After 20 years experience in fire and gas control and safety automation I had been exposed to the biggest platform disaster occurred to North Sea Piper Alpha Platform in July 1988. The disaster led to considerable work for the legislators and authorities having jurisdiction and the formation of many technical committees to study the causes of the tragic event which killed over 150 people. A public inquiry was opened on November 2nd, 1989 with 196 witnesses and many expert reports. Even if there is no official evidence nor admittance, one of the major causes of the explosion was certainly due to the unreliable gas detection system. Detectors were considered not to be well positioned or correctly installed. Maintenance could also have been a problem. The position of the accommodation modules above the gas treatment plant was also the cause of high casualties.

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