Friday, January 12, 2007
1988: Piper Alpha oil rig ablaze
A fire on a North Sea oil rig is feared to have claimed the lives of most of those on board.
The fire is believed to have started after explosions at about 2230 BST (2130 GMT) on the Piper Alpha drilling platform, 120 miles (193km) off the north-east coast of Scotland.
Helicopters and boats were immediately sent out to rescue the oil workers in an operation co-ordinated by the Aberdeen coastguard.
Pilots reported seeing an "inferno" up to 350ft (107m) high and a platform wrenched apart.
It is thought approximately 225 men were working on the rig owned by Occidental Oil.
A total of 167 people died in the Piper Alpha fire making it the world's worst offshore oil disaster.