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S P E C I A L S TWA Flight 800

NTSB begins fuel tank blasts as part of TWA 800 probe

July 28, 1997
Web posted at: 10:04 p.m. EDT (0204 GMT)

NEW YORK (CNN) -- The National Transportation Safety Board Monday began a series of explosives tests in England on a Boeing 747 jumbo jet fuel tank as part of its investigation into the crash of TWA Flight 800.

The safety board put small explosive charges on the outside of a center fuel tank to study the impact, NTSB spokeswoman Shelly Hazle said. Monday's test is the first of three to be conducted through Tuesday in Bruntingthorpe, about 90 miles north of London, Hazle said.

The second test, on Saturday, will also use small charges to check the effects on different parts of the room-sized fuel tank. The third test, on Tuesday, will completely blow up the tank with propane.

The NTSB is working with the FBI, FAA and British aviation authorities. It is using the same retired Air France jumbo jet that the FAA used in May to conduct explosive tests on re-enforced baggage containers and cargo holds. The FAA was studying hardening techniques to better protect planes from bombs.

TWA Flight 800
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