Japan: Dangerous Souvenir

Dangerous Souvenir

Thai Airways International Flight 620 was nearing Osaka, Japan, when suddenly a terrific bang in the rear of the plane sent it into a steep, rolling descent. Within minutes the A-300 Airbus had plummeted four miles, to 12,000 ft. Passengers were pitched around the cabin, said a witness, "like astronauts training in a gravity-zero zone."

Though the blast badly damaged the plane's hydraulic controls, Pilot Ampole Ploymekha somehow righted the aircraft and landed safely at Osaka International Airport. Of the 246 passengers and crew, 62 were injured, five of them seriously. Investigators traced the incident to a yakuza (Japanese gangster) who,...

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