Piper Alpha: Victims remembered 25 years on

The Piper Alpha disaster killed 167 people. Picture: PA
The Piper Alpha disaster killed 167 people. Picture: PA
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THE 25th anniversary of the Piper Alpha disaster which claimed the lives of 167 oil workers was remembered in a poignant ceremony yesterday.

The North Sea platform was engulfed in a ball of flames ­after a gas leak ignited on 6 July, 1988.

More than 400 people attended the commemoration service in Aberdeen at which the names of all those who died were read out.

They were joined by survivors, politicians, senior figures from the UK oil and gas industry and representatives from the Pound for Piper Trust.

First Minister Alex Salmond and Scottish Secretary Michael Moore and took part in today’s event.

Mr Salmond said: “No Scot who is old enough will ever forget hearing the news and seeing the horrifying images from that night in July 1988.

“The remembrance and rededication service held today in Aberdeen was a deeply moving tribute to the 167 people who were lost that night in what remains the world’s worst offshore disaster.”

The service, at the North Sea Memorial in Aberdeen’s Hazlehead Park, began with the flypast of a Sea King search and rescue helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth. It was the first aircraft to arrive at the scene of the disaster.

The roll call of those who perished was read out by the Rev Gordon Craig, chaplain to the UK oil and gas industry. A lament played by a lone piper marked the start of a minute’s silence.

Shadow Scottish Secretary Margaret Curran said: “This is an important day of remembrance and reflection for all of Scotland.”