TWA: Not So Fast

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SMITHTOWN, New York: TIME's Elaine Rivera says some reporters may be jumping the gun with reports stating that searchers found explosive residue on wreckage from TWA flight 800. Investigators are not ready to rule out mechanical failure as a cause of the crash, she reports, nor are they prepared to turn the case over to the FBI. The discovery has been more of a puzzle than a revelation. "What they have found is a tiny trace of PETN, a component of some kinds of plastic explosives, on a seat cushion," says Rivera. "Divers have recovered 60 percent of the wreckage from that section of the plane, and found no other traces of explosives. You would expect more traces to be there, so why haven't they found there more positive readings? Instead of a conclusion, these findings just lead to more speculation. Other tests for explosives at the local lab in Calverton have resulted in false positive tests for explosives. The FBI will have to gather a lot more evidence before they can say definitively that a bomb or a missile destroyed the plane." Such evidence would be crucial to any court case, meaning that divers will continue their grim search off the coast of Long Island for some time to come. -->