Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

TWA Crash Probe Backs Fuel-Air Blast Flight 800 Finding Called 'Inescapable'

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

TWA Crash Probe Backs Fuel-Air Blast Flight 800 Finding Called 'Inescapable'

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- Despite all the fears and conspiracy theories, the conclusion is "inescapable" that an explosion of vapors in a fuel tank is what brought down TWA Flight 800 four years ago at a loss of 230 lives, a top federal investigator concluded yesterday.

The physical evidence "leads to the inescapable conclusion that the cause of the inflight breakup of TWA Flight 800 was a fuel-air explosion inside the center wing tank," said Bernard S. Loeb, aviation safety director of the National Transportation Safety Board.

He said investigators "cannot be certain" what ignited the blast, but the most likely cause was an electrical short in wiring inside the tank.

There was no evidence that metal fatigue, corrosion, recent repairs of the plane, a bomb or a missile was involved in the disaster off the coast of New York's Long Island, he said.

"The crash of Flight 800 graphically demonstrates that, even in one of the safest transportation systems in the world, things can go horribly wrong," said NTSB Chairman Jim Hall, opening a two-day meeting to study investigators' reports on the crash and its cause. …

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