SCANDALS: The Great DC-10 Mystery

After weeks of investigation, French and U.S. officials believe that they have pinned down the cause of history's worst air disaster: the March 3 crash of a Turkish Airlines DC-10 just outside Paris that killed 346 people. An improperly sealed rear cargo door burst open in midair, and the loss of pressure in the cargo hold caused the plane's still-pressurized passenger cabin to buckle downward into the cargo compartment (see diagram). Passengers began spilling out of the plane, control cables to the rudder and stabilizers were fouled, and the plane crashed into a forest 13,000 ft. below.

But why did...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!