On December 21, 1988 Pan-Am flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie, killing all 259 souls on board and 11 people on the ground.

Shortly after 7pm a Toshiba cassette player stored in a brown Samsonite suitcase, rigged with 450g of Semtex, detonated and punched a hole in the side of the aircraft.

There was no time for the pilots to make a distress call, and the passengers and crew never stood a chance - the Air Accidents Investigation Bureau called the incident "not survivable".

The fuselage struck 13 Sherwood Crescent at more than 500mph. The bodies of its two residents, Maurice and Dora Hendry, would never be recovered. Nine others were killed on the street, their ages ranging from 10 to 82.

After a lengthy investigation, fragment of the timer used to detonate the bomb was found by officers crawling on their hands and knees.

It was eventually tied to two Libyan men Al-Amin Khalifah Fhimah and Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.

Their home nation refused to extradite the two men, and a decade of legal toing-and-froing followed before academic Professor Robert Black of the University of Edinburgh proffered an acceptable solution: a trial to be held under Scots law, in a neutral country.

Following a lengthy trial on a US air base, Fhimah was unanimously found not guilty and without his involvement the Crown was unable to "point to any specific route by which the primary suitcase could have been loaded".

Despite that Al-Megrahi was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment, with a recommendation that he serve 20 years before the chance of parole.

He was subsequently released on compassionate grounds in 2009, suffering from terminal prostate cancer, and died back at home in Libya in 2012.

Late last year another man, Abu Agila Mohammad Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi, was taken into US custody charged with allegedly supplying the suitcase bomb to Al-Megrahi and Fhimah and showing them how to set the timer.

He entered a not guilty plea and a date for his trial is yet to be set.

Today a cairn stands in Arlington National Cemetery in the US to remember the victims and there are similar memorials at Syracuse University; Dryfesdale Cemetery, near Lockerbie; and in Sherwood Crescent, Lockerbie.

Use the graphic above to explore the timeline of the tragic day.