TWA Flight 800

The wreckage of TWA Flight 800 re-created in a hangar in New York. The documentary "TWA Flight 800" premieres tonight on EPIX. (Ed Betz / Associated Press)

A new documentary reexamines the causes behind the 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800 that claimed 230 lives after exploding over Long Island.

"TWA Flight 800," which premieres tonight at 8 p.m. PDT on EPIX, maintains a missile (or missiles) brought down the jetliner -- not a spark in a fuel tank as an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board originally concluded. 

Dr. Tom Stalcup, a physicist and one of the film's co-producers, is a leading voice in the film. He has studied the crash for more than a decade and contends in the documentary that the NTSB investigation has many inconsistencies. 

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In addition, the filmmakers interviewed NTSB investigators, witnesses, and families of those in the crash. Some witnesses claim they saw a missile headed toward the plane before it blew up.

“It’s not amusing to be a documentary filmmaker doing a super controversial story, but it feels good to do the right thing," said Kristina Borjessen, who wrote and directed the film with a budget of about $500,000. "It was very, very difficult, but it was amazing.”

Federal officials are still weighing whether to reopen the case

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Twitter: @celinecwright

celine.wright@latimes.com