In 1988, a massive explosion ripped through the Piper Alpha oil rig. Within minutes, the entire oil rig was on fire, forcing workers to run or plunge into the North Sea. Witness the harrowing stories of some of the men trapped in this raging inferno.
The new engineer who must find a path to safety on a burning oil rig. The dive supervisor trying to shield 11 men from deadly fumes and flames. Two off-duty scaffolders who must brave a 17-story dive into the North Sea. These are just some of the harrowing stories of the 226 men caught in the 1988 explosion at Piper Alpha. Witness their tales and see how a series of split-second decisions and tragic twists of fate will determine who survives history's deadliest offshore accident.
Now, you can watch Smithsonian Channel's incredible documentaries and shows anytime you want by purchasing from any of these distributors:
Access even more free Smithsonian Channel full episodes and documentaries online through participating TV providers.
Find out if your television provider carries Smithsonian Channel.
Don't panic! It's simple to upgrade to the latest version of one of these browsers:
Don't panic! To get the best possible experience on smithsonianchannel.com we recommend you upgrade your operating system.
For the best possible site experience, please use Chrome for Android.
Add username "SmithsonianChan" on Snapchat for fun and fascinating facts. We'll be sharing spontaneous photos and videos as inspiration strikes.