Death and Oil by Brad Matsen
A True Story of the Piper Alpha Disaster on the North Sea

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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.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Brad Matsen

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BRAD MATSEN is the author of Jacques Cousteau: The Sea King, Titanic's Last Secrets: The Further Adventures of Shadow Divers John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, Descent: The Heroic Discovery of the Abyss, and many other books about the sea and its inhabitants. He was a creative producer for the television series The Shape of Life, and his articles on marine science and the environment have appeared in Mother Jones, Audubon, and Natural History, among other publications. He lives in Port Townsend, Washington.
Published October 18, 2011 by Pantheon. 224 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences, Nature & Wildlife, Professional & Technical, Science & Math, History. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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A detailed, up-close account of a 1988 oil-rig explosion in the North Sea off the coast pf Scotland coast that killed more than 150 men.

Oct 04 2011 | Read Full Review of Death and Oil: A True Story o...

Publishers Weekly

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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.

Aug 22 2011 | Read Full Review of Death and Oil: A True Story o...

City Book Review

Brad Matsen brilliantly reminds us how steep by the dramatic telling of Death & Oil, the true story of the Piper Alpha Disaster on the North Sea.

Feb 09 2012 | Read Full Review of Death and Oil: A True Story o...

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