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DID BOMB CAUSE '85 PLANE CRASH IN NEWFOUNDLAND?

A congressman says he has evidence that an explosion, not icing on the wings, caused the 1985 crash of a chartered plane in Newfoundland that killed 248 American soldiers and eight crew members.

At a news conference Wednesday, Rep. Robin Tallon, D-S.C., displayed what appeared to be piece of aircraft wreckage with a large hole in it. He suggested the hole was caused by a bomb.The DC-8 aircraft went down on Dec. 12, 1985, while taking off from Gander, Newfoundland, after a refueling stop on a chartered flight returning U.S. soldiers home from a peacekeeping mission in the Mideast.

Canadian and U.S. authorities have said the crash was caused by icing on the plane's wings.

But Tallon said explosives expert Robert Short produced a replica of the hole in a controlled laboratory experiment last year. The theory is supported by eyewitness accounts of a bright orange glow at the rear underside of the plane before it went down, he said.