This Day in History: Explosion and Fire Destroy Piper Alpha Drilling Platform (1988)

Explosion and Fire Destroy Piper Alpha Drilling Platform (1988)

Piper Alpha was a North Sea oil production platform operated by Occidental Petroleum that sank into the sea after a series of explosions and a massive fire, killing 167 men. Only 59 of the workers survived. The initial blast is believed to have resulted from the activation of a pump that was missing a safety valve. A poorly planned evacuation process exacerbated the disaster. Why did nearby platforms continue to pump gas and oil to Piper Alpha after it was engulfed in flames? More… Discuss

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