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Oddly, Thursday's crash of a Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shares a date with another major airline disaster, the crash of TWA Flight 800 over Long Island on July 17, 1996.

The plane was flying from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport to Paris when it exploded near Long Island, killing all 230 people aboard. Terrorism was initially suspected, and a number of witnesses on shore came forward with accounts of seeing a flare, rocket or 'streak of light' headed toward the plane before the explosion.

After a four-year investigation, however, the NTSB determined that a fuel tank explosion sparked by a short circuit in the wiring caused the crash. The safety board found that witnesses were vague or imprecise in their recollections.

The FBI also conducted an investigation, and it did not find evidence of a crime.

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