Long Island, NY (Off) TWA Jet Explodes Over Atlantic, July 1996
229 ABOARD FEARED DEAD; WITNESSES DESCRIBE 'FIREBALL'
TWA JET EXPLODES OVER ATLANTIC.
State Department and airline officials say they have received no threats or reasons to suspect terrorism, but investigators will look immediately for the possibility of a bomb.
New York -- A TWA jumbo jetliner plunged into the Atlantic Ocean off Long Island Wednesday night with 229 people aboard, after exploding in midair in an orange fireball visible from the shore.
TWA Flight 800 from John F. Kennedy Airport to Charles DeGaulle Airport in Paris had reached about 7,500 feet before crashing about 8:40 p.m. 10 to 20 miles off Moriches Inlet, at the eastern end of Long Island, Coast Guard and Port Authority spokesmen said.
"The flight right after it ... saw it become a fireball and watched it fall out of the sky," said one high-ranking Federal Aviation Administration official.
A private pilot flying in the area, SVEN FARET, said he watched in terror as the jumbo jet was erased from the sky.
"We were pleasure flying at about 8,500 feet .. and we looked over and saw some landing lights ... and we saw a big giant ball of flames, the biggest orange ball I ever saw, and then an instant later you just saw pieces just drop out of the bottom of it and orange flames, directly into the water," he said.
FARET said the doomed airliner "definitely" exploded in midair. "As it hit the water, we saw the area light up and big splashes erupting as the flames were coming down," he said.
Boats and planes immediately were sent to the scene.
"They've got bodies down all over the place," said ANDREW FELDMAN, the chairman of disaster communication for the Suffolk County chapter of the American Red Cross. "I've been listening to air and sea rescue. All they have is bodies floating. There's no sign of recovery."
The tragedy came as federal officials girded for a summer of massive anti-terrorism operations, ranging from the Summer Olympic Games set to begin Friday in Atlanta to the Republican and Democratic national conventions next month in San Diego and Chicago, respectively.
In Washington, State Department spokesman NICHOLAS BURNS said officials had no specific reason to suspect terrorism. President CLINTON, Secretary of State WARREN CHRISTOPHER and other senior national security officials were briefed through the night on the crash.
The Coast Guard said six helicopters, three Coast Guard cutters and a Navy P-3 rescue plane were sent. The Navy plane was dropping life rafts.
Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer STEVE SAPP said, "We are not finding any survivors."
The control tower lost radar contact with the plane about 8:40 p.m., when it was at 13,000 feet and was supposed to be 15 miles east of the airport, FAA spokesman ELIOT BRENNER said.
Just before the jet disappeared off radar screens, it radioed the Boston control tower "with a problem," Port Authority Police Sgt. EUGENE LEARY said.
"This is the worst possible thing that can happen," said MIKE KELLY, TWA staff vice president of airport operations.
KELLY said the "passenger load was 29 first-class, 183 (in coach), crew of three cockpit, 14 flight attendants. We don't have a lot of other detailed info at this particular time."
One witness on the shore, ROBERT SIRIANI, 20, said he saw a massive, silent ball of flame falling from the sky into the ocean as he walked to his car from his parents' home in Mastic Beach.
'Whole thing was flames'
"I looked at the bay and saw a reflection on the water, then I looked up and I saw a big orange fireball falling into the ocean," he said. "I'd say it was 100 feet wide and a couple of hundred feet long. The whole thing was in flames, the flames were so bright I didn't see anything else."
"Something of that size, it just floated; it took a very long time to come down," he said. "It must have been really up in the sky. Then as it hit the water I saw one flame come up from the water and that was it, it was gone. I didn't even hear anything. It was so silent."
On Dune Road in Westhampton Beach, about 80 miles east of New York City, residents described a shattering explosion that turned the night to day and violently shook their beach homes.
"Suddenly the house shook like there was an earthquake going on," said GREG DEMIRJIAN, 32, who was talking on the phone in his home when the jet crashed. "It shook twice and then about 10 seconds later, there were two huge explosions."
The plane was a 100 series of 747, FAA officials said, the oldest in the air, put in service in 1970.
