Aviation specialists said new evidence suggests that a missile could have brought down TWA Flight 800
in 1996 and are calling on the National Transportation Safety Board this week to reopen its investigation.
The Associated Press reported that a petition filed Wednesday seeking to reopen the probe stated that "FAA radar evidence along with new evidence not available to the NTSB during the official investigation and contend that the NTSB's probable cause determination is erroneous and should be reconsidered and modified accordingly."
Tom Stalcup, a physicist and co-founder of a group called Flight 800 Independent Researchers Organization, is featured in an upcoming documentary that questions the NTSB's original findings, wrote the Associated Press. The documentary will air on EPIX cable channel on July 17, the anniversary of the crash.
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USA Today reported that former investigators from the NTSB, TWA and Air Line Pilots Association suggest in a documentary that missiles caused the plane to explode near Long Island and kill 230 people aboard
. The plane was flying from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport to Paris.
The Associated Press obtained a statement from NTSB, which was issued Wednesday about the documentary.
"All petitions for reconsideration are thoroughly reviewed, and a determination is usually made within about 60 days," Kelly Nantel said in the statement. "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."
The NTSB spent four years investigating the crash and rejected the possibility of a missile, wrote USA Today. The board found that the plane's center fuel tank exploded, "most likely" from a short circuit that jolted the tank through wiring from a fuel gauge.
"The in-flight breakup of TWA flight 800 was not initiated by a bomb or a missile strike," the board concluded in its report.
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In the documentary, former investigators Hank Hughes from the NTSB, Bob Young from TWA and Jim Speer from the Air Line Pilots Association all call for the reexamination, according to the Associated Press.
Speer, a former Air Force pilot, told the Associated Press Wednesday that initial test found explosive residue on a wing, but was later tested as a false positive.
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