March, 1980

This is a repeating event

198027MarAll DayAlexander Kielland Capsize 1980Alexander L Kielland, Ekofisk Field, Norwegian North Sea (NO)Industry:OffshoreCountry:NorwayLanguage:ENLoC:Natural event Origin: PSA Norway Incident:CapsizeHazards:Mechanical/Kinetic/PotentialContributory Factors:Natural EventImpact:HUMAN (On Site Fatalities)Effects:> 100 Fatalities


The Alexander L Kielland was a semi-submersible platform accommodating the workers of the bridge-linked Edda oil rig in the Ekofisk field, approximately 235 miles east of Dundee, Scotland, in the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The Phillips Petroleum-operated platform capsized in March 1980, killing 123 people.

Only 89 out of 212 workers survived the accident and most died by drowning as the platform turned upside-down in deep waters. The platform capsized after the failure of one of the bracings attached to one leg of the five-legged platform structure after strong winds created waves of up to 12 m high on the day of the accident.


Image Credit: Norwegian Petroleum Museum


PSA NorwayPetroleum Safety Authority Norway