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Thursday, May 8, 2014


The Lockerbie Disaster struck on Dec. 21, 1988, when a bomb exploded aboard Pan Am Flight 103 over Scotland.

The crash killed 243 passengers and 16 crew.
Large sections of the the Boeing 747 jumbo jet aircraft rained onto  the village of Lockerbie, killing 11 people on the ground and setting numerous fires.

The flight was to proceed from Frankfurt to Detroit by way of London and New York.

The following is a report of the fire brigade response, based primarily on information from

1900: Residents of Lockerbie report sound of loud thunder, see fiery debris falling from sky.

1903: First report of aircraft crash radioed by police patrol in Lockerbie to Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary.

1904: Call from a member of the public to Dumfries and Galloway Fire Brigades control room reporting “huge boiler explosion” at West Acres in Lockerbie. Further calls from police and members of public reporting aircraft down. Assistant Divisional Officer visiting relatives in vicinity of Lockerbie confirms an aircraft had crashed. The ADO proceeded to the crash site.

1907: Fire brigade mobilized.

1910: Fire crews arrived at scene. Upon arrival, ADO sent priority message “Make Pumps 4” and requested ambulances to the scene.

ABOUT 1915: ADO relieved by supervising officer who ordered  “Make Pumps 10" and requested activation of "Major Incident Plan." After further assessment, the officer ordered "Make Pumps 15." Informative message followed: “A large number of houses alight; water supply interrupted; surrounding area evacuated; incident control unit in attendance and set up at Sherwood Crescent; main fuselage has landed in the Rosebank area to which crews are being despatched.”
ABOUT 1940: Ambulances started transporting injured townspeople to hospital. Shelter opened at town hall.
2008: Divisional commander arrived on scene. Ordered search of all houses, ensured crews stopped fires from spreading.

ABOUT 2200: Firemaster arrived on scene.

2209: Firemaster ordered “Make Pumps 20.” Sent informative message: “A series of fires over area of Lockerbie town centre extending to 1 ½ miles by ½ mile wide; 40 mainly single story domestic properties completely destroyed or damaged to various degrees by fire and/or impact. The main concentration of the fire in area southwest of Lockerbie in Sherwood Park and Crescent Extensive number of casualties and fires reported in area east of Lockerbie in Park Place and Rosebank Crescent. Fires and casualties being attended to by joint emergency services. Reports received at incident control unit of further fire and casualties at Tundergarth, four miles east of Lockerbie, appliances now in attendance. Water and electricity supplies have been interrupted in Lockerbie town centre. Water is being relayed over varying distances. Reinforcing appliances should report to the incident control unit situated adjacent to Lockerbie police station.”

0222: Last of the major fires extinguished.

0336: Appliances from neighboring brigades along with their senior officers were released from incident.

1412: Stop message sent: “Stop for major incident Lockerbie; all seats of fire now extinguished; crews will be deployed to any individual premises in the event of any re-ignition as a result of removal of debris and may further be deployed in damping down and turning over operations. It is anticipated that the brigade be stood down at 18.00 hours today and attendance be resumed at 08.00 hours tomorrow."

RESOURCES: 188 fire service personnel; 20 pumps, including 13 from Dumfries & Galloway, 4 from Cumbria, 2 from Lothian & Borders and 1 from Strathclyde; 1 turntable ladder; 2 incident control units; 2 emergency tenders; 1 breathing apparatus support unit; 3 military pumps with RAF crash/rescue tender; milk tenders pressed into service for emergency water relay.