JIM HALL, chariman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said investigators from the agency have been joined at the scene by FBI agents and other federal and local officials.
HALL noted that the wreckage's location in the ocean would complicate greatly all recovery and investigative efforts and said the NTSB likely would ask the U. S. Navy to assist in recovery efforts.
Authorities said bodies were expected to be taken to a temporary morgue at the Coast Guard station at Moriches Inlet then moved to the Suffolk County Medical Examiner's office in Hauppauge.
The plane was due to arrive at DeGaulle Airport at 8:15 a.m. Paris time.
"The president was informed about the reports we were getting shortly before 10 p.m.," White House spokesman MIKE McCURRY said. "He is deeply concerned and we are monitoring the situation closely."
"Out thoughts and prayers are with those who were aboard Flight 800," McCURRY said.
PULLED FROM SEA, THE STORIES OF THEIR LIVES.
Aboard the Cutter Juniper -- A waterlogged book of poetry. A postcard written in German. A wedding invitation. A photo of a bride and groom, and a picture of a small black dog.
The debris of lives forever gone lay strewn on the deck of the Coast Guard cutter Juniper, where the crew plucked them from the Atlantic Ocean along with the charred pieces of a fallen plane.
"The water was literally still on fire," said Juniper Capt. TIM SULLIVAN. Coast Guard planes dropped flares that illuminated the sky, and the sea was teeming with boats.
By Thursday morning, the Juniper found only debris and personal belongings.
As the Adak's 16 crew members pulled up bodies amid the smell of burned jet fuel rising from the water, TODD PITTS, the boat's senior technician, told them not to look at the dead faces.
"It makes it more personal," said PITTS -- and much harder to do the job.
Petty Officer JEFF RUGGIERI, a stapping young man on the Adak, said crew members were reminded of their purpose when the captain told them, "At least the families have someone to bury."
TINY TOWN WITH 'A BIG HURT' MOURNS ITS LOSS.
Montoursville, Pa. -- They knew them as the girl who spilled the fries in the car. Knew them as the boy who shot baskets and lighted the candles at church. Knew them as the girl who wrote poetry and played the piano.
In this small central Pennsylvania town they knew them all, knew tham as the kids who sold them pizza or a hoagie or washed their cars to raise money fot a trip to France -- a trip that ended in tragedy Wednesday night when TWA Flight 800 exploded, taking the lives of 21 people from this tight-knit community.
"Everybody knows everybody," said RON PAULHAMUS, a print shop owner. And now everybody grieves. Sixteen dead high school students, five dead adults. Twenty-one dead friends.
"They were young, committed, filled with excitement about the prospect of visiting France," President CLINTON told delegates to Boys and Girls Nation at a White House reception. "Our country will be poorer for their absence and the rest of you will have to work a little harder to live up to your promise and to theirs, as well."
CLINTON spoke with Mountoursville Mayor JOHN DORIN who told him, "This is a big hurt that's going to last a while
The Associated Press
The 230 people, including four cockpit crew members and 14 flight attendants, aboard Trans World Airlines Flight 800, as provided by the airline, with details added by family, friends or officials:
AIKENS-BELLAMY, SANDRA, 49, off-duty TWA employee, of New York City.
AIKEY, JESSICA, student from Montoursville, Pa.
ALEXANDER, MATTHEW, 20, a student at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, N.C., traveling to Diion, France, to study, of Florence, S. C.
ALLEN, ASHTON, 15, of Marietta, Ga.
ALLEN, LAMAR, of Marietta, Ga. (father of ASHTON ALLEN)
ANDERSON, JAY EDWARD, 49, financial planner for Allmerica, of Warson Woods, Mo.
ANDERSON, PATRICIA, 42, of Warson Woods, Mo. (married to JAY ANDERSON)
BABB, DAVID, 13, of Volant, Pa. (nephew of CLARA ERSOZ).
BASZCZEWSKI, DANIEL, student from Montoursville, Pa.
BEALIY, CHARLES, 50, senior systems engineer with the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren, Va., of Spotsylvania, Va.
