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Avianca Flight 203
Avianca Boeing 727-200 Volpati.jpg
An Avianca Boeing 727-100 similar to the one involved.
Bombing summary
Date November 27, 1989
Summary Bombing
Site Colombia
4°35′N 74°13′W / 4.583°N 74.217°W / 4.583; -74.217Coordinates: 4°35′N 74°13′W / 4.583°N 74.217°W / 4.583; -74.217
Passengers 101
Crew 6
Fatalities 110 (including 3 on ground)
Survivors 0
Aircraft type Boeing 727
Operator Avianca Airlines
Registration HK-1803
Flight origin El Dorado Int'l Airport
Destination Alfonso Bonilla Aragón Int'l Airport

Avianca Airlines Flight 203 was a Colombian domestic passenger flight from El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá to Alfonso Bonilla Aragón International Airport in Cali. It was destroyed by a bomb over the municipality of Soacha on November 27, 1989.[1]

The aircraft took off from the Colombian capital Bogotá en route to Cali. It was in the air for five minutes and flying at a speed of 794 kilometres per hour (493 mph) when an explosive charge detonated on board, igniting fuel vapors in an empty fuel tank.


The aircraft was a Boeing 727-21 with registration number HK-1803; it was purchased from Pan Am. The aircraft took off as scheduled at 7:11 a.m. Five minutes into the flight, a bomb placed near the fuel tank exploded at 13,000 feet. The blast ripped the airliner apart: the nose section separated from the tail section, which went down in flames. All 107 people on board were killed, as well as three people on the ground who were killed by falling debris. According to the investigations the bomb was placed by a man wearing a suit who was able to bring the bomb inside the aircraft in a suitcase.[2] [3]


The bombing of Flight 203 was the deadliest single criminal attack in the many decades of Colombian violence. Pablo Escobar of the Medellín drug cartel planned the bombing, hoping it would kill presidential candidate for the 1990 elections César Gaviria Trujillo.[4] [5] Gaviria, however, was not on the aircraft, and would go on to become President of Colombia.[6] Two Americans were among the dead, and because of this, the Bush Administration began Intelligence Support Activity operations to find Escobar.[6]

Dandeny Muñoz Mosquera, the chief assassin for the Medellín Cartel, was convicted of the bombing in a United States District Court and was sentenced to 10 consecutive life sentences.


External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avianca_Flight_203 — Please support Wikipedia.
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74 news items

New York Times (blog)

New York Times (blog)
Sun, 30 Aug 2015 17:30:28 -0700

The two big incidents — Search Bloc's scoring its first major success by finding and killing Gacha, and the bombing of Avianca Flight 203, which was intended for Gaviria — are coupled for dramatic effect, though in reality they were a few weeks apart ...

Digital Journal

The Japan Times
Thu, 27 Nov 2014 11:41:15 -0800

Colombian airline Avianca's Flight 203 had just taken off from Bogota on its way to Cali on Nov. 27, 1989, when it exploded over the town of Soacha, outside the capital, killing all 107 people on board and strewing debris and dismembered bodies across ...

Curbed National

Curbed National
Mon, 14 Sep 2015 15:40:15 -0700

The tide truly begins to turn for Escobar in real life, and during the first season of Narcos, when he orders the 1990 bombing of Avianca Flight 203, which was supposed to contain Presidential candidate César Gaviria Trujillo. The assassination attempt ...
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 20:12:26 -0800

Drug kingpin Pablo Escobar and the Medellin drug cartel were blamed for the explosion that caused the crash of Avianca Flight 203. The Boeing 727 left Bogota, Colombia, on a flight to Cali, but a bomb in the cabin and a secondary explosion kill 107 people.

New York Daily News

New York Daily News
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 12:27:11 -0800

The ill-fated Russian passenger plane that went down in flames in Egypt may be the latest in a string of deadly airline disasters caused by bombs or warheads. The Airbus A321-200 jet that crashed over the Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on ...

The Independent

The Independent
Sun, 06 Sep 2015 14:22:30 -0700

For the next decade, Escobar waged a bloody war of attrition with the Colombian government that included terrorist attacks, political assassinations and the 1989 downing of Avianca Flight 203. Thousands of Colombians died in the violence. Mr Marroquin ...


Wed, 26 Aug 2015 21:22:15 -0700

That doesn't belie the hundreds of cops he had murdered, or all the innocent victims that died, including those aboard Avianca Flight 203, which was blown out of the sky in Escobar's attempt to assassinate a presidential candidate — and it turned out ...

Washington Post

Washington Post
Fri, 06 Nov 2015 16:00:00 -0800

27, 1989, Avianca Flight 203: A flight from the Colombian capital of Bogota to Cali blew up, killing everyone on board. The incident spotlighted the scope of the violence brought on by powerful, infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar; he was possibly hoping ...

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