Here Are Seven Of The Worst Oil Rig Accidents That Have Ever Occurred

Did you know that there were over 1,500 deaths on oil rigs in the United States between 2008 and 2017? When the number of fatalities is as high as it is, it is difficult to imagine the number of non-fatal injuries that are inflicted on workers both onshore and offshore in the oil drilling industry. Drilling for oil is an extremely dangerous endeavor.

We frequently only hear about the number of people who lost their lives, without giving much regard to the numerous men and women who were injured severely enough to permanently affect their lives.

A number of these fatalities and injuries have been caused by situations that involved a significant number of people. In this article, we are going to take a look at seven of the most catastrophic oil rig accidents.

What caused them to occur? How many people were murdered and injured in the incident? How did those who survived or the relatives of those who were lost fare? Continue reading to find out.

1. The Piper Alpha 2.

The accident that occurred on the oil rig Piper Alpha in the North Sea is still the biggest oil rig disaster that has ever occurred. On July 6, 1988, the terrible incident was responsible for the deaths of 167 people.

An error in communication that occurred between shift changes led to a gas leak, which in turn led to many explosions on the platform. Only 61 of the original 226 workers made it out alive. It took nearly three weeks to bring under control the fire that was started as a result of this catastrophe.

Piper Alpha is not only considered to be the worst oil spill in history but it is also considered to be one of the costliest man-made calamities ever recorded, with a total insured loss of approximately $1.4 billion. The families of those who were killed in the oil rig explosion were compensated with approximately $200 million of this total amount.

2. Alexander L. Kielland

Again located in the North Sea, the Alexander L. Kielland platform was a semi-submersible structure. On the 27th of March, 1980, severe winds caused waves that were as high as 12 meters. These winds buffeted the legs of the structure and eventually caused a bracing that was linked to one of the legs to fail because of the pressure it was under.

Because of this, a series of structural failures occurred, which led to the platform tilting to the side by 300 degrees and subsequently sinking. Only 89 of the 212 workers who were on board made it out alive. The majority of those who passed away were victims of drowning.

Following the tragic event, investigations were launched. These studies led to the discovery of a crack on one of the leg bracings that had been present for some time but had gone unnoticed.

These investigations were not open to the public, and there are still families of those who were lost who are searching for answers as to why the situation was not dealt with more immediately.

3. The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

With only 11 people losing their lives, the death toll from the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe is quite modest when compared to past oil rig disasters. Nevertheless, this occurrence was just as terrible. The explosion was responsible for the largest oil leak in US history since it resulted in the discharge of 4 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

On April 20, 2010, a burst of natural gas through the well’s core caused the initial explosion, which injured many of the 126 workers who were aboard the Deepwater Horizon. A natural gas burst was what caused the explosion.

The disaster continued for close to three months, and it is believed that it cost BP $65 billion. At least fifty cases of wrongful death or personal injury were brought against BP by the families of the victims who were killed or injured.

4. The Bohai 2

In November of 1979, the jack-up rig known as the Bohai 2 sank in the Bohai Gulf, which is located off the coast of China. Sadly, as a result of this disaster, 72 of the 76 personnel that were onboard lost their lives.

A storm with winds of force 10 occurred when the rig was being towed between China and Korea, which resulted in waves that crashed over the main deck. The deck sustained substantial damage as a result of the wave onslaught, which led to the flooding of the rig. The rig tipped over as a result of this as well as the persistent storm.

The bulk of the crew members did not survive because they did not receive adequate training on how to use the lifesaving devices.

5. The Mumbai High-North District

On July 27, 2005, the Mumbai High North platform was involved in an accident with a support vessel, which resulted in a fire that claimed the lives of 22 people. The remarkable chain of events began when a cook on the support vessel accidentally severed the tips of two of his fingers with a pair of kitchen shears.

As a result of an inland monsoon, helicopters were unable to take off or land, so an injured cook had to be carried to a medical facility using a crane lift. The platform and the support vessel collided as a result of the collision, which led to the outbreak of the fire. The powerful waves that were present in the ocean caused the collision.

In addition to the senseless loss of life, there was a huge oil spill and gas leakage, both of which resulted in a significant loss of output in the area.

6. DS Seacrest.

Typhoon Gay caused enormous waves that were 40 feet high, sinking the DS Seacrest. Around the Gulf of Thailand, the severe hurricane was responsible for 800 deaths, and more than 10% of the deaths were people who were onboard DS Seacrest.

The rescuers were only able to save six of the ship’s 97 crew members. It wasn’t until the following day that the vessel was found after it was reported missing on November 4th, 1989. According to the reports, the vessel went missing in 1989.

Four of the shipwreck survivors took the ship’s owners, Unocal, to court. They almost certainly sought the assistance of a marine injury attorney, but unfortunately for the plaintiffs, the court ruled that their claim could not be upheld because the ship in question was in satisfactory condition and was operating within the parameters of its design.

7. Ocean Ranger (Nautical)

The mobile offshore drilling rig known as the Ocean Ranger was doing its duties in Canadian waters at the time of its tragic sinking, which resulted in the loss of all 84 lives of the crew members that were on board.

When a storm with waves that reached up to 65 feet in height slammed the semi-submersible platform, it was drilling a well on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. A portside window was shattered as a result of one of these waves, which led to water damage in the ballast control room.

As a result of the damage, the ballast control system was unable to function properly, which led to the rig not having the necessary balance. Because of this, even more water began to flood the rig, and by the time dawn rolled around, the entire platform was submerged in water.

The lawsuits filed by relatives of the victims brought in a total of twenty million dollars.

Disasters That Occur on Oil Rigs Are Frequently Catastrophic

The wages of offshore employees are typically very high, and it is not difficult to comprehend why this is the case. There are many dangers involved in pursuing a profession in the oil and gas drilling industry, and when things go wrong, oil rig tragedies may bring suffering to the lives of dozens or even hundreds of families.