Hundreds killed in Borders air crash

Thursday December 22, 1988 - All 273 passengers and crew aboard a Jumbo jet died last night when the aircraft crashed in a fireball in Britain's worst ever air disaster.

Thursday December 22, 1988 - All 273 passengers and crew aboard a Jumbo jet died last night when the aircraft crashed in a fireball in Britain's worst ever air disaster.

A massive rescue operation was immediately thrown into operation - but early today it seemed the only casualties to survive were on the ground when the giant Pan-Am jet ploughed into the main road through the sleepy Scottish Border town of Lockerbie, 25 miles north-west of Carlisle.

More deaths were feared among people in the 40 or more houses struck by the plane - and among motorists driving on the A74 when the crash happened.

Wreckage from the jet was spread over a ten-mile radius at six separate locations.

Police and mountain rescue search teams were working through the night to reach the sites.

The death toll is thought to include 22 people killed in horrific devastation of burning homes and vehicles when the aircraft crashed.

The Jumbo hit a hill outside the town before plunging down, demolishing two rows of houses, wrecking the rear of a petrol station and smashing into the main A74. It exploded in a 300ft high ball of flame and blasted a 50ft wide crater in the road.

Dozens of homes were set alight and the town was strewn with debris from the doomed jet, which burned fiercely for hours after the disaster.

Eyewitness Mr Mike Carnham said: "There was a terrible explosion and the whole sky lit up with flames. It was actually raining fire... liquid fire."

`230 dead' in ferry disaster

Saturday March 7, 1987

More than 200 people were feared dead early today after they were trapped in the hull of a British ferry which capsized shortly after leaving the Belgian port of Zeebrugge.

Belgian Transport Minister Mr Herman de Croo said that given the state of the water he feared there was "no hope" for the 231 people still missing after the disaster.

Ferry owners Townsend Thoresen said shortly after 2am, divers were still bringing people out alive. But they had reported "large numbers of casualties on board".

A massive rescue operation had already plucked 310 people from the ferry and the icy waters of the Channel, and 26 bodies had been recovered.

Belgian Naval Commander Jacques Thas said: "Dead bodies are on the bridge, on the side and in different cabins." Survivors taken ashore at Zeebrugge told of panic and chaos as the vessel, the Herald of Free Enterprise, overturned.

'The best day of my life.' says Geldof

Monday July 15, 1985

For "Saint" Bob Geldof - the master-organiser now being tipped for a Nobel Prize - it was simply "the best day of my life".

For Princess Diana, it was obviously more fun than touring power-stations.

And for any rock fan, it was the chance to take in 16 hours of pulsating pop from a host of great names.

The Sixties megastars The Beach Boys, balding a little but with falsetto harmonies crystal pure, gave out "Surfin' USA" and "Good Vibrations" from Philadelphia.

At Wembley there were relative newcomers to the rock world, like Spandau Ballet and Howard Jones. Bob Geldof took the stage with his band, the Boomtown Rats.

The man who has shown that there is more to rock than rip-offs belted our "I Don't Like Mondays" and "Rat Trap." Elton John, was joined by Kiki Dee for "Don't Go Breaking My Heart".

Mick Jagger appeared at the Philadelphia show with Tina Turner. And Bob Dylan sang a song from the time when it was even more fashionable than today for rock stars to have a conscience - the Sixties anthem "Blowing in the Wind".

At Wembley, "Let It Be" was Paul McCartney's contribution.

Just watch us go from here

Saturday April 18, 1987

The opening of Nissan's new car plant at Sunderland is a major event both for the North-East and the British car industry. It marks the start not just of an important new employer but a new manufacturing industry in the North-East.

Nissan's investment has already created nearly 500 jobs and there is every prospect of many more to come.

The company's decision is a vote of confidence in the North-East by one of the world's leading car manufacturers, and shows that the region, with its fine tradition of engineering skills, offers an excellent base for industry.

For the motor industry the opening of the Sunderland plant marks the arrival of an important new British car producer.

Nissan's cars already contain a significant number of British-made components and I am sure the company will prove to be a major customer for British suppliers.

Equally importantly, the Sunderland plant will also provide a demonstration of the latest Japanese technology and management methods which have proved so successful - particularly in the motor industry.

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer