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PETN and RDX
Chemical structure of the explosives RDX and PETN (click to enlarge).


2) Incomplete and inadequate accounting for the presence of explosive traces found in diverse parts of the aircraft.

FACT: Investigators detected traces of explosives (PETN and RDX) on various wreckage items.[12] Officials attributed these traces to a canine bomb detection exercise allegedly conducted in the jetliner in St. Louis five weeks before the crash.[13] According to investigators, explosive particles were inadvertently deposited on the aircraft during this exercise.

FACT: On the day of the of the alleged bomb detection exercise, the aircraft that would become Flight 800 left its St. Louis gate, fully catered, with 435 passengers and bound for Honolulu only fifteen minutes after the exercise was completed.[13] This meant that passengers were aboard or boarding the jetliner when the alleged exercise was taking place.

FACT: Another TWA 747 aircraft, adjacent to the Flight 800 aircraft at the time of the bomb detection exercise, left its gate over one hour later.[14]

ASSESSMENT: The bomb detection exercise likely took place aboard an adjacent TWA 747 aircraft that left its gate more than one hour after the exercise ended, not inside the Flight 800 aircraft, which was not available for such an exercise at the time. The explosive traces detected onboard Flight 800 can not be attributed to a spill during the bomb detection exercise in St. Louis.

ASSESSMENT: The NTSB should immediately gain access to all evidence and analyses remaining in the FBI's possession so that NTSB investigators can complete their investigation by thoroughly and openly analyzing all of the Flight 800 wreckage items.


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