Investigators comb scorched wreckage in MiamiAugust 8, 1997
Web posted at: 10:57 p.m. EDT (0257 GMT)
MIAMI (CNN) -- Investigators worked Friday to piece together clues to what caused a DC-8 cargo plane to burst into flames and skid across a busy Miami street. The bodies of three of four people aboard have been recovered; the fourth body was believed to be in the scorched wreckage.
Search crews combed through debris strewn across the crash site Friday as authorities diagrammed the area and detailed anything that might help lead to a cause.
"We don't want to leave any stone unturned," said Sam Williams, assistant director of the Metro-Dade Police Department.
Williams said his agency was checking reports that relatives of two people who might have been in the area of the crash Thursday had not come home. He would not specify their gender or age.
In Washington, National Transportation Safety Board officials worked to decipher the cockpit-voice recorder and flight-data recorder taken from the plane. Investigators also pored over the jet's maintenance records and interviewed witnesses in an attempt to find out what caused the plane to go down.
NTSB chairman Jim Hall told reporters he surveyed the scene Friday morning.
"It is somewhat of a miracle the passage of the aircraft stopped short of the buildings and areas where obviously additional individuals were located and could have been killed," he said.
Fine Air Flight 101, bound for the Dominican Republic, slammed into several parked cars Thursday and set them ablaze before sliding to a stop in front of a row of businesses in a strip mall a mile from the airport. The flight was carrying 80,000 pounds of denim pieces.
Four people, including a woman who lost control of her car, were taken to a hospital, but none suffered serious injuries.
Hall declined to comment further about the investigation, but said more details would be discussed during a Friday evening news conference.
Investigators are looking into possible mechanical failure, pilot error or whether the plane's cargo may have shifted, contributing to the crash.
A Fine Air official told CNN that the air carrier had undergone an intensive 30-day inspection by the Federal Aviation Administration in March and passed "with flying colors."
Nanci Adels, the air carrier's vice president of sales, said the inspection covered all 15 Fine Air DC-8s and turned up no major maintenance problems.
Fine Air began selling its stock for the first time Wednesday on the Nasdaq stock market. Trading in the stock was halted in wake of the crash.
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