BECKER, MICHELLE, 19, a student at Georgia State University in Atlanta, of St. Petersburg, Fla.
BELLAZOUG, MYRIAM, 30, architect, of New York.
BENJAMIN, ARTHUR, high school computer science teacher, of Philadelphia.
BOHLIN, MICHELLE, student from Montoursville, Pa.
BOSSUYT, LUC, employee of Bristol-Myers, of Bridgeport, Conn.
BOWER, JORDAN, student from Montoursville, Pa.
BRAMAN-MOSBERG, ROSEMARY, 47, off-duty TWA employee, of Hoboken, N. J.
BREISTROFF, MICHEL, 25, French hockey player who graduated from Harvard in 1995.
BROOKS, EDWIN, 81, former executive vice-president of Taco Industries, of Edgartown, Mass.
BROOKS, RUTH, 79, of Edgartown, Mass. (wife of EDWIN BROOKS).
BUTTARONI, MIRKA, 26, bank employee, of Fano, Italy (husband of MONICA OMICCIOLI).
CALLAS, DAN J., 22, TWA Flight 800 crew, of Philadelphia.
CAMPBELL, RICHARD G., 63, TWA Flight 800 flight engineer, of Ridgefield, Conn.
CARVEN, JAY, 9, of Bel Air, Md.
CARVEN, PAULA, off-duty TWA flight attendant, of Bel Air, Md. (mother of JAY CARVEN).
CHANSON, LUDOVIC, 11, exchange student returning to family, of Garancieres, France.
CHARBONNIER, JACQUES, 66, TWA flight 800 crew, of Huntington Station, N. Y.
CHARBONNIER, CONSTANCE, 49, TWA flight 800 crew, of Huntington Station, N. Y.
CHRISTOPHER, JANET, 48, TWA flight 800 crew, of _______________
COINER, CONSTANCE, 48, associate professor of English and literature at State University of New York at Binghamton, of Binghamton, N. Y.
COINER, ANA DUARTE, 12, of Binghamton, N. Y. (CONSTANCE COINER'S daughter).
COX, MONICA, student from Montoursville, Pa.
CRANDELL, PAMELA, 28, a first-grade teacher, of Anne Arundel County, Md.
DADI, MARCEL, 46, French musician who helped spread Chet Atkins' style of guitar-playing across Europe and was returning home after being honored at Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tenn.
D'ALESSANDRO, ANNA, of Palo del Colle, Italy (married to GIUSEPPE MERCURIO).
DELANGE, SYLVAIN, painter and art professor, Tourcoing, France.
DELOUVRIER, JUDITH, 47, a philanthropist who was a trustee of her family's Philadelphia-based Connely Foundation, of New York City.
DICKEY, DEBORAH, a French teacher, of Montoursville, Pa.
DICKEY, DOUGLAS, of Montoursville, Pa. (married to DEBORAH DICKEY).
DiLUCCIO, DEBRA COLLINS, 47, TWA flight 800 crew of Agropoli, Italy, formerly of Athens, Ga.
D'IORIO, CHRISTINE BAILEY, mother of four, waitress, of Prato, Italy (married to PIETRO D'IORIO).
D'IORIO, PIETRO, waiter, of Prato, Italy.
DODGE, WARREN, 50, off-duty TWA employee, of Brentwood, N. H.
DWYER, LARKYN, 11, of New River, Ariz., was en route alone to visit relatives in Paris.
EDWARDS, DARYL, 41, off-duty TWA service supervisor, Jersey City, N. J.
ERSOZ, CLARA, 59, anesthesiologist, of Pittsburgh (married to NAMIK ERSOZ, aunt of DAVID BABB).
ERSOZ, NAMIK, 64, anesthesiologist, of Pittsburgh (married to CLARA ERSOZ).
ESHLEMAN, DOUGLAS A., 35, off-duty TWA flight engineer, of Aurora, Colo.
FEENEY, DEIRDRE, 17, New Hyde Park, N. Y.
FEENEY, VERA, 56, home-care nurse, New Hyde Park, N. Y. (mother of DIERDRE FEENEY).
FERRAT (First name unavailable).
