Trav­eller’s tor­ment af­ter she missed doomed jet flight

Sunday Mail (UK) - - Lesley Roberts - Al-Megrahi

Scot­land, US- born Kim tells of the hor­ror of dis­cov­er­ing two of her close friends were dead.

She said: “I was wash­ing my face and I heard the phone ring and I walked over and picked it up and it was my grand­mother.

“She said, ‘Kim is that you?’ and she was sound­ing a lit­tle off. I said ‘ What are you call­ing for, it’s the mid­dle of the night’ and she pro­ceeded to tell me my plane crashed.

“She told me what hap­pened and I woke up my friend Clau­dia and she woke her par­ents and we turned on the TV and we saw flames every­where. I thought ‘Oh my God, Ken, oh my God, Ni­cole’.”

Kim ap­pears in Locker­bie – The Un­heard Voices and tells how she con­tacted Pan Am and pre­tended to be Ni­cole’s sis­ter in the af­ter­math of the bomb.

She was able to ver­ify cer­tain peo­ple on the plane and her worst fears were con­firmed.

She said: “It was pretty clear there was no sur­vivors and they were think­ing it was ter­ror­ism but we re­ally didn’t know. Ni­cole was just one of the bright­est lights and one of the best peo­ple I ever met in my life and she in­spired me so much.”

And she said Ken, who was adopted, was “so funny”.

Kim added: “Ken was like an old soul. He was very thought­ful, ed­u­cated. He loved to read. He wanted to be a writer.”

Ken’s bi­o­log­i­cal mother, Carol King-Eck­er­s­ley and Kim have met and she has been able to share me­mories and pho­to­graphs of Ken’s time in Lon­don.

Also fea­tured in the doc­u­men­tar y is Jaswant Ba­suta, who be­came the first sus­pect in the af­ter­math of the bomb­ing.

Telling his story for the first time, Jaswant ex­plains how he checked in but never made his flight.

How­ever, his suit­case was still on board. He had been in the UK for a fam­ily wed­ding and was re­turn­ing to New Jersey to be with his wife and chil­dren.

He said: “I checked in my lug­gage. So many fam­ily mem­bers came to see me off. My brother said,’ You must have a beer with me’.”

Re­al­is­ing the time, he hugged his fam­ily and ran to catch his plane but he missed it with sec­onds to spare.

Af­ter be­ing ar­rested and ques­tioned he was even­tu­ally re­leased to fly home – but his wife be­lieved her hus­band had died in the crash.

He said: “It was a very long in­ter ro­ga­tion and they couldn’t find any­thing and they said ‘ You have to stay here the night’. My wife wouldn’t be­lieve I was alive be­cause her father had con­firmed I was on the plane.”

Sev­eral celebri­ties also missed the flight.

Sex Pis­tols front­man John Ly­don and his wife Nora were due to be on the f light but Nora’s de­lay in pack­ing meant they missed it.

He said: “She just couldn’t get the lug­gage to­gether in time. So we can­celled the flight.” Sex and the City ac­tress Kim Ca­trall, who had been film­ing The Re­turn Of The Mus­ke­teers, de­cided to take an­other flight be­cause

she had for­got­ten to go to Har­rods

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