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Relatives, Friends Gather for 10th Anniversary of TWA 800 Disaster


Families and friends of the 230 people who died when a jetliner bound for Paris exploded in 1996 outside New York City gathered Monday for a memorial service to mark the 10th anniversary since the disaster.

The ceremony was held at the Smith Point Country Park on Long Island. It is the closest point on land to where the plane (T.W.A. Flight 800) exploded over the Atlantic Ocean.

Hundreds of people attended the service. It concluded with the dedication of an abstract sculpture called "The Light".

The sculpture joins an existing memorial at the park that includes a wall inscribed with the names of the 230 victims.

T.W.A. Flight 800 exploded minutes after take off from New York's John F. Kennedy airport on July 17, 1996.

Initially, it was thought a missile may have downed the plane. But, after a four-year investigation, authorities said the most likely cause was an explosion in the plane's center fuel tank, triggered by a spark resulting from faulty wiring.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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