FOSTER, ROD, 61, corporate pilot for Dassault Falcon Jet Co., of Sherman, Conn.
FRY, CAROL, former school board member, Montoursville, Pa.
GABOR, DANIEL, 27, ran middle-distances for University of Arkansas, of Fayetteville, Ark., and Walnut Creek, Calif.
GAELKE, DAN 33, owned landscaping business and taught elementary school art, of Kansas City, Mo., traveling to France to study gardens with wife.
GAELKE, STEPHANIE, 33, owned landscaping business, of Kansas City, Mo. (wife of DAN GAELKE cousin of CHRISHA and BRENNA SIEBERT).
GALLAGHER, CLAIRE, student from Montoursville, Pa.
GALLAND, JEAN PAUL.
Unnamed passenger flying with C. GASA.
GOUGH, ANALEI RALLI, off-duty TWA flight attendant, of Mill Valley, Calif.
GOUGH, Capt. DONALD, off-duty TWA pilot, of Mill Valley, Calif. (married to ANALEI GOUGH).
GRAHAM, STEVEN, 38, a marketing director for the long-distance phone company Ameritel, of Napa, Calif.
GRAY, CHARLES HANK, 47, president and chief operating officer of Midland Financial Group, Inc., of Memphis.
GRIFFITH, DONNA, Brooklyn, N. Y.
FRIMM, JULIA, student from Montoursville, Pa.
GRIVET, CYRIL, senior lab technician at Carnegie Institution lab at Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.
HAMMER, BEVERLY, 59, of Long Beach, N. Y.
HAMMER, TRACY, 29, graduate student in microbiology and veterinary medicine at Michigan State University, of Long Beach, N. Y. (daughter of BEVERLY HAMMER).
HANSEN, LARS GROENBAKKEN.
HARKNESS, ERIC, 23, off-duty TWA employee, of Columbus, Ohio.
HAURANI, DR. GHASSAN, of Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich (married to NINA HAURANI).
HAURANI, NINA, of Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich., mother of four in their teens and early 20's).
HAZELTON, SANDRA, a high school French teacher taking her daughter, KATRINA M. ROSE, to Paris as a college graduation gift, of Beachwood, Ohio.
HETTLER, RANCE, student from Montoursville, Pa.
HILL, SUSAN, police detective in Portland, Ore.
HOGAN, DAVID, of Paris, a Virginia-born composer who studied at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore.
HOLST, VIRGINIA, 31, merchandise distributor, Manorville, N. Y.
HULL, JAMES, 48, off-duty TWA employee, of Southampton, Pa.
HURD, JAMES III, manager of a family automotive shop in Glen Burnie, Md.
INGENHUETT, LONNIE, 43, off-duty TWA employee, of Scottsdale, Ariz.
JENSEN, SUSANNE, 31, associate at G. E. Capital, of Greenwich, Conn.
JOHNS, COURTNEY, 18, recent graduate of Marian High School in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., who planned to attend Villanova University in the fall, of Clarkston, Mich.
JOHNSEN, ARLENE E., 60, TWA Flight 800 flight attendant, owned a bed-and-breakfast, of Grand Junction, Colo.
JOHNSON, ELEANOR, 50, retired vice president of editing firm, of Springfield, Va.
JOHNSON, JED, 47, interior designer, of New York.
JOHNSON, LEONARD, 53, mechanical engineer, of Springfield, Va. (husband of ELEANOR JOHNSON).
JONES, RAMONA, 61, retired hospital employee, West Hartford, Conn.
KERSCHNER, AMANDA, student from Montoursville, Pa.
KAVORKIAN, Capt. RALPH G., 58, TWA Flight 800 pilot, of Garden Grove, Calif.
KRICK, OLIVER, 25, TWA Flight 800 flight engineer, of St. Louis.
KRIKHAN, MARGOT, 51, a bookkeeper at the Montessori School in Washington, Conn., of Brookfield, Conn.
KRUKAR, ANDREW, 40, an engineer at the Torrington Co., in Watertown, Conn., of Bridgewater, Conn.
