Terror at 31,000 ft – The Lockerbie Disaster

21st December 1988, 5 pm at London’s Heathrow Airport. A suitcase from Malta had made its way through Frankfurt and was loaded onto an American Jumbo Jet bound for New York. At two minutes past seven, the plane exploded killing everyone on board and eleven people on the ground as it caused carnage in the Scottish town of Lockerbie. A quarter of a century on it remains the biggest aviation disaster in Britain’s history and the deadliest act of terrorism.

The Lockerbie bomb has its origins in the conflict of the time between the United States and Lybia, and Britain, as an ally of the US. In an effort to cause maximum carnage the decision was made to plant a bomb on a passenger plane.

Terror at 31,000 ft traces the events leading up to the events of the fateful night, described by Lockerbie resident, Marjory McQueen as “mans inhumanity to man”. It features interviews with survivors of the events on the ground – local police inspector George Stobbs; resident Maxwell Taylor; and BBC Scotland reporter at the time, Andrew Cassell. Using archive footage and photographs the documentary gives viewers a new view of a disaster whose effects were felt across the world over a quarter of a century ago.

1 x 60min

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