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NTSB Reviews TWA 800 Findings For Press Corps

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In Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, NTSB investigators gave reporters a briefing on their investigation into the crash of TWA Flight 800 in 1996. A documentary that raises questions about the cause of the crash is due to be released on July 17, and on June 19, the safety board received a petition for reconsideration of the board's findings and probable-cause determination regarding the crash. "This petition is currently under review," the safety board said. At the briefing, "The investigators provided a summary of the investigation," NTSB spokeswoman Kelly Nantel told AVweb. "They provided no new information. The purpose behind the briefing was to provide reporters who are not as familiar with the investigation, a briefing into all the investigative work that went into determining the findings, conclusions and probable cause." 

In a statement, the NTSB said, "The TWA Flight 800 investigation remains one of the NTSB's most extensive and exhaustive investigations; the final report includes more than 400 pages of detailed information. In addition, the NTSB's docket, which has been available to the public since the late-1990s, contains more than 17,000 pages of supporting material." According to CNN, relatives of two crash victims said at the press briefing on Tuesday they were satisfied with the NTSB conclusions that faulty wiring caused a fuel tank explosion. NTSB investigator Jim Wildey told reporters, "I'm totally convinced there was no bomb or missile," a scenario suggested by the filmmakers. 

Critics of the NTSB report, who were not allowed into the briefing, spoke with reporters in the parking lot outside, CNN said. Hank Hughes, a former NTSB investigator who now questions the board's conclusion, told CNN he is motivated only by a desire to uncover the truth. "There's no profit motive," he said. "It's a matter of conscience and integrity as far as we're concerned. Two hundred and thirty people were killed and that's a tragedy that can't be ignored." The 90-minute documentary, TWA Flight 800, is scheduled to premiere at 8 p.m. July 17 on the Epix TV network.

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