August 22, 1985 – News for this day began with reports that a plane with 131 people crashed on take-off in Manchester. The British Air Tours flight 328, filled with passengers bound for a Greek Island holiday, caught fire and exploded, killing 54 people. Authorities believed the left engine of the Boeing 737 charter flight exploded as the plane was rolling down the runway for takeoff. The explosion apparently ruptured fuel lines, feeding a fire that quickly engulfed the aircraft, gutting the entire rear half of the plane.
In other news, it was learned that President Reagan intended to veto legislation imposing economic sanctions against South Africa. Instead, taking Executive Action to limit Computer sales and to limit loans to companies which do not have fair hiring practices. Meanwhile, the unrest in Johannesburg continued as Police swept through the Black Township of Soweto earlier in the morning, arresting students who were boycotting school. The School boycotts have been a main feature of the protests in South Africa. The Students break the law simply by gathering in large groups on the streets. Violent confrontations with police often follow, but so far the government has been unable to force students back to class. Many of those boycotting school are members of Political organizations that have grown up among Black youth, and which the country’s White rulers clearly regard as a threat. Another threat to South Africa’s stability had been avoided, for a few days at least, the Union representing Black Miners announced a postponement in a strike it had called for the upcoming Sunday, after Mining Companies presented a new offer earlier in the morning. A Strike in South Africa’s important Gold mining industry would damage an already faltering economy and could also lead to more violence in the current mood of anger.
And that’s a small slice of what went on, this August 22, 1985 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.