Ceremony marks 21st anniversary of TWA Flight 800

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A somber ceremony Monday night at Smith Point County Park honored the 230 people killed aboard TWA Flight 800 21 years ago.

Just 12 minutes into its flight, the plane exploded in mid-air and fell into the ocean just south of Moriches Inlet. Fourteen of the victims were Long Islanders. It happened at 8:31 p.m. on July 17, 1996.

After a four-year investigation, the official report concluded that it was a spark in the plane's center-wing fuel tank that caused the explosion.

View Photos of TWA Flight 800

Flags were flown at half-staff and flowers were put in place early at the park's memorial for the flight victims.

"This is a special place for a lot of us that have been involved in the project," says Frank Lombardi, of the group IGHL, which helped build and maintain the memorial. "It's just a sense of community, and what we can do to give back and help the families over the years."

Flight 800: Related Documents

Peter Dickson was a pilot with TWA for three decades. He says he and his wife came to remember those crew members who died that day. He says they may not have been blood-related but still were considered family.

"It's almost like going to a second place of belonging for me coming here," says Margaret Krick, whose 25-year-old son was a flight engineer aboard the plane.

Ollie Krick's name and 229 others were read aloud during the ceremony.

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