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1030pm: A second RAF Sea King from Lossiemouth is airborne.1130pm: The Nimrod arrives over Piper Alpha and reports that the platform is “totally on fire from sea level to the top” (310ft). explosion dday between the fiist explo- which blew apart the sionat 9.31pm Pioer Alpha oil produo- and the first ca Q.ftefaelp from nper A 4 J *: a supply vessel at 9 J8pm- . That was the last we saw of them.” The first of the explosions occurred shortly after 9.30 pm, when at least half of the 232, mainly British, crew on board were resting in the rig’s multi-storey accom¬ modation block, which was demolished in the explosion. All men dived into the sea 50 n below or scrambled down Continued on page 20, col 2 •;k By Staff Reporters A survivor tolc yesterday hew made for thau ^ c last nad^to he leapt 70 feel without know ins what was beneath him after facing a choice of "stay and set wasted or jump and chance it in the water”. Cleveland, who was in the water for several hours before being rescued, said he had looked for an escape route through all four doors of the area he was in, but that each had become en¬ gulfed by flames. , “The cabin slid forward and a hole appeared so we just jump, we couldn't see whether there was water below us or •not It must have been 60 or 70 feet. ms an lere tion hart Stic its rails ma- ihe and non lyle, will ages ob- tion rrful will orth PUS -4 HOME NEWS THE TIMES FRIDAY JULY 8 1988 North Sea disaster survivor: ‘There was only one thing to do. have tng- services were baffled by the cp Ttvi the .. Parliament „ 6 -C* module wmen re¬ sulted in the two huge blasts and subsequent fires which, yesterday, left only a quarter of the platform still standing above water. Gas rapped from the ml wells is compressed in tnej l module before enherb Mg sent ashore or into the oil Making rigs safer— I dlin g article-~——~ Graphic- _2 ...3 .10 .12 .13 .20 the Tharos, said: "It was horrifying and sickening We saw 10 men waving from the helipad but there was nothing we could do to help them before there was another huge explosion. s£i fc “ sarsjsssfftss stui succession of smaller ones. Mr Bill Elder, a rigger from Kirkcaldy, Fife, who was on missing last mgni men who went to ^rescue of oilmen trapped on the blazing rig on Wednesday. All of a sudden the floor opened up — the deck just collapsed.” he said. Guarantee j ________j he "S li- ill ray n- or at et sh lie tr- of i n to mh de¬ ling pre- Lhe hit- an the ave eet- the s in heir of oli- css- be the ling ate- the ?1039pm: RAF Nimrod based at Kinloss, Grampian, is scrambled to provide overhead surveillance and coordinate helicopters.
One Sea King picks up an Aberdeen medical team and flies to foe Tharos.
Trinity Bar results and Oxford class lists appear today —• ya £ e •* INDEX Home News. Bar results-——-T'TZZ 15 Orths, mamage^dartfts^ Business to b usiness.—■ 30t ^ Church Chy Diary— Court Crosswords Diary. In all there were 12 helicopters, a Nimrod search and rescue maritime patrol aircraft, six warships, a Royal Navy fishery protection vessel and an assortment of oil rig and coastguard vessels and commercial helicopters.
Entertainment—*— Features— Information Law Report Lawfing articles Lette rs.— A Saleroom.-- Science Report-—— TV ft R adio——; —— University Weather.. The EEC have told Lord Young of Graffham that the Rover debt wnte-off should be reduced by £200m, but BAe are only prepared to uogpt-J £125m reouction-Page 21 Phonefreeze £ 2 m transfer r'n Oil C l Tottenham Hotspur pad i Rritich Telecom is to freeze most of its charges till August SWtfg KK be cheaper--— v. Sur¬ rey, was found guilty of conspiring to handle proceeds of the record 1983 robbery on a majority verdict at the Central Criminal Court and later was described by Judge Richard Lowry QC as a “rich parasite". The involvement of the warships from the Nato Standing Naval Force Atlantic was a unique aspect of the rescue operation.
call came through from Piper The Government ord- Alpha saying that there was a . It was just a matter of having to do something -It was stay and get toasted or jump and chance it in the water. There was another lad with me - I don’t know who he was but 1 know he was all right. The message was short “An explosion on the Piper Alpha".
* Nimrod command post rig's “C” module »h K* je- ^Tcominue today in thc M- mile exclusion zone unpos M. The Queen said in her mess¬ age of sympathy: “I was shocked to hear of the dreadful disaster which befell the Piper Alpha platfonn last night My heartfelt sympathy goes out to the injured and bereaved.