The Lockerbie Bombing: Pan Am Flight 103

On December 21, 1988, Pan Am Flight 103, en route from London to New York, exploded 31,000 feet in the air over Lockerbie, Scotland, 38 minutes after takeoff. All 243 passengers and 13 crew members (including 190 Americans) aboard the Boeing 747 were killed. An additional 11 persons on the ground were killed by falling debris. After an extensive investigation by local authorities and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the explosion and in-flight breakup were found to have been caused by an explosive device planted in baggage inside the airplane as part of a terrorist plot.


James Gray

Release Year


Production Studio

Smithsonian Channel


51 Minutes

Ways to Watch

Smithsonian Channel



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