LaGuardia Airport Bombing
A veteran New York City firefighter told the New York Daily News of the scene that met the first police officers and firefighters as, “The worst I’ve ever seen. There was blood and people all over the place.”
A TWA worker told the same newspaper it, “sounded like a bomb blast during the war. Walls were shattered all over and people were running from the building, screaming and crying.”
Just a couple of descriptions of the bomb explosion that killed eleven people and injured seventy-four others in the TWA Baggage Claim Area of LaGuardia Airport’s Central Terminal Building on December 29, 1975. A case, to this day, that remains an open homicide investigation.
The blast, which had the explosive power of 25 sticks of dynamite was, and still is, being investigated by a joint team made up of Port Authority Police Department, New York City Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigations investigators. Though the investigation has led to many people and extremist groups, there have been no arrests or credible claims of responsibility.
At the time, the LaGuardia Bombing resulted in the worst death toll in New York City from a bomb explosion since a bomb exploded on Wall Street in 1920, killing more than three dozen people.
Port Authority police officers were the first to respond to the bombing, rendering aid and saving many lives including a 30-year-old FBI agent who happened to be in the area after arriving on a flight. The bomb, which was placed in a coin-operated locker located next to the baggage claim area, caused great structural damage according to the then Port Authority Chairman William Ronan. New York City Mayor Abe Beame called the scene, “indescribable.”
Through the passage of time the LaGuardia Airport Bombing has faded from many memories. Those born after 1975 may not even be aware of the event. What is needed to be known and remembered is eleven people lost their lives and the lives of their loved ones have forever been changed because of a devious and cowardly act. We must also remember the courageous Port Authority police officers who rushed into harm’s way, without regard for their own safety, to save others in desperate need of help.