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Most gruesome death imaginable saw five divers killed during Byford Dolphin accident

Most gruesome death imaginable saw five divers killed during Byford Dolphin accident

The horrific incident happened back in the 1980s

Out of all the possible ways to exit this world, five divers suffered some of the most gruesome deaths imaginable following a terrifying accident in 1983.

From bizarre torture methods such as scaphism to a Japanese man's horrific death following an accident at a nuclear power plant, there really are some terrible ways to go.

But the Byford Dolphin Accident is enough to send shivers down your spine.

A group of people were working as 'saturation divers' near the Byford Dolphin oil rig in the North Sea, which involves divers working around 1,000 below the surface to carry out construction and maintenance work on structures such as oil rigs.

Due to working at such extreme depths, the divers need to breathe pressurised air that dissolves nitrogen in their blood.

Diving at depth creates hazards when resurfacing, as coming up too quickly can cause the nitrogen to form bubbles in the body, a condition commonly called 'the bends'.

The group had been living in a pressurised facility during their time. This included living quarters and an area called 'the diving bell'.

The diving bell was separate from the other units and sealed off.

The catalyst for the incident, saw the diving bell released too soon before the doors were fully closed.

A diagram of the Byford Dolphin Accident.
Wikimedia Commons

This meant that the area in which the crew lived went from nine atmospheres down to one - the normal surface air pressure - instantly.

It usually takes days for divers to safely resurface at the kind of depth the Byford Dolphin crew were working at.

William Crammond, a 'tender' who was assisting the divers, was hit by the dive bell as it flew away and killed.

Things were much worse for the four divers: Edwin Coward, Roy Lucas, Bjørn Bergersen, and Truls Hellevik.

The rapid depressurisation made the nitrogen in three of the divers' blood turned into bubbles, effectively boiling them from the inside.

Byford Dolphin.
Wikimedia Commons/Josef Pavlik

But that's not it. One of the divers somehow suffered even worse, as the pressure from the decompression forced his body through a 60cm hole.

This resulted in his body being 'fragmented', with the internal organs in his chest and abdomen being expelled by the pressure and strewn around the pod, with some parts of him being found ten metres away.

Martin Saunders, another tender, was the sole survivor but was left in critical condition following the horrific incident. His injuries required multiple surgeries and a lengthy rehabilitation.

The Byford Dolphin was the scene of another incident in 2002, when a 44-year-old Norwegian worker on the rig was struck on the head and killed in an industrial accident.

In 2016, the Byford Dolphin rig was put to rest.

Featured Image Credit: Wikipedia commons

Topics: World News