'The sky was raining hell': The stories of Lockerbie 35 years after Britain's worst terrorist attack

Next month will mark the 35th anniversary of what remains Europe's deadliest terror attack - 270 people were killed in the Lockerbie bombing, all of those on board the plane that was blown out of the sky, and eleven residents of the small Scottish town where parts of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed down.

ITV's Lorraine Kelly was one of the first reporters on the scene. Now, and for the first time since the attack, she has gone back to Lockerbie

Thirty-five years ago, 270 people died in Britain's largest terrorist attack.

The bombing saw a plane explode mid-air over Lockerbie, leading to debris and bodies being strewn across the small Scottish border town in December 1988.

ITV's Lorraine Kelly was one of the first people at the scene, covering the story for TV-AM and, ahead of the tragedy's anniversary, has headed back to find out how the residents coped with the aftermath.

Before the police cordoned off the area, she saw first-hand the horror of the disaster.

ITV's Lorraine Kelly was one of the first people at the scene, but she hadn't visited the town since the tragedy until now. Credit: ITV

Confronting her own difficult memories, Lorraine returns for the first time to try to understand what happened to Lockerbie and its people once the TV cameras went home.

Police Sergeant Drew Young was in a team who were asked to guard the nosecone of the plane, which fell in a field next to Tundergarth Church.

He said: "A lot of folk wouldn't talk about it... It's like a shutter coming down. You know, you got on with it. It's still there - the town shut down that night."

The explosion saw parts of shrapnel and the plane plummet to the ground into the village.

The Pan Am 103 gouged huge craters in the streets, killing 11 people on the ground as well as the 259 passengers on the plane.

A large piece of the aircraft smashed into one residential street, narrowly missing houses but scattering the bodies of 60 people onto the roofs and back gardens of those living there.

Search efforts took place for bodies of people strewn from the aircraft, many of which ended up within one residential street. Credit: ITV

Peter Giesecke, who was then a 36-year-old mechanic, still struggles to talk about the devastating impact the crash had on him.

Fighting back tears, he said: "At that time we had a hedge and this young girl was over the fence, over the hedge. She had one shoe on."

Every year on the anniversary of the tragedy, Mr Giesecke lays a wreath to commemorate her.

The girl whose body fell on Mr Giesecke's garden was 21-year-old Lindsey Otenasek, who was among 35 students from Syracuse University.

Every year on the anniversary of the tragedy, Mr Giesecke lays a wreath to commemorate the girl he found strewn over his hedge. Credit: ITV

Fellow former student Nicole Wickham, also died in the plane crash.

Nicole's story became headline news after her mother was pictured screaming in the terminal at JFK airport.

Renee, her sister, told Lorraine: "The most painful moment of my mother and father's life was captured and shown all over the world."

Return To Lockerbie With Lorraine Kelly will be broadcast on Wednesday November 15 at 9pm on ITV1 & ITVX

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