Turkish Airlines Flight 981 - Passengers


167 passengers flew on the Istanbul to Paris leg, and 50 of them disembarked in Paris. 216 new passengers, many of whom were supposed to fly on Air France, BEA, Pan Am or TWA, boarded TK 981 in Paris. As a result, the layover increased from the normal one hour to one hour and thirty minutes. Some other passengers cancelled their tickets due to delays or for not finding enough seats.

Most of the passengers were British. Among the British passengers were members of an amateur rugby team from Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, who were returning from attending a Five Nations match between France and England and trade union leader James Conway. The English rugby team took an Air France Boeing 727 instead of the doomed aircraft. Japanese embassy sources said that a total of 49 Japanese were on board. Turkish sources said that 15 Turks were on board. Also on board was John Cooper, who won silver medals in men's 400 meter hurdles and the 4X400 meter relay at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Among the passengers was Dr. Wayne Wilcox, a cultural attaché of the Embassy of the United States in London, his wife, and two of his four children. 38 passengers were Japanese university graduates who were touring Europe and were planning to join Japanese firms after the end of their tour.

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