Each aircraft had the forward cargo hold as the locus of damage.
"The primary damage to the airplane consisted of a hole
on the right side in the area of the forward lower lobe cargo
door, approximately 10 by 15 feet large."
NTSB/AAR 92/02 Page 4
"There is considerable circumstantial and other evidence
to indicate that the initial event was an explosion occurring
in the forward cargo compartment."
Canadian Aviation Safety Board Air India 23 June 1985, page 58
"The initial explosion triggered a sequence of events
which effectively destroyed the structural integrity of the forward
UK AAIB Report 2/90 Page 43
"The direct explosive forces produced a large hole in the fuselage structure and disrupted the main cabin floor.
UK AAIB Report 2/90 Page 56
"Containers and items of cargo ejected from the fuselage aperture in the forward hold, together with pieces of detached structure, collided with the empennage severing most of the left tailplane, disrupting the outer half of the right tailplane, and damaging the fin leading edge structure."
UK AAIB Report 2/90 Page 57
"Investigators have said the right side of the Boeing
747, near where the wings meet the fuselage, suffered the most
smoke and fire damage." "A computer simulation of the
final moments of Trans World Airlines Flight 800 has placed the
blast that downed the plane in a small
site on the jet's right side,..." "The simulation shows that almost everything in the first spray of metal, luggage and other material blown from the plane came from a confined area above and
ahead of the right wing."
News Reports from Associated Press, Reuters, major newspapers, press releases from NTSB, FBI