Former Investigator: Missile Brought Down TWA Flight 800 - NBC4 Washington

Former Investigator: Missile Brought Down TWA Flight 800



    Seventeen years after the crash of TWA Flight 800, some of the original crash investigators say the final NTSB report does not tell the whole story. The producers of a new documentary are requesting the investigation be reopened, but not everyone agrees the crash should be revisited. News4 Transportation reporter Adam Tuss reports. (Published Tuesday, July 2, 2013)

    A former investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board says a missile may have brought down TWA flight 800 in 1996, killing more than 200 people.

    The plane was Paris-bound from New York July 17, 1996 when it disintegrated above the Atlantic Ocean. Until now, NTSB investigators have said a fuel tank inside of the plane exploded.

    "There's no question in my mind [that we're not getting the full story]," former NTSB TWA flight 800 investigator Hank Hughes said.

    Hughes was in charge of reconstructing the TWA 800 for the NTSB, and said a missile is responsible for the 230 deaths.

    A co-producer of a new documentary on the explosion said he's hoping his work will spur a new investigation by the NTSB into the crash.

    "Eyewitnesses saw precisely what happened," Tom Stalcup said. "Radar data confirmed it, but for some reason, that data was never analyzed by the NTSB."

    Along with the media, family members of some of the victims who died that day toured the wreckage of the plane Tuesday, now on display in Ashburn, Va.

    Jim Hurd from Severn, Md. lost his 29-year-old son in the crash.

    "He was going on vacation to Paris to meet up with his girlfriend who was doing her education as a French teacher," Hurd said.

    He said reopening the investigation would be like reopening an old wound.

    "I do not believe it was a bomb, a missile or anything of that nature," Hurd said.

    Safety recommendations and changes that happened as a result of the crash have made air travel safer, NTSB officials said.