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Bad Weather Hampers Twa Salvage Work

Thu., Aug. 1, 1996

Stormy seas forced divers to the ocean surface Wednesday and prevented ships from lifting any of the heavy wreckage of TWA Flight 800 out of the Atlantic.

Federal investigators had planned to begin bringing up pieces from the front section of the airplane, where they believe a bomb exploded. So far, they have brought up so little of the plane that they have been unable to rule out other possible causes for the downing of the Boeing 747, such as structural failure or an explosion in the plane’s center fuel tank.

“This was not a particularly terrific day for almost anything,” said Robert Francis, vice chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board.

Francis said divers recovered the bodies of 13 passengers from beneath a section of the rear part of the aircraft before operations were suspended, bringing the total number of victims recovered to 184. Another 46 bodies still are missing.

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