July 17, 1996: TWA Flight 800 crashes in Atlantic Ocean

The plane was headed from JFK Airport in New York to Paris when it crashed into the ocean off the coast of Long Island.

2:47 | 07/14/17

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Transcript for July 17, 1996: TWA Flight 800 crashes in Atlantic Ocean
Flight 800 had taken off from New York's JFK airport headed for Paris. It traveled only about forty miles it was still climbing parallel to New York's Long Island and witnesses said they saw a fireball. And then this plunge into the ocean about ten miles from the shore south of the moriches inlet. The search today covers 240. Square miles of ocean. Here's ABC's John Donvan. The task was grim and straightforward. Control the waves would cover the fragments that anything could be evidence that parts of the plane some still burning. The property of passengers. The incidental so what was meant to be a long safe flight over the ocean. There were pieces of aircraft as large as thirty feet long many more that were much smaller. And of course beginning last night they were the bodies. A Coast Guard captain Kevin Dunn. Commanded the first team of rescuers. Just kept going we. We just wanted to respond more news just want. Why are here but that did not happen. And the Coast Guard aircraft designed to fly low and slow for search and rescue him. Found no one to rescue. Meanwhile bodies were carried by truck to the medical Examiner's office forty minutes and the site is under FBI guard but until the crash is officially called the crime the National Transportation Safety Board is in charge of all of its. Being brought back to shore experts been looked at pieces of metal pieces of wreckage of the football. And find evidence of the difference between an explosion and I'm the water here is a 120 feet deep. Divers are not scheduled to go in until tomorrow or assuming the weather holds. And you know there is now some question about the weather holding we're told most recently. That there's a line of thunderstorms approaching the area we're not sure when and if they will hit. But in the meantime the search continues we are also told that the search will continue overnight Peter.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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