Lorraine Kelly PTSD: presenter says Lockerbie Bombing terror attack traumatised her as she revisits crash site

Lorraine Kelly, one of the first journalists at the scene of the 1988 Lockerbie Bombing terror attack, suffered PTSD

Lorraine Kelly suffered PTSD from reporting on Lockerbie BombingLorraine Kelly suffered PTSD from reporting on Lockerbie Bombing
Lorraine Kelly suffered PTSD from reporting on Lockerbie Bombing

ITV presenter Lorraine Kelly said that she suffered post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from working as a journalist at the scene of the Lockerbie Bombing in 1988. The event remains the worst terror attack ever on UK soil, almost five times as many fatalities as the next deadliest, the London 7/7 bombings.

Kelly, at the time working as a reporter for TV-am as Scotland Correspondent, was one of the first journalists on the scene of the devastating attack in December 1988.

In a preview of her new documentary, Return to Lockerbie with Lorraine Kelly, the presenter says: “Everybody is allowed to have some kind of trauma from this, it’s okay, it’s not a sign of weakness to say actually I was really badly affected by that and I still am today.

“I was only there reporting on it, I wasn’t living it. I was able to go in and then go back to my life. So I don’t feel as if I have the right to feel traumatised. 

What was the Lockerbie Bombing?

The Lockerbie Bombing is the deadliest UK terror attack ever recorded, which occurred on 21 December 1988 when Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed. The flight was due to travel from Frankfurt to Detroit via London and New York City, but a bomb planted on the plane was detonated as it travelled over Scotland.

The bomb killed all 259 passengers and crew on board, and the debris from the disaster landed in residential areas, killing a further 11 people on the ground. 190 victims were American, 43 were UK citizens, and the rest came from 19 other countries.

An international manhunt was launched in response to the attack and in 2020, more than three decades later, Abu Agila Mohammad Mas'ud Kheir Al-Marimi, a former Libyan intelligence operative was apprehended and admitted to making the bomb. He faces federal charges in the US and is likely to receive life imprisonment if convicted. 

What is Return to Lockerbie with Lorraine Kelly about?

The ITV documentary Return to Lockerbie with Lorraine Kelly follows the presenter as she travels back to the scene of the terror attack 35 years later. She speaks of her memories from reporting on the disaster, such as the smell of jet fuel.

Kelly experienced flashbacks and nightmares about Lockerbie in the time following her reporting of the event. As she revisits the town on the Scottish border, she learns how residents coped with the aftermath of the horrific attack.

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