Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2002

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Investigators have declined to release the tape and have not returned numerous calls from asking about its contents. -- B

Monday, Jan. 7, 2002 11:03 a.m. EST

Flight 587 Witnesses Charge Cover-Up

DOZENS of eyewitnesses to the Nov. 12 crash of American Airlines Flight 587 now say the government is ignoring their claims that the Airbus 300 exploded in midair before breaking up minutes after takeoff at New York's JFK airport.

Six Flight 587 witnesses, including a recently retired police lieutenant and a fire department deputy chief, have written to the National Transportation Safety Board to demand a full public hearing on what they saw, the New York Post reported Monday.

"The NTSB is not acknowledging the many eyewitness accounts of the in-flight fire or explosion, many from people who are adamant that the fire occurred before any tail or engine breakup," retired firefighter and eyewitness Tom Lynch told the paper.

Lynch said he saw two fireballs erupt from the plane's right side and insisted, "There were no falling parts until the second explosion of flames - I'll go to my grave with that."

Another witness not quoted by the Post corroborated Lynch's account almost exactly in an interview just minutes after the crash.

Jackie Powers told ABC-News in New York that she saw "an enormous flash" on the right side of the plane's fuselage, with debris exiting to the left.

"The right wing seemed to catch fire and explode. The wing was on fire with a trail of smoke behind it," a third witness told New York's WABC Radio that morning.

Additionally, a Metropolitan Transportation Authority traffic surveillance tape that reportedly captured Flight 587's short flight was turned over to the FBI. The video's quality is said to be poor, but a New York Daily News reporter who was allowed to view the one-frame-per-second images said it shows a "puff of smoke" in the cloudless sky after the AA 300 Airbus plummeted to the ground.

Investigators have declined to release the tape and have not returned numerous calls from asking about its contents.

James Kallstrom, the FBI's former TWA 800 lead investigator and now chief of New York state's Office of Public security, told NewsMax two weeks after the crash:

"I have not seen the tape. I heard some mention of it. But I've not seen the tape and I really have no knowledge of it. Why it hasn't been released, I suspect, is because the investigation is ongoing."

In a weekend interview with the Post, an NTSB spokesman made no mention of the video but said that over 200 Flight 587 witnesses had been interrogated and that their accounts were being considered as part of the investigation.

Related items on this website:

National Transportation Safety Board investigation of Flight 587 crash
Nov 12, 2001: David Irving speculates in A Radical's Diary about the American Airlines crash in New York
New York Post: Two witnesses saw explosions hit AA Flight 587, authorities make no response | Flight 587 Witnesses Blast Feds

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