Flight 800 victims remembered on anniversary

Thursday marked the 12th anniversary of the TWA Flight 800 disaster that took place off the coast of Long Island. All 230 passengers on board the flight died when the plane exploded over Moriches Inlet

News 12 Staff

Jul 18, 2008, 12:33 AM

Updated 5,839 days ago

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Thursday marked the 12th anniversary of the TWA Flight 800 disaster that took place off the coast of Long Island.
All 230 passengers on board the flight died when the plane exploded over Moriches Inlet in 1996. Fourteen of those passengers were from Long Island. Investigators believe the center fuel tank filled with fumes and exploded.
On Wednesday, the federal government announced new steps to prevent similar disasters in the future. Airlines will be required to install devices on passenger and cargo jets designed to flush fumes out of the center fuel tank.
Family and friends of the passengers gathered at Smith Point County Park to read the names of those who perished.
Former TWA Disaster Response Coordinator Jerry Kausman, one of the first men on the scene after the crash, says he remembers that day like it was yesterday. He says he got to the crash site and officials expected to see survivors in the dark water, but saw only life vests.
Twelve years after the crash, conspiracy theories abound. Some eyewitnesses maintain they saw a missile moving through the sky toward the plane before seeing the explosion.
"I saw the missile plume crossing the sky and I watched it for three to five seconds,? says Fred ?Fritz? Meyer, a former Air National Guard pilot. "I saw an explosion and there is no doubt in my mind that that was military ordnance."
The government insists there was no evidence of a missile.
Click to see more about what some eyewitnesses think happened
To watch previous News 12 Long Island coverage of the crash, go to channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.
Fedsimpose rule to prevent fuel tank explosions
DOT press release on new ruleActing administrator's speechFinal rule (PDF)Transportationsecretary's blog: Making the Future Safer for Air Travelers


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