The day of the Lockerbie bombing – level 3


It’s the time before Christmas in 1988. Many people are preparing for the upcoming holidays. Many of them are travelling from Europe to the USA to visit their families.

On December 21, 1988, a big plane takes off from London, heading for New York. There are 243 passengers and 16 crew members on board. At 19:03 or 7:03 PM, a bomb explodes in the luggage space in the front of the plane. The explosion immediately breaks the plane.

Parts of the plane fall from 9 kilometers down to the town of Lockerbie in the south of Scotland. The biggest part has 90 tons. When the parts of the plane hit the ground, they kill 11 people who live in Lockerbie. All passengers and members of the crew also die in the disaster. At that time, no one knows it was a terrorist attack.

A huge investigation begins immediately after the tragedy. The Investigators find a fragment of the aircraft, which came into contact with the fire before the fall. At that moment, it was clear that it was a terrorist attack.

The bomb was placed in a briefcase of a passenger who arrived from Malta. However, he didn’t board the plane in London to continue the flight. The trail leads to a Libyan Secret Service officer. His motive could be revenge for the fact that the Americans shot down several Libyan planes and sank Libyan ships during incidents in the Mediterranean Sea.

Difficult words: fragment (a small piece of something), trail (a sign used for finding somebody), revenge (an action you do to punish somebody who harmed you), shoot down (to shoot at an enemy plane and send it to the ground).

What events led to the tragic bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 in Lockerbie, Scotland on December 21, 1988?


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