ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 707-3B5C HL7406 Tavoy, Myanmar [Andaman Sea]
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Sunday 29 November 1987
Time:05:22 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic B703 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 707-3B5C
Operator:Korean Air
Registration: HL7406
MSN: 20522/855
First flight: 1971
Total airframe hrs:36047
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney JT3D-3B
Crew:Fatalities: 11 / Occupants: 11
Passengers:Fatalities: 104 / Occupants: 104
Total:Fatalities: 115 / Occupants: 115
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:100 km (62.5 mls) NW off Tavoy, Myanmar [Andaman Sea] (   Indian Ocean)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH/OMAA), United Arab Emirates
Destination airport:Bangkok-Don Muang International Airport (BKK/VTBD), Thailand
A Boeing 707-300 passenger plane, registered HL7406, was destroyed in an accident in the Indian Ocean, some 100 km off the coast of Myanmar. All 104 passengers and eleven crew members were killed.
Korean Air flight 858 departed Baghdad, Iraq on a scheduled service to Seoul, South Korea. En route stops were planned at Abu Dhabi, UAE and Bangkok, Thailand. At 00:01 UTC Flight 858 departed Abu Dhabi, climbing to a cruising altitude of FL370. Last radio contact was at 05:01 UTC when the crew reported that they estimated reaching the TAVOY waypoint over the Andaman Sea at 05:22. Flight 858 was declared missing when it failed to arrive at the destination.
On December 13, 1987 a local schooner found pieces of wreckage floating northwest off Tavoy, Myanmar.

Korean Authorities, suspecting sabotage after the aircraft became missing, started checking on passengers who disembarked at Abu Dhabi and traced the suspects Mr.Hachiya Shinichi and Miss Hachiya Mayumi to Bahrain where they were apprehended while going through exit formalities at the airport. It was reported that they were found to be holding false Japanese Passports. While being held for interrogation, both committed suicide by taking poison capsules hidden in the cigarettes and Mr.Hachiya Shinichi died. Miss Hachiya Mayumi who survived the attempt was extradited to South Korea.
It was reported that the passengers were found to be named Mr. Kim Sung-il and Miss Kim Hyon-hui of North Korean origin. For her role in the bombing Kim Hyun Hui was sentenced to death in March 1989. However, South Korean president Roh Tae-woo pardoned her in 1998.

Investigation revealed that the bomb consisted of a composition C 4 type explosive hidden in a battery operated portable transistor radio which was used as a timing device. The timer was activated while they were awaiting embarkation at Baghdad Airport and set to go off 9 hours later. Together with the transistor radio, a liquor bottle containing liquid explosive (type PLX) was taken on board and placed in the overhead baggage rack above seat row No. 7 in the forward cabin section of the economy class compartment where they were seated. These timed explosives were left in that place when they disembarked at Abu Dhabi.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "In flight explosion of time bomb planted in the aircraft by the two saboteurs disguised as passengers."

Loss of control

» ICAO Adrep Summary 4/88 (#11)
» ICAO Circular 259-AN/153 (234-243)


photo of Boeing-707-3B5C-HL7406
accident date: 29-11-1987
type: Boeing 707-3B5C
registration: HL7406

This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Abu Dhabi International Airport to Bangkok-Don Muang International Airport as the crow flies is 4913 km (3070 miles).
Accident location: Exact; as reported in the official accident report.

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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Boeing 707

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