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3) Avoidance of public access to or failure to conduct necessary laboratory analyses to conclusively determine the source of nitrates found within the center wing tank wreckage.

FACT: A piece of the aircraft's center wing tank (labeled CW-504 during reconstruction) was among the earliest items ejected from Flight 800 after the initial explosion. Its recovery location in the "earliest part of the [debris field]"[6] caused investigators to conclude that its location "might even be in conflict with the proposed [NTSB crash] scenario."[6]

FACT: The NTSB contracted NASA to test the "splatter material" found on this item's surface. NASA test results[15] confirmed the presence of nitrates (a high explosive indicator) within the splatter material, alarming the scientists conducting the tests who concluded that the nitrate presence warranted "further investigation."[15]

FACT: The NTSB failed to request any further testing of the nitrate-laden splatter material by NASA. Ultimately, the source of the nitrates was not determined[16] and the NASA report[15] expressing concern over the nitrate presence was not included in the NTSB public docket.

ASSESSMENT: Further testing of the splatter material found on CW-504 is necessary to determine the origin of the nitrates detected. Common laboratory techniques exist that can help determine whether the nitrates came from high explosives or some other source.


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