Civilian planes shot down, 1955-1988

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These are some of the deadliest incidents of civilian passenger planes being shot down:

1955 — El Al flight 402: A flight headed from Vienna to Tel Aviv, Israel, strayed into Bulgarian airspace and was shot down by two Bulgarian fighters. The aircraft exploded, killing 58 aboard.

1973 — Libyan Arab Airlines 114: An aircraft headed to Cairo from Tripoli, Libya, got lost in a sandstorm and drifted into Israeli airspace. Two Phantom fighter jets approached, reportedly thinking the plane was an Egyptian MiG. Their missile strikes led it to crash in the dunes of the Sinai desert. Only five of 113 on board survived.

1980 — Itavia Airlines flight 780: A domestic flight in Italy carrying 81 passengers left Bologna for Palermo but never reached its island destination. Wreckage was found in the Tyrrhenian Sea. There were no survivors. The crash is still the subject of controversy and debate. Initial theories suggested a terrorist bomb, but subsequent investigations concluded that the plane was likely caught amid a dogfight between NATO fighter jets and Libyan MiGs. The inquiry into the crash said investigations were deliberately obfuscated by members of the Italian military and secret service.

1983 — Korean Airlines flight 007: On Sept. 1, KAL 007, bound from New York to Seoul, South Korea, with a stopover in Anchorage, Alaska, veered from its usual flight path into Soviet territory. Two Soviet fighter jets intercepted the plane and ordered it to change trajectory, but the passenger plane’s pilot reportedly did not respond. A missile strike sent the flight on a tailspin into the Sea of Japan. All 269 people on board died, including 61 Americans.

1988 — Iran Air flight 655: The U.S. missile cruiser USS Vincennes shot down an Iranian passenger plane headed to Dubai over the Persian Gulf. The ship had been engaged in skirmishes with Iranian vessels and supposedly thought the slow-moving IR655 was an Iranian fighter jet. All 290 passengers on board died.

israel - Middle East - Eastern Europe - Europe - Africa - Western Europe - Ukraine - Libya - North Africa - Italy


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