Fire in the Night
The fire was visible from seventy miles away and the heat generated was so intense that a helicopter could only circle the rig at a perimeter of one mile. On the surface of the sea, a converted fishing trawler inched as close as possible, but the paint on the vessel’s hull blistered and burnt. In the water surrounding the inferno, men’s heads could be seen bobbing like apples as their yellow hard hats melted with the heat.
On 6 July 1988 a series of explosions ripped through the Piper Alpha oil platform, 110 miles north-east of Aberdeen in the North Sea. Ablaze with 226 men on board, the searing temperatures caused the platform to collapse in just two hours. Only sixty-one would survive by leaping over 100 feet into the water below.
Newly updated for the thirtieth year since the tragedy, Fire in the Night by journalist Stephen McGinty tells in gripping detail the devastating story of that summer evening. Combining interviews with survivors, witness statements and transcripts from the official inquiry into the disaster, this is the moving and vivid tale of what remains the worst offshore oil-rig disaster to date.
Fire in the Night is rare and riveting, among the classics of Scottish reporting.
Genuinely gripping reading...[McGinty] has an eye for the illuminating detail, both human and technical
The stories of how survivors escaped from 'the inferno' of the rig are truly heart-stopping
The Herald (Glasgow)