On Tuesday, September 19th, 1989, UTA flight 772 was operating from Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo in route to Paris CDG airport in France. A little after take off, the airplane exploded into a ball of fire over Niger in the Sahara Desert. There were 170 people on board that flight which was brought down by a suitcase bomb planted by Libyan terrorists. Unfortunately, all 170 passengers died. After 18 years had passed, the families of the victims of flight 772 decided to do something to honor their fallen friends and family members. What they did is beautiful and brought tears to my eyes.
In 1989, UTA flight 772 was brought down by a Libyan terrorist.
A suitcase bomb planted by Libyan terrorists killed the 170 passengers aboard.
The flight path and where the plane was taken down.
Wreckage was scattered for miles around.
After 18 years, families of the victims gathered at the wreckage site to build a memorial for their loved ones.
The area that the plane went down is so remote that there were still parts of the wreckage scattered about.
The wreckage had been sitting in the desert untouched for 18 years after the initial investigation.
The memorial was organized by Les Familles de l’Attentat du DC-10 d’UTA., which is an association of family members and locals to assist.
Everyone associated with the victims from children to grandparents attended the event.
They started by trucking in loads and loads of black rocks. Completely built by hand, the memorial started with a 200 foot diameter circle directly at the crash site.
There are no rocks like this in the desert and they had to be trucked in from over 45 miles away.
The Tenere region is one of the most desolate, inaccessible places on earth.
The memorial site took over 2 months to build. Everything was done by hand.
The conditions were very difficult to work in but the victims deserved some recognition and their families felt it their duty.
They placed 170 broken mirrors around the circle of stones to pay tribute to each victim of the crash.
The memorial is anchored by the starboard wing of the plane. The wing was recovered over 10 miles away and had to be dug up and emptied of sand to relocate.
A beautiful plaque was made in honor of all 170 victims and fixed to the starboard wing.
The memorial was partly funded by the $170 million dollar compensation fund donated to the victims families by the Libyan government.
Family members stand at the complete memorial in awe of what they have accomplished.
It is a beautiful tribute to the victims of Flight 772.
The memorial is so large in fact that it is seen very clearly from Google Earth.
This tragic event resulted in 155 passengers and 15 crew members dying.
Luckily, even when tragedy strikes, they were still able to build this beautiful memorial to never forget that horrible day. Loved ones can always view Google Earth to view it since the trip might be difficult.