ONE SMALL STEP CLOSER

CHEMICAL TRACES SUGGEST THAT A BOMB BROUGHT DOWN TWA FLIGHT 800

As much as Americans desire instant gratification, officials handling the investigation into the crash of TWA Flight 800 see no reason to satisfy that craving. Confirming last week the discovery of microscopic traces of PETN, or pentaerythritol tetranitrate, on a piece of the plane's midsection, investigators moved one step closer to declaring that a bomb or a missile brought down the aircraft. But they caution that there are still many steps to go. A senior Justice Department official told TIME that the PETN, which is used in plastic explosives, is so far the only piece of forensic evidence the investigators have...

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