Abstract to be presented at the American Osteopathic Radiology Conference  

Fracture patterns observed among  
passengers and crew of a large aircraft mishap.

Mark DeSantis, DO, Charles Wetli, M.D.  S.Dawson,M.D., Suffolk County Medical 
Examiners Office, New York, Nassau County Medical Center, East Meadow, New York

On July 1996, a Trans World Airlines (TWA Flight 800) 747 aircraft crashed 
into the Atlantic Ocean off Long Island with the loss of 230 passengers and 
crew. The airplane was destroyed by explosion, , and impact forces with the 
ocean. Radiological examinations were performed before postmortem  exams.  
Of the 150 films reviewed  149  displayed bilateral rib fractures.  Ten exams 
displayed open book type pelvic fractures. There were 5 exams that displayed 
complete distraction fractures of the thorocolumbar spine. Downward vertical 
acceleration, deceleration and rotation were most likely the dominant forces 
which inflicted the vertebral column and pelvic fractures. Fractures observed 
parallel  patterns of injuries seen in  military aircrews during aircraft mishaps.