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Survivors and survivors of the Kielland accident struggle with a poor quality of life

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Picture of the housing platform Alexander Kielland the day after it lost one of its legs and capsized in the North Sea on 27 March 1980. The picture shows the four remaining legs of the overturned platform sticking out of the water. Photo: Erik Thorberg NTB / NTB

Of NTB | 05.05.2024 18:34:51

Crime and justice: Those who survived, and the families of those who died in the dramatic accident 44 years ago, have only to a small extent received the follow-up they deserved. The National Audit Office established that in 2021.

In a study that the National Center for Violence and Traumatic Stress (NKVTS) has carried out together with the Kielland network, it is established that proper follow-up would have had a significant effect.

– It is absolutely incredible that no one has received help from society, either with therapy or finances. And if someone thinks that the state has provided compensation, then that is not correct. Only the individual family’s insurance policies and trade union membership provided any support soon after, says leader Anders Helliksen in the network.

As a 20-year-old, Helliksen was himself on board the Alexander Kielland platform when the accident happened.

In the new report from NKVTS, a total of 170 people were interviewed. There are survivors, widows, children of survivors and the dead, and other relatives. Some relate to the accident as a bad memory, but are not particularly affected by it. Others, on the other hand, are strongly affected and describe that it still has a major impact on their lives.

– The results of this survey show that those affected by the Kielland accident struggle with a disproportionate amount of health problems and a lower quality of life, compared to the general population. Particularly among the survivors, there are many who have had a difficult time and are still struggling, the researchers write in their conclusion.

– In such a situation, it could have been particularly important to have someone who ensured safety, predictability and facilitation in everyday life, write the researchers.

The network established after the accident has never received any form of public support. In 2021, the Storting regretted the absence of help and support for those affected by the accident.

The housing platform Alexander Kielland capsized on Thursday 27 March 1980 on the Ekofisk field in the North Sea when one of the five platform legs broke off in high seas. Of the 212 on board, 123 men died. 30 of them were never found.

In the conclusion, the researchers also write that especially many of the children of those who lost their lives in the accident had to deal with the loss of their father at the same time that the mother was severely affected by grief and shock.

(© NTB)

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