Pan Am 73 hijacking victims file 10 billion dollar suit against Liby
Washington, Apr 6 (UNI) The victims and families of those killed by terrorists on board a hijacked Pan Am Flight 73 on September 5, 1986 in Karachi, Pakistan today filed a 10 billion dollar compensation suit against Libya.
The Pan Am 73 terrorist attack killed 20 and severely injured more than 100 of the 380 persons on board. The suit has been filed against Libya, its long-time leader Muammar Qadhafi and the five convicted terrorists, members of the terrorist group Abu Nidal Organization (ANO).
The suit which also seeks unspecified punitive damages, was filed by law firm Crowell and Moring LLP in the US District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of the 175 passengers, estates, and family members of the victims.
Coming together from across the globe, the victims and family members who brought the suit include the estates of 13 people murdered in the attack, 32 of their family members, and 131 other passengers and crew.
According to the court papers, the hijackers had intended to fly the jumbo jet to Israel and crash it into the city of Tel Aviv.
However, the pilots were alerted to the attack by the crew, and were able to escape by climbing out of the cockpit using emergency ropes.
Without pilots, the hijackers could not get the aircraft off the ground, leading to a terrifying 16-hour seige.
When the hijackers demanded that all passengers produce their passports, several crew members hid the passports of the Americans, who were the immediate targets, to protect them.
During the tense hours inside the large aircraft, the terrorists shot and killed an American citizen, heaved his body out of the plane's door onto the tarmac and threatened to kill another every 10 minutes if their demands were not met.
As the aircraft's power failed and the lights went out, the hijackers recited a martyrdom prayer, opened fire on the passengers with automatic weapons at point blank range, and threw hand grenades. In addition to the 20 passengers and crew who were killed, many were severely maimed, blinded, or disfigured by bullets and grenades.
Several victims broke their legs and arms when they hit the tarmac after jumping from the doors to escape the bullets and explosives.
The five hijackers were convicted by the Pakistani courts for their role in the attack. Their leader, Zaid Safarini, was captured by the FBI when he was released from prison in Pakistan, and was brought to the United States for trial, according to a press release from the law firm.
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