Piper Alpha disaster remembered on 33rd anniversary

July 6 marks 33 years since 167 men died in the Piper Alpha disaster.

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The victims of the Piper Alpha disaster are being remembered on its anniversary.

July 6 marks 33 years since several explosions tore through the oil installation in what remains the world’s worst offshore industry catastrophe.

The disaster, which took place in the North Sea off Aberdeen in 1988, claimed the lives of 167 men.

Of the men aboard Piper Alpha on the morning of July 6, 1988, only 61 survived.

Thirty-three years on: Piper Alpha memorial in Aberdeen.STV News
Thirty-three years on: Piper Alpha memorial in Aberdeen.

It took place at around 9.20am after the use of a dangerously unsafe pump caused a high-pressure leak which quickly ignited.

A series of smaller blasts followed the initial explosion but Piper Alpha’s firefighting system failed to activate.

Then at 10.20pm, a gas line linked to Piper Alpha ruptured, causing a second large explosion.

It took three weeks to extinguish the blaze which consumed the platform.

A memorial garden and statue dedicated to all the lives lost that day is situated in Aberdeen’s Hazelhead Park.