Tarak Ghosh: Flight 648
Wings of Blood
The worst and the deadliest rescue operation of the 20th century that took place in Malta after the hijacked EgyptAir Flight 648 landed at Luqa airport.
Thirty-five years ago, in November, 1985, an Egyptian military commando unit stormed the hijacked Egyptair Flight 648 with more than 96 persons on board, triggering a grenade and gun battle that set the aircraft on fire and killed 57 passengers and hijackers. On 23 November Flight 648 took off on its Athens to Cairo route. Ten minutes after takeoff, three Palestine members of Abu Nidal, carrying hand grenades and guns hijacked the plane and forced it to land in Malta. Libya was the original destination of the hijackers, but due to a lack of fuel, Malta was chosen as a more suitable option. There, the five Israeli and American passengers were singled out and shot in the back of their heads. The 24-hour hijack came to an end after a two-minute commando operation that brought hell to Luqa airport and put Malta on the map for the worst ever airplane massacre before the September 11 attacks 16 years later.
It's now a history, but the mystery behind the hijacking and the storming has left many more than the usual number of questions unanswered. Why the flight was hijacked and why the government of Egypt decided to storm the aircraft where the government knew that the passengers and the crews of the aircraft would be killed along with the hijackers? What exactly happened that day – inside the aircraft and outside the airport? Could the situation have been avoided if there were more brains to make possibly better decisions?
Please read the book to know the hidden mystery after the hijacking of Flight 648.