Kielland: 30 Years to the day / News / The Foreigner

Kielland: 30 Years to the day. 30 years have passed since the Alexander L. Kielland oil platform disaster. A dark, sober monument on the shore of the Rogaland coastline in Norway reminds people of the tragedy that happened in the Ekofisk oilfield. On March 27, 1980 the deep waters of the North Sea swallowed most of the platform 235 miles east of Dundee. Serving as a hotel for the 212 men on board, the semi-submersible capsized after one of its main legs failed. But it didn’t sink immediately. The 15 minutes from when the first leg broke off, and when the sixth and final anchor cable in use snapped were crucial for the rig’s workers.

alexander, kielland, oil, rig, disaster, rogaland, stavanger, norway, ekofisk, museum



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Kielland: 30 Years to the day

Published on Saturday, 27th March, 2010 at 06:52 under the news category, by Ramona Tancau.
Last Updated on 31st October 2016 at 13:08.

30 years have passed since the Alexander L. Kielland oil platform disaster. A dark, sober monument on the shore of the Rogaland coastline in Norway reminds people of the tragedy that happened in the Ekofisk oilfield.

Monument to remember Kielland disaster
Monument to remember Kielland disaster
Photo: Robert Rozbora/123RF


On March 27, 1980 the deep waters of the North Sea swallowed most of the platform 235 miles east of Dundee. Serving as a hotel for the 212 men on board, the semi-submersible capsized after one of its main legs failed.

But it didn’t sink immediately. The 15 minutes from when the first leg broke off, and when the sixth and final anchor cable in use snapped were crucial for the rig’s workers.

The lack of proper staff training and safety equipment, combined with strong winds, big waves, and freezing waters, resulted in 123 deaths and 89 survivors. According to Stavanger Aftenblad, only 76 of the 212 had safety training.

Official investigations concluded the accident took place as a result of a previously undetected crack in the broken off leg.

The tragedy was a wakeup call for Norwegian authorities regarding work safety standards offshore.

Stricter, more rigorous internal controls regarding operators on the Norwegian continental shelf were introduced in the post-Kielland era, along with a permanent “standby vessel near installations in the Ekofisk oilfield so they could be reached in 20-25 minutes,” Aftenbladet writes in an article from 2000.

Many workers in the oil industry were born after 1980 and might take the safety measures resulting from the Kielland tragedy for granted.

At Tuesday’s debate meeting in the Oil Museum in Stavanger, Magne Ognedal, head of the Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority, said Kielland must not be forgotten so the same mistakes aren’t repeated, according to Aftenbladet.

He also believes there’s a real risk of forgetting about the tragic accident unless the story gets told periodically.

But there is one eternal, solitary reminder of Kielland. The monument, quietly looking towards the large sea as if listening to the cries of the victims it commemorates, watches over the 30 bodies that were never found.   



Published on Saturday, 27th March, 2010 at 06:52 under the news category, by Ramona Tancau.
Last updated on 31st October 2016 at 13:08.

This post has the following tags: alexander, kielland, oil, rig, disaster, rogaland, stavanger, norway, ekofisk, museum.





  
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