How hijacking unfolded

A chronology of the 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847:

June 14: Two Shiite Hezbollah gunmen board the flight at Athens and hijack the Boeing 727 with 153 aboard, including dozens from the suburbs on a Holy Land tour. Plane lands in Beirut, then Algiers, where 42 passengers are released but more gunmen come aboard.

June 15: Aircraft returns to Beirut. Hijackers kill Navy Petty Officer Robert Dean Stethem, 23. Plane is flown back to Algiers, where 64 are released.

June 16: Plane returns to Beirut. Passengers are taken off, but three crewmen remain.

June 17-18: Four more hostages are released.

June 19: Three crewmen are interviewed briefly by a TV reporter. "We're OK," says pilot John Testrake.

June 20: Five hostages appear at a news conference and appeal to President Reagan to refrain from a rescue mission.

June 23: Israel announces it will release Shiite prisoners, but Israel and U.S. insist there is no connection to the hostages.

June 25: White House threatens to close down Beirut airport and blockade Lebanon.

June 26: Ailing hostage released.

June 28: Syrian source says remaining hostages will be freed. Most hostages are taken to dine at a luxury hotel in Beirut.

June 30: Hostages released and ride in Red Cross caravan to Damascus, where they board U.S. aircraft for flight to West Germany.

Source: Associated Press

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