On Tuesday, September 19th, 1989 the aircraft exploded over Niger
in the Tenere region of the Sahara Desert. French investigators
determined a suitcase bomb planted by Libyan terrorists to be the cause.
All 170 people on board died.
UTA Flight 772 was a scheduled flight operating from Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo to Paris CDG airport in France. Eighteen years later, families of the victims gathered at the crash site to build a memorial.
Due to the remoteness of the location, pieces of the wreckage could still be found at the site.
The memorial was created by Les Familles de l’Attentat du DC-10
d’UTA, an association of the victims’ families along with the help of
The memorial was built mostly by hand and uses dark stones to
create a 200-foot diameter circle.The Tenere region is one of the most
inaccessible places on the planet. The stones were trucked to the site
from over 70 kilometers away.
The memorial was built over the course of two months in May and
June of 2007.170 broken mirrors, representing each victim, were placed
around the circumference of the memorial.
The memorial is anchored by the starboard wing of the aircraft
which was trucked to the site from 10 miles away. Workers had to dig up
the wing and empty it of sand.
The memorial was partly funded by the $170 million compensation package provided by the Libyan government.
Completed Memorial.The memorial can be seen from Google Earth.