American Airlines admitted than a mid-air accident that knocked out 2 flight crew and forced an emergency landing was not caused by spilled soap

Business Insider Automobile 2 weeks ago
  • American Airlines admitted Tuesday that whatever knocked out two flight attendants and forced an emergency landing in October was not spilled soap, as the airline had previously claimed.
  • On October 21, American Airlines flight 729 was flying from London Heathrow to Philadelphia, but was forced to land in Dublin, Ireland, when two staff members passed out.
  • American Airlines said at the time that the incident was caused by "an odor caused by a spilled cleaning solution in the galley."
  • However, after a BBC report claimed that the staff were knocked unconscious by fumes from an oil leak, American admitted it was not a cleaning product that caused the problems.
  • The airline stopped short, however, of saying what did cause the problem.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

American Airlines admitted Tuesday the powerful fumes which knocked two flight attendants unconscious and forced a flight to make an emergency landing were not caused by spilled soap, as the airline had previously claimed.

On October 21, American Airlines flight 729 was flying from London Heathrow to Philadelphia, but was forced to land in Dublin, Ireland, when two staff members were knocked out in the cabin.

American Airlines said at the time that the incident was caused by "an odor caused by a spilled cleaning solution in the galley."

However, on Monday, the BBC reported that a spilled chemical was not the cause of the unconscious staff, but rather an oil leak on the Airbus 330 aircraft was to blame.

The BBC reported that maintenance records on the plane show that it "had been leaking oil prior to the flight."

Citing sources, the BBC claimed "it is likely the leak caused toxic fumes to enter the cabin."

The leak, the BBC said, was present in the plane's auxiliary power unit (APU), which provides power for things like lighting, air conditioning and other electrical functions on aircraft.

Documents cited by the BBC reportedly show that the aircraft's APU showed unusually high oil consumption in the days before the incident.

In a statement provided to the BBC, American acknowledged that a spilled cleaning product was "not the source of the odor, which led to the diversion of this flight."

It did not, however, corroborate the BBC's story about an oil leak.

Audio from the plane's cockpit published by The Daily Telegraph at the time appears to show that pilots on the aircraft genuinely believed that a spilled cleaning product was behind the incident.

In the audio, pilots can be heard telling Irish air traffic controllers that two crew members had been rendered unconscious, and that people on the plane needed medical assistance after the spill.

"We've had two of our flight crew staff made, excuse me, the cabin staff have actually lost consciousness, but I think they're back to a state of consciousness just now and there are general complaints about burning eyes and skin problems."

"We've actually covered the container of the substance. It was a cleaning product that was used at London Heathrow, if you wait a moment I actually have a picture of the container that I have in a plastic bag," the pilot continued.


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