Air India Flight 182 bombing marks grim anniversary; 38 years ago

Air India Flight 182 bombing marks grim anniversary; 38 years ago
File photo from the Air India Flight 182 bombing on June 23, 1985.

On the 38th anniversary of the Air India Flight 182 bombing, a poll finds that the deadliest terrorist attack in Canadian history is at risk of being forgotten.

A new Angus Reid poll found that nine out of 10 surveyed said they had little or no knowledge of the incident.

More than half of those under age 35 said they had never heard of the Air India bombing.

The bomb that killed 329 people on June 23, 1985 was built in Duncan, which many locals tell CHEK News they didn’t know.

A local mechanic, Inderjit Singh Reyat, assembled the bomb that destroyed Air India Flight 182.

Charges against Reyat were initially dropped, but after a 30-month investigation, police arrested Reyat again in England for the death of two baggage handlers from a bomb that exploded at Toyko’s Narita Airport.

RCMP evidence found Reyat bought all of his supplies in Duncan including the housing for the bomb, and smokeless gunpowder.

He bought blasting caps and dynamite from Ken Slade who was under the impression Reyat needed the supplies to clear land.

“He suggested to me that he was helping to construct the Sikh temple, and that they were having some problems on the grounds with stump, or rock, or something. And that’s what he wanted the powder for,” Slade told CHEK News in 1985.

Former B.C. Premier Ujjal Dosanjh had booked tickets for his wife, and three sons on the flight, but changed his mind at the last minute.

“It sends shivers down your spine because I remember hearing about it and essentially emotionally collapsing,” Dosanjh said.

He says it’s important people remember.

“We lost close to 300 Canadians on that flight, the largest mass murder in the history of our country,” Dosanjh said.

A number of memorials are planned across the country to remember the 268 Canadians lost 38-years ago.

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Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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