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04/07/13 18:55

New learning resource to remember Piper Alpha disaster

Education Scotland create online community for teachers to mark 25th anniversary.

An online community to support teachers in educating pupils on the Piper Alpha has been launched to mark the disaster’s 25th anniversary, First Minister Alex Salmond confirmed today.

Education Scotland has created a collaborative community on their Glow intranet, designed specifically for teachers. The online community provides a digital space for teachers to explore ideas and share approaches about learning and teaching in the context of the world’s worst offshore platform disaster.

The Glow online community, which goes live today, complements existing resources on the website about the Piper Alpha disaster. The site includes links to interviews with survivors, news items, and will include footage from the documentary ‘Fire in the Night’ which recently premiered at the Edinburgh Film Festival (note: footage will go live after BBC2 broadcast documentary on Tuesday).

The new Piper Alpha learning community is part of the Scottish Government’s work to mark the 25th anniversary of the disaster, which includes a £100,000 donation to the Pound for Piper Memorial Trust to help maintain a memorial garden to the victims of the 1988 disaster.

On Saturday the First Minister will attend the rededication of the Piper Alpha Memorial Gardens at Hazelhead Park, Aberdeen.

Mr Salmond said:

“Piper Alpha remains the world’s worst offshore platform disaster, taking the lives of 167 people. No Scot who is old enough will ever forget hearing the news and seeing the horrifying images from that night in July 1988.

“Almost twenty-five years on, our first obligation to the men who died in the Piper Alpha tragedy remains ensuring a disaster like this is never allowed to happen again.

“Safety in the oil and gas industry has improved massively since the recommendations made in the Cullen report, but we owe it to the memory of those who were lost to continue to make safety absolutely the first priority for workers offshore.

"The 25th anniversary has rightly had a substantial emphasis in making sure that the new generation of offshore workers understand the importance of Piper Alpha in creating the current offshore safety regime. However, given that the oil industry will be with us for the next half century and more, we also have a responsibility to ensure that new generations of Scots understand the significance of the world's worst offshore disaster. This new resource for schools will help ensure that this can happen.

“Glow provides a starting point for teachers to educate pupils on the Piper Alpha disaster. The site includes a range of learning resources, including footage from documentary ‘Fire in the Night’, links to interviews with survivors, and news items.

“The new online community feature provides a digital space for teachers to explore ideas and to share approaches to learning and teaching in the context of the disaster.

“It is important that we remember what happened that evening and that is especially true in the north-east of Scotland.

“On Saturday I will pay my respects to the victims at the permanent memorial, here in Aberdeen at Hazlehead Park.

“Families, the oil and gas industry and the local community have undertaken a huge amount of work to restore the garden and the Scottish Government’s donation of £100,000 will be used to help maintain the garden as a permanent tribute to the victims of the world’s worst offshore disaster.”