Philippine Airlines Flight 434 was the route designator of a flight that flew on a Ninoy Aquino International Airport near Manila, Philippines - Mactan-Cebu International Airport, Cebu - New Tokyo International Airport, Narita, Japan near Tokyo route. On December 11, 1994, Flight 434 was on its second leg, enroute from Cebu to Tokyo on December 11, 1994 when a bomb exploded, killing one passenger.
Authorities later discovered that a passenger on the aircraft's preceding leg was Ramzi Yousef, who United States authorities have branded a master Al-Qaida bomber and terrorist. Yousef boarded the flight under an assumed name.
Yousef assembled a bomb in the lavatory and stuck it under Seat 27F on the right-hand side of the fuselage, setting the timer to explode the device four hours later. He and 25 other passengers left the plane at Cebu.
Two hours before e.t.a. at Tokyo, the bomb exploded at 11:43 P.M. while Flight 434 was at flight level FL310 above Minami Daito Island, which is located nearby Okinawa and is 260 miles southwest of Tokyo. The explosion tore out a two square foot portion of the fuselage and The explosion ripped almost in half the body of 24-year old Haruki Ikegami (池上 春樹), a Japanese businessman occupying the seat. He was an industrial sewing machine maker returning from a trip to Cebu. Flight attendants placed a blanket where is legs were, but Ikegami died a painful death.
EI-BWF, The Boeing 747-283B made an emergency landing in Naha, Okinawa, one hour after the bomb exploded. The pilots were barely able to land the plane. None of the aircraft's other 272 passengers or 20 crew members died, although 10 passengers sitting in front of Ikegami were injured.
|Table of contents|
2 The aftermath
3 What happened to the flight?
4 See Also
5 External Links
US prosecutors said the device was a "Mark II" "microbomb". Casio digital watches were used as the timers, stabilizers that looked like cotton wool balls, and an undetectable nitroglycerin liquid as the explosive. Other ingredients included small amounts of sulfuric acid, nitrobenzene, silver azide, liquid acetone, and nitrate. Two 9-Volt batteries taken from children's toys were used to heat light bulb filaments and detonate the nitroglycerin. The wiring was attached to the arm of the watch using a tiny space under the calculator. The cavity was so small that the watch was worn normally. Yousef smuggled the batteries past airport security in the hollowed out heels of his shoes. He smuggled the nitroglycerin on board using a contact lens solution bottle.
On Flight 434, Yousef used one tenth of the explosive power he planned to use on eleven U.S. airliners in January of 1995.
After the bombing, a man claiming to represent a rebel group said in a telephone call to the Manila office of the Associated Press, "We are Abu Sayyaf Group. We explode one plane from Cebu."
Ramzi Yousef was testing the bomb for use in the proposed Operation Bojinka terrorist attack. The bomb used on Flight 434 had one-tenth the power of the bombs he planned to use in the first phase of his project which was to bomb 11 aircraft over the Pacific Ocean.
Edith Guerrera, the owner of the Doņa Josefa Apartments, where Ramzi Yousef stayed, says that Japanese tourists often ask her to get them Room 603 to get the feelings that Ramzi Yousef had. "They say they are curious," Guerrera says.
What happened to the flight?
Nowadays, the flight no longer originates in Manila, and is strictly a Cebu-Tokyo flight.