Richard Kopps



Forty-Five years ago on December 29, 1975 – four days after Christmas, at 6:30 PM, a bomb was set off in the baggage area of LaGuardia Airport.
I was working the 4-12 shift in the Central Hearing Plant located adjacent to the wall separating the power plant from the baggage area.

The blast knocked down a small section of the wall and knocked me almost on my butt. This exposed the power plant to smoke but not fire. The very first things we did (three of us) was to secure the power plant, which meant securing the boiler and high-temperature hot water systems. If a high-temp-waterline broke, we would have been boiled (as high-temp hot water becomes high-pressure steam).

The power plant has overhead exhaust fans which we turned on the exhaust some of the smoke. With many of the windows blown out in TWA’s area, smoke was escaping via the draft of many openings.

When the Fire Department came, they went to work with the hoses to extinguish fires. Water was everywhere. It took one to one-and-a-half hours for the area to be fire- and smoke-free.

What I saw momentarily was destruction, blood, and water running out the doors into the street and the airport apron.

I worked there for two days. Our main focus was getting the power or central hearing plant up and running and to be sure certain areas were properly secured.

What has always bothered me was that I looked for answers, but the press and the investigations were short-lived. I believe to date, there were never any arrests and no claims of who was responsible or why it was done.

In summary:

1) Eleven people killed, approximately 70 injured
2) To date no arrests and no knowledge of who was responsible or why
3) Found out later: the bomb was equal to 25 sticks of dynamite
4) I guess this will remain in a dead case file.



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