On July 17, 1996, one of the worst tragedies in recent history occurred: Trans World Airlines (TWA) Flight 800.

This plane, a Boeing 747, left New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport for the Italian capital Rome, with a stopover in Paris, France, but a few minutes after taking off it exploded.

There were 230 people on board. They all died.

The incident entailed an exhaustive investigation to determine the reason for the accident, which lasted for four years, and revealed that the probable cause of the explosion was an electrical short circuit that detonated vapors in the fuel tank of the central wing, although they never definitively determined where the initial spark came from.

This was reported to CNN by Frank Hilldrup, a member of the US National Transportation Safety Council (NTSB) team that carried out the accident investigation.

It also indicated that the wreckage of the aircraft fell into the Atlantic Ocean, near the coast of Long Island, New York.

Likewise, in an interview with CNN, the managing director of NTSB, Sharon Bryson, assured that the impact of Flight 800 will continue even if the remains are destroyed.

“This may not be an investigation that you never close the book on. He taught us too much and changed too many things for the book to close, at least in the short term, “Bryson said.


During the process, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) interviewed at least 755 witnesses.

According to CNN, of the eyewitness reports that were made public, the accounts varied, but many agree in describing the tragedy as “fireworks” heading toward the plane before it exploded.

However, prior to the conclusion of the investigation, the US authorities considered various theories, including terrorism, even considering Saddam Hussein and Moammar Gadhafi as suspects.