Chronology of sabotage in air
The first proven proven case of air sabotage in the history of commercial aviation was on Oct 10, 1933.india Updated: Aug 16, 2006 15:11 IST
October 10, 1933: A United Airlines Boeing 247 is destroyed in mid-flight by a nitroglycerin bomb while en route from Cleveland, Ohio to Chicago, Illinois. It is the first provencase of air sabotage in the history of commercial aviation.
April 11, 1955: Air India Princess Kashmir went down in the sea near Natuna Island, Indonesia after a bomb explosion, killing 16 people. The plane was chartered by the People's Republic of China (PRC) government for carrying an official delegation to Bandung Conference in Bandung,Indonesia. Possible suspects include a Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party) secret agent who put the bomb in the aircraft during transit in Hong Kong intending to kill PRC Prime Minister Zhou Enlai.
February 21, 1970: A bomb explodes in the rear of Swissair Flight 330, causing it to crash near Zürich, Switzerland, killing 38 passengers and all 9 crew members.
September 6, 1970: Coordinated hijacking of four airliners bound for New York by members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. One hijacking is foiled in midair and two planes are diverted to Jordan's Dawson Field. Nicaraguan hijacker Sandinista Patrick Arguello was killed and all passengers were freed after negotiated release of captured hijacker Leila Khaled and three PFLP prisoners. The following day a fifth aircraft was also hijacked. A fifth plane, BOAC Flight 775 from Bahrain, was hijacked on September 9 by a PFLP sympathizer and brought to Dawson's Field.
For many years, the incident was known as "the blackest day in aviation." While the majority of the 310 hostages were transferred to Amman and freed on September 11, the PFLP segregated the flight crews and Jewish passengers, keeping 56 hostages in custody, and on September 12 used explosives to destroy the empty planes in front of the international media.
July 31, 1972: Four PLO terrorists hijacked a Sabena airliner carrying 99 passengers and 10 crew members on route from Brussels to Tel Aviv. In a mission entitled Operation Isotope, 16 members of Sayeret Matkal posed as refueling and technical personnel and stormed the plane, killing the terrorists and releasing the passengers.
December 17, 1973: Pan Am Flight 110 flight from Rome to Beirut is attacked by Palestinian gunmen, just as it is preparing for departure.Thirty passengers were killed when phosphorus bombs are thrown aboard the aircraft by gunmen. In the same attack, five Italians were taken hostage and taken to Athens in a hijacked Lufthansa 737 flight. They killed one hostage but released others in Kuwait after flying to Damascus from Athens. Notorious terrorist Abu Nidal masterminded the attack.
September 8, 1974:A Boeing 707-331B operating as TWA Flight 841 crashes into the Ionian Sea en route to New York city from Tel Aviv via Athens and Rome, killing all 79 passengers and 9 crew members.The National Transportation Safety Board determined later that the plane was destroyed by a bomb hidden in the cargo hold. Suspicion on Abu Nidal.
October 6, 1976: Cubana Flight 455 was bombed while flying from Barbados to Havana, killing 73. CIA-Linked anti-Castro exiles were said to be involved, among them Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles.
October 13, 1977: Four Palestinians hijack a Lufthansa Airlines flight to Somalia and demand release of 11 members of the Red Army Faction.
November 15, 1979: American Airlines Flight 444 flight from Chicago to Washington DC is attacked by the Unabomber - his bomb gives off large quantities of smoke but fails to detonate. This was not the first Unabomber attack, but it was the attack which led to the FBI investigation into the Unabomber or Dr Theodore John (Ted) Kaczynski.
September 23, 1983: Gulf Air Flight 77 en route Karachi from Abu Dhabi is bombed, killing all 117 people on board. The bomb was apparently planted by the Abu Nidal organization.
June 22, 1985: Air-India Flight 182 from Montreal to Bombay is blown up by a bomb midair by terrorists. All 329 people on board are killed. A second Air-India flight from Canada was targeted on the same day, but the bomb exploded at the Tokyo airport, in the luggage outside the aircraft, killing two baggage handlers, bringing the total death toll of the act to 331.
November 23, 1985: EgyptAir Flight 648 hijacked by Abu Nidal group, flown to Malta, where Egyptian commandos storm plane; 60 are killed by gunfire and explosions.
April 2, 1986: TWA Flight 840 from Rome bombed on approach to Athens airport; four passengers (all of them American), including an infant, are killed.
May 3, 1986: A bomb explodes aboard a Sri Lankan airliner in Colombo, Sri Lanka, killing 21 and injuring 40.
September 5, 1986: Pan Am Flight 73 from Mumbai to New York city, is hijacked at Karachi airport as it prepares to depart. Twenty-two people were killed and scores injured when the hijackers opened fire at the passengers and burst grenades after storming the plane in Karachi, Pakistan.
December 25, 1986: Iraqi Airways Flight 163 is hijacked en route to Amman from Baghdad. The pro-Iranian group "Islamic Jihad" claimed responsibility. There were 106 people on the plane, and 63 of them died.
November 29, 1987: KAL Flight 858 from Abu Dhabi to Seoul bombed by North Korea. All 11 crew members and 104 passengers on Korean Air 858 were killed.
December 21, 1988: Pan Am Flight 103 flight from London to New York City bombed over Lockerbie, Scotland. At the time, it was the worst act of terrorism perpetrated against the US, and among the worst acts of terrorism in European history. Eventually, Libya admitted that two of its agents carried out the attack. The death toll was 270 people from 21 countries, including 11 people in the town of Lockerbie.
September 19, 1989: Suitcase-bomb destroys UTA Flight UT-772 en route to Paris from N'Djamena in Chad, killing all 171 passengers and crew. Lybian intelligence involved.
November 27, 1989: Avianca Flight 203 bombed over Colombia while en route to Cali from the Colombian capital Bogota. All 107 people on the aircraft were killed, as well as three people on the ground due to falling debris. The Medellín drug cartel claimed responsibility for planting the bomb.
July 19, 1994: Alas Chiricanas Flight 00901 is bombed over Panama killing 21. Though generally attributed to Hezbollah, the bombing remains unsolved and was one of a series of deadly attacks against Jewish people that year.
December 24, 1994: Air France Flight 8969 is hijacked at Algiers by Armed Islamic Group (GIA) members who planned to crash the plane on Paris but didn't succeed.
January 6, 1995: Operation Bojinka plot to bomb 11 US airliners is discovered on a laptop computer in a Manila, Philippines apartment by authorities after an apartment fire. The plot was prevented on January 6 and 7, 1995, but some lessons learned were apparently used by the planners of the September 11 attacks.
December 24, 1999: Indian Airlines Flight 814 from Kathmandu, Nepal to Delhi, India is hijacked. One passenger is killed and some hostages are released. After negotiations between the Taliban and the Indian government, the last of the remaining hostages are released in exchange for release of 4 terrorists.
September 11, 2001: The attacks by Al-Qaeda killed 2,997 in a series of hijacked airliner crashes into the twin World Trade Center towers in New York City and The Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. A fourth plane, originally intended to hit an unknown but likely prominent Washington, DC target crashes in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, after an apparent revolt against the hijackers by the plane's passengers.
December 22, 2001: Richard Reid, attempting to destroy American Airlines Flight 63, is subdued by passengers and flight attendants before he could detonate his shoe bomb.
August 10, 2006: A major anti-terrorist operation disrupts a bomb plot targeting multiple airplanes flying across Atlantic from Heathrow Airport, London, and cities in the US.
First Published: Aug 12, 2006 17:29 IST