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Document 3:6 (2020–2021) / Published Investigation of the authorities’ work on the Alexander L. Kielland accident

Alexander L. Kielland was a semi-submersible drilling platform used as a flotel on the Ekofisk field in the North Sea. On 27 March 1980, the platform lost one of its five legs in rough sea and the platform capsized within 20 minutes. The final death toll was 123 fatalities and 89 survivors. The accident is considered the worst in Norwegian industrial history.

In June 2019, the Storting requested the Office of the Auditor General to investigate how the authorities have fulfilled their responsibilities in connection with the accident involving the Alexander L. Kielland platform, when it comes to:

  • investigation and clarification of the causes of the Alexander L. Kielland accident and whether the inquiry has adequately examined the issue of liability surrounding the accident.
  • follow-up of recommendations from the investigation work, including the implementation of measures to prevent new accidents.
  • follow-up of the survivors and the surviving relatives.

Our conclusions

  • There is no basis for conducting a new inquiry into the Alexander K. Kielland accident.
  • The authorities did a thorough job of clarifying the causes of the accident but some weaknesses may have contributed to undermining trust in the inquiry.
  • The issue of liability surrounding the accident was never fully examined.
  • The authorities have followed up the recommendations from the inquiry.
  • The surviving relatives did not receive follow-up and the follow-up of the survivors was inadequate.
Kategorier: Public administration Labour