Bantry Bay Ship Explosion and Fire 1979 (English) BP Animation - Single Viewer

BP animation Bantry Bay

Author(s): BP

Publisher: IChemE

Released Date: 31/03/2009


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The Bantry Bay ship explosion, also known as the Betelgeuse or Whiddy Island disaster, occurred on 8 January 1979, when the oil tanker Betelgeuse exploded in West Cork, Ireland, at the offshore jetty of the Whiddy Island Oil Terminal. The explosion and resulting fire claimed the lives of 50 people and a further fatality occurred during the salvage operation with the loss of a diver.

This animation is an excellent tool for a meeting or a training session on one of the following themes (examples only, there are probably more):

  • Safe operations
  • Jetty fire protection
  • Loading/unloading operations
  • Major accident potential
  • Management of change
  • Layers of protection concept
  • Hazard Identification


This animation complements the following BP Process Safety series book also available to purchase from IChemE: Safe tank farms and (un)loading operations


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IChemE is a registered charity in England & Wales (214379), and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 039661).