TWA Flight 800 crash not due to gas tank explosion, former investigators say
- 06/20/2013 by Dylan Stableford (Yahoo News)
On July 17, 1996, TWA Flight 800 exploded and crashed into the waters off Long Island, killing all 230 passengers on board. After a four-year investigation, the NTSB concluded the plane was destroyed by a center fuel tank explosion likely caused by a spark from faulty wiring. However, the producers of an upcoming documentary on TWA Flight 800 claim to have proof that a missile caused the flight to crash.
Jim Speer, an accident investigator at the time of the crash for the Airline Pilots Association, who sifted through the recovered wreckage in a hangar, said he discovered holes consistent with those that would be formed by a high-energy blast in the right wing. He requested it be tested for explosives. When the test came back positive, he said, he was "physically removed" from a room by two CIA agents.
Six former investigators who took part in the film say there was a cover-up and want the case reopened. Hank Hughes, a senior accident investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board, informs that information from the 755 witnesses of the crash was never shared with the FBI. Dozens of eyewitnesses in the Long Island area "recalled seeing something resembling a flare or firework ascend and culminate in an explosion," the CIA said in a 2008 report.
"We went back and interviewed these people and found them to be quite credible," Hughes said on Wednesday. He added: "We have no hidden agenda here—we just want the truth."
The film will premiere on EPIX on July 17, the 17th anniversary of the disaster.
The reconstruction of TWA Flight 800's fuselage. (Daniel Brooks/Epix)