Piper Alpha: 25th Anniversary of Disaster Remembered by MUA

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[Picture:SUA members donate to the Piper Alpha Disaster Fund in 1988.]

Though it has been 25 years since 167 people lost their lives in the Piper Alpha disaster, the Maritime Union of Australia, and maritime workers around the globe, will never forget the horror that engulfed the North Sea platform off Aberdeen, Scotland.

On July 6, 1988 a gas leak ignited into a fire ball. Subsequent investigations of the explosion and fire determined that the fire would have burnt out had corporate decision-makers not chosen profit over people, ordering operations to continue from both the Tartan and the Claymore platforms, resulting in back pressure forcing fresh fuel out of ruptured pipework on Piper, directly into the heart of the fire.

MUA Deputy National Secretary, Mick Doleman, said the Piper Alpha disaster was a turning point. "Piper Alpha's taught the industry a lot of things," he said. "Sadly it took the lives of 167 men for it to learn some of the lessons." 

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MUA Deputy National Secretary, Mick Doleman, said the anniversary of the disaster is a time to honour all those who lost their lives on the oil and gas platform. "After the disaster, in 1988, members from the Seamen’s Union of Australia (SUA) quickly established a disaster fund for the bereaved families. All these years later, we will never forget the 167 who lost their lives. The MUA’s thoughts remain with their families and loved ones, the survivors and all those involved on that tragic night," Doleman said.

In terms of death and injury, nothing offshore has ever come close to what happened at Piper Alpha. In total, only 61 men survived the disaster.

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Click here to read about the SUA member's donation to the Piper Alpha Disaster Fund.