Piper Alpha disaster: Commons debate held

On July 6, 1988, 167 people died in the Piper Alpha disaster. Picture: PA
On July 6, 1988, 167 people died in the Piper Alpha disaster. Picture: PA
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MPs have marked the 25th anniversary of the Piper Alpha disaster in which 167 people died.

They said the North Sea oil rig tragedy served as a constant reminder of the potentially devastating consequences of health and safety mismanagement.

Peter Aldous, Conservative MP for Waveney, who called a backbench business debate, said it was an “opportunity to pause, reflect, and pay tribute to those who lost their lives and to those who took part in the rescue”.

He told the Commons: “We must also remember that the ­lessons learnt through Piper Alpha are as relevant today as they were in 1988.

“They are a vivid reminder of the consequences of failure to manage health and safety properly. Yes, lessons have been learnt, and there is a very ­different approach to attitudes prevailing today.

“But there is an ongoing ­challenge for all involved in the oil and gas sector to continue to strive for higher safety ­standards and, in the words of ­Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, ‘We should be asking ourselves what more should we be doing’.”

The tragedy happened on 6 July 1988 when explosions and a fireball ripped through the rig, largely destroying it.

A rededication ceremony and remembrance service was held at the Memorial Garden in Aberdeen’s Hazlehead Park last weekend.