TWA Chief Bails Out

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ST. LOUIS, MO: Surprising industry insiders, Trans World Airlines chief executive and president Jeffrey Erickson announced his resignation late Thursday, on the day the airline posted a $14.3 million quarterly loss linked to the July crash of TWA flight 800. The tragedy reversed the remarkable financial turnaround that was underway at the long-floundering company, which posted a 400-fold gain in its second-quarter earnings on July 17, the day of the crash. Erickson, 51, said he would step down in January. As investigators increasingly focus on possible mechanical failure as a leading theory for the crash, amid speculation, accurate or not, suggesting the possibility that TWA could have prevented the tragedy, Erickson decided at the end of the day to take his leave. --Lamia Abu-Haidar