STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN JIM HALL
AT FBI PRESS CONFERENCE RELATED TO TWA FLIGHT 800
NEW YORK CITY, NOVEMBER 18, 1997


I believe that a debt of gratitude is owed to the FBI for their enormous effort in trying to find out what happened to TWA flight 800. Given the circumstances of the crash, and the nature of today’s world, a thorough examination by the FBI into the possibility of sabotage was the right thing to do. The scope and thoroughness of the FBI investigation is indicative of their role as our nation’s premiere criminal investigation agency.

I am very appreciative of the good working relationship that developed between the FBI and the NTSB, both strong agencies staffed with highly motivated personnel. In the pressurized aftermath of a tragedy such as TWA 800, operational or procedural questions inevitably arise. But, due in no small measure to the leadership of Director Freeh and Jim Kallstrom, the level of cooperation between our two agencies was excellent. We were able to work together effectively because we shared the goal of getting to the truth of what happened to TWA 800.

And I would be remiss if I did not express my appreciation to the organizations you see represented today, especially the people of Suffolk County, for all they have done to facilitate this investigation.

The National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation continues. Next month, we will hold a week-long hearing on TWA 800 that will demonstrate the extraordinary effort being made to conduct an objective and far-reaching examination of all aspects of the flight 800 tragedy.

Let me assure you that the NTSB will continue to spare no effort to find the cause of the TWA explosion. We owe it to the American people we serve, and we owe it to the cause we all work for: transportation safety. Last year, we made a number of safety recommendations we believe would help prevent similar accidents. I trust our hearing next month will further our understanding of the circumstances of this tragedy.

Media contact: NTSB Public Affairs (202) 314-6100

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