KWAN, BARBARA, 40, off-duty TWA employee of Scottsdale, Ariz.
KWIAT, KIMBERLY, 26, of Briarcliff, N. Y.
KWIAT, PATRICIA, 21, student at Notre Dame University, of Briarcliff, N. Y. (sister of KIMBERLY KWIAT).
LABYS, JANE, 51, a real estate agent from Morgantown, W. Va.
LANG, RAY, 51, TWA flight 800 crew, of North Massapequa, N. Y.
LOCKHART, MAUREEN, 49, TWA flight 800 crew, of Marriam, Kan.
LOFFREDO, ELAINE, 50, off-duty TWA employee, of Glastonbury, Conn.
LAUDENSLAGER, JODY, student from Montoursville, Pa.
LOO, PATRICIA, 55, retired researcher for the pharmacological firm Ciba-Geigy, of New Jersey.
LUCIEN, DALLIA, 17 (niece of saxophone player WAYNE SHORTER, who was not on the flight).
LUEVANO, ELIAS, 42, off-duty TWA employee, of Albuquerque, N. M.
LYCHNER, KATIE, 8, of Houston (daughter of PAM LYCHNER).
LYCHNER, PAM, 37, prominent Texas crime victims rights advocate, of Houston (mother of SHANNON and KATIE LYCHNER).
LYCHNER, SHANNON, 10, of Houston (daughter of PAM LYCHNER).
MARTIN, BETTY RUTH, 69, of Belleville, Ill.
MAZZOLA, SALVATOR, 36, of Palermo, Italy.
McPHERSON, PAMELA, 45, off-duty TWA employee, of Atlanta.
MEADE, SANDRA, 42, TWA Flight 800 crew, of Camano Island, Wash.
MELOLIN, GRACE, 48, TWA Flight 800 crew, of Corona, N. Y.
MERCURIO, GIUSEPPE, of Palo del Colle, Italy, produce-stand worker and part-owner of jewelry store in Bari, Italy (married to ANNA D'ALESSANDRO).
MERIEUX, RADOLPHE, son of the president of the pharmaceutical company Merieux Laboratories in Lyons, France (his father was not on the plane).
MILLER, AMY, 29, hardware store comptroller, of Andreas, Pa. (married to KYLE MILLER).
MILLER, ELIZABETH,in her 50's, of Tenafly, N. J. (married to ROBERT MILLER).
MILLER, GIDEON, 57, off-duty TWA pilot, of Sarasota, Fla.
MILLER, KYLE, 29, hardware store co-owner, of Andreas, Pa. (married to AMY MILLER, their trip was to celebrate fifth wedding anniversary).
MILLER, ROBERT, 62, Tenafly borough administrator, of Tenafly, N. J. (married to ELIZABETH MILLER).
Unnamed passenger flying with A. NELSON.
NIBERT, CHERYL, student from Montoursville, Pa.
NOTES, GADI, 29, senior associate at investment banking division of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, Inc., Israeli citizen.
O'HARA, CAITLIN, 13, of Irvington, N. Y. (daughter of JANET and JOHN O'HARA).
O'HARA, JANET, 39, of Irvington, N. Y. (wife of JOHN O'HARA).
O'HARA, JOHN, 39, executive producer at ABC Sports, of Irvington, N. Y. (husband of JANET O'HARA father of CAITLIN O'HARA).
OLSEN, REBECCA JANE, 20, junior history major at University of Georgia, of Macon, Ga.
ORNICCIOLI, MONICA, 23, seamstress, of Fano, Italy (married to MIRKO BUTTARONI).
Unnamed passenger flying with ELSIE OSLACHIEWICZ).
PENZER, JUDY, 49, artist and muralist, Pittsburgh.
PRICE, DENNIS, investment manager, of Englewood, Calif.
PRICE, PEGGY, United Airlines flight attendant, of Englewood, Colo. (married to DENNIS PRICE).
PRIVETTE, GLENDA, 46, recently resigned as personnel manager at Beaulieu Carpet Plant in Bridgeport, Ala, of Stevenson, Ala. (mother of THOMAS WEATHERBY).
