Fashion giant Next has pulled a Pan Am Christmas jumper after families in Lockerbie claimed it was “offensive” to bombing victims ahead of the 35th anniversary.
In its first day, a petition calling for the festive jumper to be pulled was signed by over 1,000 people. The knit had the Pan Am logo on the front.
Pan Am Flight 103 was destoryed over the Scottish town of Lockerbie on December 21, 1988. The plane crashed after a bomb on-board was detonated.
A total of 270 people – including including 243 passengers, 16 crew members and 11 people on the ground – were killed in the incident. The event is still remembered in the town decades later.
Phil Geddes, 39, launched the petition after spotting the Christmas jumper on Next’s website while shopping. Phil, who has lived in Lockerbie his whole life, said: “I was only five at the time, but the Lockerbie disaster is my earliest memory.
“I remember the noise of the plane, my brother hiding under the bed, and us running outside and seeing a fireball in the sky. There are people in my town who found bodies, and I know people who are still terrified of flying because of it.
“My part isn’t important – they’re the real victims.”
Phil, a HGV parts manager, said the jumper immediately “annoyed” him. He made the petition because he felt as though he “had to do something”.
A number of people backing the petition have personal connections to the tragic incident. One wrote: “I worked at the local hospital the night of the Lockerbie disaster and it’s as fresh in my mind 35 years later as it was back then.
“This jumper needs to be taken off the market immediately.”
Another added: “I lost a friend on flight 103. This is beyond distasteful.”
A Next spokesperson said: “In response to customer contact, Next removed the ‘ALL + EVERY’ third-party branded items from its marketplace over the weekend.”