Pan Am Flight 73 Hijacking

The takeover of a Pan American World Airways jumbo jet in the predawn hours of September 5, 1986 developed into a tragic 16-hour ordeal. Hijackers linked to the Abu Nidal Organization killed 22 hostages during the standoff at the Karachi International Airport in Pakistan.

As the last busload of passengers was boarding a flight to Frankfurt, Germany, en route to New York, four men dressed as security personnel took over the plane. According to a 1991 U.S. indictment, they had passed through the Karachi airport security in a van outfitted to look like a security vehicle. The hijackers stopped the van at the bottom of the plane's stairs, ran up firing shots, and commandeered the aircraft.

Flight attendants on board alerted the crew, who escaped through an emergency exit in the cockpit. The 379 passengers aboard were held hostage as the hijackers demanded ...

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