TWA 800 Victims’ Daughter: Missile Coverup ‘Impossible”

CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago woman who lost her father and stepmother in the crash of TWA Flight 800 in 1996 said she doesn’t believe claims made in a new documentary that the plane was brought down by a missile and was covered up by government investigators.

WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports Tiffany Rhoads Olson understands the anger and the outrage that some of the other victims’ families are feeling.

For her, hearing claims the plane was shot down by a missile opens old wounds.

“It was a good ten years of our lives dealing with the investigation and the aftermath, so once you try to get over it, it’s hard. You make a choice to ignore it, and that’s what I’m kind of trying to do, is just ignore it,” she said.

Former crash investigators have urged the National Transportation Safety Board to reopen a review of what caused TWA Flight 800 to explode, killing 230 people on board, suggesting in a documentary that missiles caused the plane to explode near Long Island.

A four-year NTSB investigation concluded the probable cause of the accident was a fuel tank explosion most likely from a short circuit of wiring from a fuel gauge. The agency rejected the possibility of a missile.

Rhoads Olson believes, as the NTSB has said, that it was an exhaustive investigation, and it did not get it wrong, and certainly didn’t involve a cover-up.

“It’s hard to believe that this was actually some kind of missile, or coverup,” she said. “I can’t imagine them doing that. I can’t imagine, with so many people on the case, that it would be covered up for so long and would be just now coming out. It’s impossible.”

She said the victims’ families were kept up-to-date throughout the entire investigation.

Rhoads Olsen’s father, Harry “Scott” Rhoads, was heading to Paris for a vacation with his wife, Marit, a flight attendant, when the plane went down.

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