One of the world’s worst aviation tragedies occurred in July 1996.

A Trans World Airlines 747-200 operating flight 800 from Kennedy International Airport to Paris exploded 15 minutes after takeoff.

The wreckage of the Boeing was scattered in the Atlantic Ocean and a short circuit was considered as the most likely cause of the crash.

In one of the largest rescue operations ever undertaken, more than 95% of the plane’s wreckage was finally recovered.

There were 228 people on board – passengers and crew – none of whom survived.


An international memorial to the victims of the flight was erected in 2004 at Smith Point County Park in Shirley, New York.

TWA Flight 800

The day before the crash, the plane departed Hellinikon International Airport in Athens, Greece as TWA Flight 881 and arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) at approximately 4:38 p.m.

The aircraft was refueled and the crew changed to then carry out the fatal flight.

Sixteen months later, the FBI closed its investigation into the plane crash, judging that there was no evidence of criminal activity.

However, according to conspiracy theories, the aircraft may have been hit by a missile launched by terrorists, or accidentally by an American warship.