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1975 Unsolved Bombing At LGA

Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:11 pm

Just a couple of days before the end of 1975, a large bomb ripped apart the TWA baggage claim area at LGA, killing 11 people and injuring scores more. See story here:

I realize it has been almost 40 years since this event occurred but having lived in the New York area most of my life, I really don't remember hearing anything about this horrible attack. Apparently there are a few news articles out there that were written on various anniversaries of the bombing, including a NYT piece a few years ago, but I think it is safe to say this bombing (the worst in NYC since the 1920s and only surpassed by 9/11/01) has been out of the public consciousness for decades. There have been lots of theories as to who planted the bomb in a row of lockers but nobody has ever been charged and the case is officially unresolved.

Does anybody have any personal stories related to this bombing? Can anybody pinpoint the location of the explosion today? I'm assuming TWA used the central terminal building in 1975, now Terminal C, but does anybody know the exact location? Is there a memorial or plaque for the victims? Although I can understand the airport does not like to remind people of past tragedies, it's kind of amazing to me that thousands of people probably pass the spot of this bombing every day and have no idea such a malicious event killed almost a dozen innocent passengers, workers and drivers right where they are standing.

[Edited 2012-09-14 08:14:22]
None shall pass!!!!
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RE: 1975 Unsolved Bombing At LGA

Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:56 pm

Honestly, I've never heard about this. Kind of surprising! It was before my time, but still...  Wow!
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RE: 1975 Unsolved Bombing At LGA

Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:08 pm

IIRC, it was in a luggage locker in the CTB.

NOW I read the article!!  ashamed 

[Edited 2012-09-14 13:10:37]
Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
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RE: 1975 Unsolved Bombing At LGA

Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:33 pm

I remember this incident quite well. I was living in New York at the time and my Dad was a TWA dispatcher based at JFK. The bomb had been placed in a locker between the TWA and Delta baggage carousels on the lower level roughly in the middle of the Central Terminal Building. The blast devistated the baggage claim area, blew out windows on both the lower and upper level of the building as well as tearing a hole through the ceiling into the TWA ticketing lobby directly above. Although 11 people died, it is amazing that no TWA staff were killed although a flight attendant and a skycap were injured along with about 75 other people. The blast occured at6:33pm and the airport was closed until 10:00pm the following evening. 17 TWA flights were transfered to JFK and 8 to Newark. Other airlins also moverd their operations. The LGA flight kitchen was kept in operation and meals were trucked to Kennedy to cater the extra flights. Airport officials worked to clear the damage as quickly as possible. The TWA ticket counters were able to open the evening after the explosion with a wood partition set up to seal off the hole in the floor. The baggage claim area however was closed until the investigation into the bombing was finished and the serious damage could be repaired. National Airlines provided baggage service in their claim area until TWA was once again up and running. As a side note, from that point on, the NY Port Authority sealed off all public lockers at La Guardia, JFJ and Newark airports.
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RE: 1975 Unsolved Bombing At LGA

Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:30 am

Because of this bombing and one in LAX at the PA terminal in 1974, all luggage lockers had to be placed beyond security.
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RE: 1975 Unsolved Bombing At LGA

Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:00 am

Not that I am anyting special, but I was blessed (and cursed) with a not so ordinary memory. I was six years old and I remember when it happened. It was very big news at the time. I am a premium subscriber to the New York Times Archive and a couple years ago I read the articles on it. I find historical stuff related to many things fascinating.. NYT is a very good place to look at articles from the day