|TWA investigation reconstruction|
Former investigators are pushing to reopen a probe into the 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800 off the coast of New York. they say new evidence points to the often-discounted theory that a missile strike may have downed the jumbo jet.
A documentary, being released next month on the 17th anvsy of the crash, questions the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)'s conclusion that the crash was caused by a fuel tank explosion.
Jim Speer, accident investigator for the Air Line Pilots Assn: "We don't know who fired the missile, but we have a lot more confidence that it was a missile."
The NY-Paris flight crashed July 17, 1996, just minutes after takeoff, killing all 230 aboard. Talk of a missile strike began almost immediately. Theories of an errant US Navy missile were widely refuted, but conjecture about a shoulder-fired missile launched by terrorists in a small boat has never completely gone away.
NTSB spokesman Kelly Nantel: "While the NTSB rarely re-investigates issues that have already been examined, our investigations are never closed and we can review any new information not previously considered by the board." She notes the TWA Flight 800 investigation lasted four years. "Investigators took great care reviewing, documenting and analyzing facts and data and held a five-day hearing to gather additional facts before determining probable cause."
NTSB said after the first investigation that it found no evidence of a missile strike. Some witnesses still maintain that a streak of light they saw started at the waterline and zoomed up towards the plane.