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Status:Final
Date:Thursday 13 April 1950
Type:Vickers 610 Viking 1B
Operator:British European Airways - BEA
Registration: G-AIVL
MSN: 225
First flight: 1947-06-21 (2 years 10 months)
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 28
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 32
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:48 km (30 mls) S of Hastings (   United Kingdom)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:London-Northolt Airport (NHT/EGWU), United Kingdom
Destination airport:Paris (unknown airport), France
Narrative:
En route over the Channel, a explosion occurred in the rear of the plane, seriously injuring the flight attendant. The explosion caused an 8 feet high and 4 feet wide hole in the fuselage. Without rudder and most elevator control the captain, presuming a lightning strike, returned to Northolt where he made a safe landing. A French passenger was suspected of making a suicide attempt. The airplane, named "Vigilant" was repaired and entered service again on October 4, 1950.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The damage to the aircraft was a result of an explosion of an infernal machine in the toilet compartment. The probable location of this destructive agent was in the used paper towel receptacle."

Sources:
» ICAO Circular 18-AN/15 (51-52)


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This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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