Sunday, 21 December 2008

Pan Am 103

At just after 7pm twenty years ago today the transponder signal for the Pan American Airways Boeing 747 known as Clipper Maid of the Seas split into four separate readings and then disappeared off the screen altogether.

And so began two decades of legal wranglings over who was responsible. With so many political shenanigans it is hard to be sure even now that the correct man is actually held in Greenock prison and he is awaiting a second appeal since the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission has found that 'he may have suffered a miscarriage of justice'.

The only thing that is really known is that all 243 passengers and 16 crew were killed as an explosion ripped through the fuselage and destroyed the aircraft's structure, causing a wing, containing 91,000kg of fuel to fall through the air and land on Sherwood Crescent in Lockerbie obliterating two families and several houses as it exploded causing a seismic event that was recorded by the nearby British Geological Survey as measuring 1.6 on the Richter scale.

The wreckage of the rest of the aeroplane drifted in the wind and was distributed over a wide area, including the front cabin section whose image will remain in our minds forever. My thoughts today are with their families who may never know the perpetrators or the real reasons why.

The story of the fate of the plane, passengers and crew can be read here.


Southern Sage said...

That sucks for them for sure.

scarlet-blue said...

I remember this well. I remember crying, it had been a bad year for disasters.

Trixie said...

Wow, I can't believe that was twenty years ago!!!

Trixie said...

For some reason, I can't leave a comment on the post below this...

Just to say..if you are happy to continue your relationship with your husband as you do..that's your choice. What you feel is the best for you.

Cate said...

I was in high school when this tragedy happened and sadly my friend's older brother was on the plane on his way home for Christmas. I remember watching his mother sobbing on the news and thinking how senseless and evil it was.

Now that I have children of my own, I am even more saddened for her and all the other families of the victims. Such a terrible, terrible loss.

Cate xxx