Niger Death over the Desert

Did terrorists destroy a DC-10 carrying 171 people?

The disaster had the haunting familiarity of a recurring nightmare. On Tuesday afternoon Flight 772, a DC-10 of the French airline UTA bound from Brazzaville to Paris, left the runway after its scheduled stopover in N'Djamena, the capital of Chad. Twenty minutes into the flight, Captain Georges Ravenaud radioed the airport to report that all was normal. Flight 772 was never heard from again. High above the desolate Tenere desert in neighboring Niger, the plane exploded, killing all 157 passengers and its 14- member crew. Among those aboard were seven Americans, including Bonnie Pugh, wife of the U.S. Ambassador to Chad,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!