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Death and oil : the true story of the Piper Alpha disaster on the North Sea

by Matsen, Bradford.

Format: Print Book 2011
Availability: Available at 2 Libraries 2 of 2 copies
Available (2)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction TN871.215.M36 2011
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  TN871.215.M36 2011
Shaler North Hills Library Non-Fiction 363.1196 M
Location  Shaler North Hills Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  363.1196 M

The first full account of the most tragic oil rig disaster in history, the human story behind it, and the true nature of its legacy.
July 6, 1988, began as a normal day on Piper Alpha, the biggest offshore oil rig on the North Sea. But just after 10:00 p.m., a series of explosions rocked the platform, and the inferno continued to burn for weeks. Of the 226 men working on the platform, 162 died, along with two of their would-be rescuers. Brad Matsen talked to the survivors and their families; to the rescue teams, firefighters, and hospital workers; and to other witnesses. Now he brings together the full story of the human error and corporate malfeasance behind this tragedy.
Here is a comprehensive account of the catastrophe, from the origins of the fires on the rig to the investigation into the causes of its demise to the pain it continues to cause the survivors and the families of the dead. Written with a novelist's sense of pace and eye for detail, it is a riveting, gut-wrenching saga, made even more timely and important in light of recent disasters.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "On July 6, 1988, an explosion set the offshore oil rig Piper Alpha afire, ultimately taking 168 lives (out of 226 workers aboard). In the aftermath, it became apparent that the disaster was caused by a combination of human error and flaws in the rig's design . Even now, more than two decades removed, it's still an emotional and controversial episode, and Matsen tells it as though he were writing a novel about the incident, using dialogue, character, and action to tell the story. As the first explosions rock Piper Alpha, and some of the workers try to fight the fires, we read the scenes with a sense of dread not just because we already know what happens to the men, but because we care about them. Similarly, as a man is rescued from certain death in the ocean, we feel a rush of excitement. But the author doesn't let his literary approach to the story keep him from dispensing the cold, hard facts of the case, including details about design flaws that could, if rectified, have saved lives. A strong, moving account of a tragic incident.--Pitt, David Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "With the same meticulous research employed in books on sea explorer Jacques Cousteau and the mysteries of the oceans, Matsen (Jacques Cousteau: The Sea King) takes on the devastating 1988 Piper Alpha oil rig tragedy. His two-year investigation casts a wide net, pulling in accounts from company bosses, rig foremen and workers, first responders, medical staff, and government officials in putting together a comprehensive view of the fatal fire and explosion abroad the rig, which killed 162 men in the North Sea. Matsen notes the Piper Alpha complex was not only a drilling and production platform but a junction station for moving gas to other platforms. When he details the unfortunate history of fires, explosions, even collapses, of rigs, the Piper Alpha disaster is put into context, making rig work one of the most hazardous jobs on the planet. In the end, Matsen's remarkable book is a stunning tribute to the survivors and their families, who banded valiantly together against the corporate giant, Occidental Petroleum, which absolved itself of all blame in the costly event. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Offshore oil well drilling -- Accidents -- North Sea -- History -- 20th century.
Oil well drilling rigs -- North Sea -- History -- 20th century.
Oil wells -- North Sea -- Blowouts -- History -- 20th century.
Explosions -- North Sea -- History -- 20th century.
Disasters -- North Sea -- History -- 20th century.
Disaster victims -- North Sea -- Biography.
Survival -- North Sea -- History -- 20th century.
North Sea -- History -- 20th century.
Aberdeen (Scotland) -- History -- 20th century.
Publisher New York :Pantheon Books,2011
Edition 1st ed.
Language English
Description x, 203 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (page [193]) and index.
ISBN 9780307378811 (hardcover)
0307378810 (hardcover)
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