insured loss was about £1.7 billion, making it one of the costliest man-made catastrophes ever. At the time of the disaster, the platform accounted for approximately 10% of North Sea oil and gas production. The accident is the world’s worst offshore oil disaster in terms of lives lost and industry impact.[5]


In Aberdeen, the Kirk of St Nicholas on Union Street has dedicated a chapel in memory of those who died, containing a Book of Remembrance listing them. There is a memorial sculpture in the Rose Garden of Hazlehead Park.

– Wikipedia