Valley Cottage man recalls missing Lockerbie flight that was bombed 35 years ago

The bombing killed 270 people, including seven from the Hudson Valley.

Veronica Jean Seltzer

Dec 22, 2023, 1:42 AM

Updated 203 days ago

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Thursday marked the 35 years since the Pan Am Lockerbie flight bombing.
The bombing killed 270 people, including seven from the Hudson Valley.
The bombing happened in 1988 on a flight from London to New York.
While over Lockerbie, Scotland, a bomb exploded mid-air, killing those on board and 11 people on the ground below.
An 82-year-old Valley Cottage man says he was supposed to be on the flight, going home to his wife and young son after a family wedding in Belfast, but he missed the flight when family members who came to see him off convinced him to have a few beers at the airport.
He says his baggage was already on board and he had even met some of the passengers.
Now, he thinks of them often.
"This morning I got up. I prayed. I prayed for those whom I was going to travel with... I still remember that day like it happened yesterday to me," Jaswant Basuta said.
Basuta was the first suspect in the bombing. He was still in the airport, trying to find a new flight home when police came to question him.
He was cleared quickly and three years later, arrest warrants were issued for two Libyan nationals, but only one was jailed, for life, until he died in 2012. Fighting cancer, he was given a compassionate release a couple of years prior.
In December 2022, another Libyan national was taken into custody, accused of making the bomb.


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