Feds impose rule to prevent fuel tank explosions

A day before the 12th anniversary of the TWA Flight 800 disaster, federal transportation officials announced a new rule Wednesday designed to prevent future midair explosions. Investigators believe the

News 12 Staff

Jul 16, 2008, 10:40 PM

Updated 5,852 days ago

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A day before the 12th anniversary of the TWA Flight 800 disaster, federal transportation officials announced a new rule Wednesday designed to prevent future midair explosions.
Investigators believe the center fuel tank on Flight 800 filled with fumes and exploded, killing all 230 people on board. Fourteen of the victims were from Long Island.
U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Mary Peters joined the FAA in announcing Wednesday that aircraft manufacturers and passenger airlines will be required to reduce the flammability of fuel tank gases and eliminate ignition sources in and around the fuel tanks.
"I certainly would have liked to have seen it sooner and liked to have seen it a little bit broader but I, you know, personally think that you have to give and take a little bit of everything,? says Jim Hurd, father of a Flight 800 victim.
New passenger planes have to meet the new government standards in two years. More than 2,700 older jets must be upgraded over a 9-year period. The cost to the airline industry is estimated to be nearly $1 billion.
Former FAA inspector Rich Wyeroski applauds the move but criticizes the administration for dragging its feet on the issue.
Aviation experts also say the rules are a long time coming. They advise selecting newer planes to fly on.
Peters says the upgrading process has been set up so that the biggest planes, which pose the most risk, will be outfitted first.
Click for more on when the changes will be implemented
To watch the extended press conference detailing the new rules, go to Channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.


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