PUHLMANN, RICO, 62, fashion photographer, of New York City and Berlin.
RHEIN,KIRK, JR., 43, president and chief executive _________ insurance company, and a partner in the New York Investment firm Whitman, Heffernan, Rhein & Co., of Darien, Conn.
RHOADS, MARIE E., 48, TWA Flight 800 crew, Bellevue, Wash. (married to SCOTT RHOADS).
RHOADS, SCOTT, 48, school teacher, Bellevue, Wash. (married to MARIE RHOADS).
ROGERS, KIMBERLY, student from Montoursville, Pa.
ROLANY, YON, 19, headed to Rome to try out for European basketball team, of Los Angeles.
ROMAGNA, BARBARA, 76, of Sun City Center, Fla.
ROSE, KATRINA M., 26, of Cleveland Heights, Ohio (daughter of SANDRA HAZELTON).
RUPERT, JUDITH, high school secretary, Montoursville, Pa.
SCHULDT, MIKE, 51, TWA Flight 800 crew, Safety Harbor, Fla.
SCOTT, BARBARA, 39, registered nurse, of Stevenson, Ala. (married to MICHAEL SCOTT).
SCOTT, JOSEPH, 13, of Stevenson, Ala. (son of MICHAEL and BARBARA SCOTT).
SCOTT, MICHAEL, 44, physicist, of Stevenson, Ala., (married to BARBARA SCOTT).
SHORTER, ANNA MARIA, of Los Angeles (wife of saxophone player WAYNE SHORTER, who was not on the flight, and aunt of DALILA LUCIEN, who was).
SIEBERT, BRENNA, 25, veterinary clinic worker in Jefferson City, Mo., of Hollis Summit, Mo. (sister of CHRISHA SIEBERT).
SIEBERT, CHRISHA, 28, taught theater at Rockhurst College of Kansas City, Mo. (sister of BRENNA SIEBERT).
SILVERMAN, CANDACE, 22.
SILVERMAN, ETTA, 53 (married to EUGENE SILVERMAN, mother of CANDACE and JAMIE).
SILVERMAN, EUGENE, 54, a Bel-Air, Calif., tax attorney (husband to ETTA, daughters were CANDACE and JAMIE).
SILVERMAN, JAMIE, 15.
SIMMONS, OLIVIA, 50, schoolteacher and off-duty part-time TWA employee, Orange, N. J.
SNYDER, Capt. STEVEN, 57, TWA Flight 800 pilot, Stratford, Conn.
STORY, WILLIAM R., president and chief executive officer of National American Insurance Co., of California.
TOFANI, MAURO, 46, a cloth merchant, of Prato, Italy.
TORCHE, MELINDA, 47, TWA Flight 800 crew, Irvine, Calif.
UZUOIS, LARISSA, student from Montoursville, Pa.
VAN EPPS, LOIS, mid-50's, English teacher at Edgemont Junior and Senior High School in Scarsdale, N. Y., of New York City.
VERTRAGGIO, RICK L., off duty TWA flight officer, 48, Goldsboro, N. C.
WARREN, LANI, 48, off-duty TWA flight service manager, Sherman Oaks, Calif.
WATSON, JACQUELINE, student from Montoursville, Pa.
WATSON, JILL, 32, architect, of Pittsburgh, daughter of ThermoKing president James F. Watson.
WEATHEARBY, THOMAS, 13, of Stevenson, Ala. (son of GLENDA PRIVETTE).
WEAVER, MONICA, student from Montoursville, Pa.
WOLFSON, ELEANOR, chaparone of Montoursville, Pa., group.
WOLFSON, WENDY, student from Montoursville, Pa. (daughter of ELEANOR WOLFSON).
WOLTERS, BONNIE, 44, of New York City, a bond trader engaged to be married to a judge who was not on the flight.
ZIEMKIEWICZ, JILL, 24, TWA Flight 800 crew, of Rutherford, N. J.
The Post Standard Syracuse New York 1996-07-18
(Transcriber's Note: Some of the printing on the List of Fatalities was omitted and very hard to read. I did the best I could, and would like to offer my apologies to any misspellings.)