48 Years ago today: On 15 June 1972 a Cathay Pacific Airways Convair CV-880-22M-21 crashed following a bomb explosion killing all 81 on board.
|Date:||Thursday 15 June 1972|
|Operator:||Cathay Pacific Airways|
|C/n / msn:||22-7-1-53|
|Total airframe hrs:||29434|
|Crew:||Fatalities: 10 / Occupants: 10|
|Passengers:||Fatalities: 71 / Occupants: 71|
|Total:||Fatalities: 81 / Occupants: 81|
|Aircraft fate:||Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||55 km (34.4 mls) SE of Pleiku ( Vietnam)|
|Phase:||En route (ENR)|
|Nature:||International Scheduled Passenger|
|Departure airport:||Bangkok-Don Muang International Airport (BKK/VTBD), Thailand|
|Destination airport:||Hong Kong-Kai Tak International Airport (HKG/VHHH), Hong Kong|
Cathay Pacific Flight CX 700Z took off from Bangkok (BKK) at 04:55 UTC bound for Hong Kong (HKG). The flight proceeded normally along airway Green 67 at a cruise altitude of FL290, maintaining routine radio contact first with Bangkok ACC and from 05:42 with Saigon ACC. At 05:59 a high explosive device detonated within the passenger cabin centre section area. Some passengers’ seats were ejected through a hole in the fuselage. Portions of the fuselage and possibly some seats struck the vertical and horizontal stabilizers, causing severe damage. Simultaneously the floor of the cabin, centre fuselage section, and starboard wing root were disrupted. The CV-880 lost control, entered a high-speed descent and broke up. The aircraft crashed in a jungle area, lightly wooded with small trees.
It appeared that the explosive device was hidden in a suitcase under a passenger seat on the right side near the wing. A police officer whose fiancée and daughter were aboard was charged with the crime.
PROBABLE CAUSE: “The aircraft broke up in the air and caught fire following the detonation of a high explosive device within the passenger cabin.”