21.12.

1988: How Christmas Shopping Saved Kim Cattrall from Death in a Plane Explosion

1988: How Christmas Shopping Saved Kim Cattrall from Death in a Plane Explosion
Photo Credit To http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:N739pa-3f.png

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 21 December 1988
  • The actress Kim Cattrall had a reservation for flight Pan Am 103, but she changed it just before departure so she could buy some Christmas gifts in London’s Harrods.

On this day as many as 270 people were killed when a bomb exploded on a Boeing 747 of the Pan Am airline. The plane was flying at an altitude of 9,400 m and was traveling at a speed of 804 km/h. The explosion occurred in the cargo compartment and ripped a hole about half a meter in diameter on the left side of the fuselage. Within three seconds, the nose cone separated from the fuselage and then the whole plane broke into pieces. Air pressure outside was three times lower than in the aircraft, which contributed to the devastating effects of the explosion. The remains of the plane took two minutes to fall to the ground.

None of the passengers survived, though one body was found at the crash site with a bundle of grass in its hands, indicating that death occurred sometime after the fall. A piece of wing fell on the Scottish town of Lockerbie and made a 57-meter long crater. Eleven Lockerbie residents were killed on the ground that day. The bomb was apparently planted by Libyan terrorists. The famous actress Kim Cattrall had a reservation for that flight, but decided nevertheless to stay in London in order to purchase some Christmas gifts, which actually saved her life. In particular, she remembered that she must buy her mother a porcelain teapot of the famous Wedgwood brand.

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