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Criminal Occurrence description
Last updated: 27 November 2015
Date:Thursday 1 January 1976
Type:Boeing 720-023B
Operator:Middle East Airlines - MEA
Registration: OD-AFT
C/n / msn: 18020/165
First flight: 1960-09-23 (15 years 3 months)
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney JT3D-1-MC7
Crew:Fatalities: 15 / Occupants: 15
Passengers:Fatalities: 66 / Occupants: 66
Total:Fatalities: 81 / Occupants: 81
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:37 km (23.1 mls) NW of Al Qaysumah (   Saudi Arabia)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Beirut International Airport (BEY/OLBA), Lebanon
Destination airport:Dubai Airport (DXB/OMDB), United Arab Emirates
Flightnumber: 438
En route at FL370 from Beirut to Dubai, a bomb exploded in the forward baggage compartment. The aircraft crashed into the desert.

Loss of control

» Aircraft hijackings and other criminal acts against civil aviation : statistics and narrative reports / FAA


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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Beirut International Airport to Dubai Airport as the crow flies is 2127 km (1329 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Networkĺs opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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Boeing 720

  • 8th loss
  • 154 built
  • 2nd worst accident
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 Saudi Arabia
  • worst accident (at the time)
  • 6th worst accident (currently)
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