May 11, 1990 – Philippine Airlines Flight 143: Was It A Bomb, Or Wasn’t It?

Philippine Airlines Flight 143
Philippine Airlines Flight 143 – reports of three distinct explosions.

May 11, 1990 – CBS World News Roundup – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

May 11, 1990 – News from Manila started this morning off – with word that a Philippine Airlines, Flight 143 had exploded while waiting for takeoff at Manila Ninoy Acquino Airport. Passengers reported hearing three distinct explosions, and the 737 was consumed by fire in less than 4 minutes. The majority of passengers made it to safety, but 8 did not, including one child. Initially, speculation was that it was a bomb on the plane, while others denied it was. And at newstime, it was still unclear what the cause of the accident was.

There was other news on this day – Flooding in Texas was causing much concern as the Trinity River overflowed its banks and created a swath of flooding some 6 miles wide. Levees along the Red River were said to be saturated and threatening to break. Evacuations were spreading and a considerable amount of farmland was now under water. Likewise in Arkansas, where flooding was responsible for up to $5 million loss in Wheat and up to 30,000 head of cattle were stranded and many of those were presumed to be drowned.

President Bush was heading to Texas this day, to give the first of three college commencement addresses he was to deliver over the weekend. He left behind on Capitol Hill an uproar over budget and taxes.

Singer/Entertainer/legend Sammy Davis jr. was hovering near death on this day. A victim of Throat Cancer, Davis had dwindled down to some 60 pounds and the prognosis was grave. Passing away this day was longtime United Nations correspondent for NBC News and a trailblazer for Women in broadcasting Pauline Frederick. She was 84. And novelist Walker Percy had died of Cancer in Covington Louisiana. He was 73.

And that’s a small sample of what went on, this May 11, 1990 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.

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