Brother of Fargo man killed in plane bombing in 1988 reacts to charges

FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) – A man who grew up in Fargo is happy someone is being held responsible for his brother’s death.

“It’s good that it’s happening. I mean, it’s a long time coming, and there’s a little bit of satisfaction there that someone’s going to be tried in the U.S. and hopefully prosecuted and convicted. Does it change anything? No, but it’s at least a move in the right direction,” Rob Burrell said.

Thirty-four years later and finally someone is answering for the bombing.

Rob Burrell was hunting in North Dakota when a friend texted him the Libyan man accused of making the bomb will stand trial in the U.S. His brother Steven was 20 and flying home from studying abroad in London with his Syracuse University communications program when the plane exploded over Scotland. Rob was 24 and working for a radio station in Maine.

“I was coming by a TV that was in the locker room of the YMCA, just outside the locker room and saw what looked like the aftermath of the plane crash not really putting two and two together until I walked outside and my morning show partner was waiting for me and said we needed to get back to my place and get on the phone with my parents,” Rob Burrell said.

He would like his brother to be remembered for his gentle spirit.

“He was smart. He had a great sense of humor. He was a kind person. He was a good friend,” Rob Burrell said.

Rob’s daughter Katie also went to Syracuse and was a Remembrance Scholar.

“I think about it every time I get on a plane, honestly. If my uncle was still here, he’d tell me not to sit there and worry about your plane being bombed. I still have the time to live my life and do that for my uncle as well,” Katie Burrell said.

Katie does what she can to keep her uncle’s memory alive.

“It’s about acting forward in their memory and educating people about what’s going on in the world. This isn’t just something that’s happening far away from us. It’s not something that has gone away 30 years later,” Katie Burrell said.

Rob and Steven Burrell’s parents still live in Fargo.

Categories: Local News, North Dakota News