TWA probe centers on burned seats
Noise remains a mystery;
August 21, 1996
2 more bodies recovered
Web posted at: 5:30 p.m. EDT
EAST MORICHES, New York (CNN) -- The investigation into what
caused the crash of TWA Flight 800 focused Wednesday on signs
of burn damage on seats from the right side of the aircraft.
Sources close to the investigation said the signs of burn
damage on seats from rows 17 through 28 -- roughly 50
percent of which have been recovered -- are further evidence
that whatever caused the plane to go down probably occurred
on the right side of the plane in the cabin area above the
Investigators are now looking at whether a bomb could have
been hidden in carry-on luggage, in an overhead baggage
compartment, under a seat, or in the central food galley, the
Other investigators into the July 17 crash that killed all
230 people aboard are using computers to analyze tapes from
the jet's cockpit voice recorder. National Transportation
Safety Board Vice Chairman Robert Francis said the tapes
reflect a normal flight up to the final second. That second
ends with what Francis calls a "loud unknown noise."
Investigators say the noise does not sound like anything
heard on cockpit voice recorders in airline bombings,
according to a White House official who's monitoring the
The official told CNN the sound may have come from a fuel
tank explosion on the Boeing 747, but investigators can't be
sure because there's never been a recording of such an
explosion to use as a comparison.
The Suffolk County Medical Examiner's office said Wednesday
two more bodies had been recovered from the wreckage in the
ocean off Long Island, bringing the total 208. Of those, 206
have been identified.
Diving operations in the TWA Flight 800 recovery effort were
suspended Wednesday morning because of strong wind and high
waves, but they resumed in the afternoon.
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