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Twa Flight 800 Crash To Be Reviewed At December Hearings

The TWA Flight 800 disaster will be examined at December hearings by the National Transportation Safety Board in Baltimore.

“This hearing will provide the public with an opportunity to hear firsthand about the exhaustive scientific testing the safety board and others have undertaken to find the cause of this tragedy,” board Chairman Jim Hall said Friday.

The hearing opens Dec. 8 at the Baltimore Convention Center and is expected to last five days.

TWA Flight 800 exploded July 17, 1996, shortly after taking off from New York’s Kennedy International Airport en route to Paris. All 230 people aboard the Boeing 747 died.

The NTSB and the FBI have conducted parallel investigations of the disaster, the most extensive such inquiry in the nation’s history.

Investigators say the blast was caused by an explosion in the plane’s center fuel tank, but the trigger for that explosion remains undetermined.

Mechanical problems, a bomb and even the possibility of a missile have been studied, but no hard evidence has been produced to rule out any of the three.

Hearings are held in connection with major investigations. The board reports on the progress of its work and calls a series of technical witnesses to testify under oath on various issues.

The focus of the investigation has been on Long Island, N.Y., where much of the destroyed airplane has been reassembled, and at NTSB labs in Washington.