Andz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8298 posts, RR: 11 Posted (1 year 12 months 20 hours ago) and read 7214 times:
Translated from the Afrikaans article:
Cape Town - A state of emergency arose yesterday aboard SA333 halfway between Johannesburg and Cape Town when passengers inexplicably started coughing.
It was only when the plane landed in Cape Town and men with gas masks boarded the plane that schocked passengers realized how serious the situation was.
No-one aboard the aircraft, which landed in Cape Town about an hour after the coughing started, was informed about what was happening.
In Cape Town fire and rescue services and medical staff prepared for an emergency landing after the captain sent out a distress call.
The coughing was caused by an unknown gas leak on board the Airbus A340-200. Three of the 231 passengers and crew members were said to have ended up in hospital.
The three were treated by the aiport's medical personnel.
SAA spokesperson Ms. Sarah Uys, said last night two crew members and a passenger were in a Cape Town hospital, but could not say which hospital or their condition.
The plane took off at around 12:00 from the O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg and the coughing started about an hour later.
The captain made a distress call to the Cape Town International Airport, and requested that fire and rescue services and medical staff be available when the aircraft landed.
The plane landed at 14:07.
Ms. Deidre Hendricks, spokeswoman for the Airports Company (ACSA), later confirmed the captain of the plane had made an emergency call.
"He requested the assistance of the airport fire and rescue services."
One of the passengers, Mr. Tamsanqa Hewu (45) from Johannesburg, said: "A few people started coughing and it was clearly causes by something in the air. A pilot came out of the cockpit to observe the situation then disappeared. The coughing only lasted a while, then everything returned to normal. "
Mr. Andre Willemse (40), who also on the flight, said no one had communicated with the passengers on the emergency condition. "We got quite a fright when people with gas masks boarded the plane to examine it."
He said they were only informed of the possible gas leak when on the bus to the terminal.
Medical personnel were on hand and the passengers were kept on the bus for questioning.
"They wanted to know if anyone felt dizzy or sick," Ms. Teresa Chia (29), a tourist from America, said.
Mr. Theo Layne, spokesperson for Cape Town's fire and rescue services, said: "We've checked the air quality of the aircraft cabin and fiound nothing amiss. Then we went to the hold and found three packages labelled HAZMAT.
"The packets were not opened and there were no signs of leaks."
Layne said it was impossible to immediately determine what kind of gas it was. "There are various gases used in the cooling system of an aircraft."
AA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5334 posts, RR: 11 Reply 1, posted (1 year 12 months 20 hours ago) and read 7196 times:
Quoting Andz (Thread starter): There are various gases used in the cooling system of an aircraft.
No there aren't, unless he's talking about oxygen, nitrogen, and the other few dozen gases which exist in outdoor air, which is what the AC Pack system operates on.
Seriously, this sounds like it was blown way out of proportion. To say that there was hazmat onboard, and then turn around and say that it wasn't involved, is just sloppy alarmist stuff.
It's actually a very incomplete story. What was the resolution? What was the cause?
"Oh, we didn't find anything, so we put 250 more people on it and flew the plane to the next stop."
That's what I'm reading between the lines. In which case, there clearly wasn't anything serious going on, and it hardly is worth the news story.
767eng From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2010, 47 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (1 year 12 months 16 hours ago) and read 6881 times:
Doesn't the 340 have supplemental cooling for the galleys - ie refrigerant piped to the galleys to keep the carts chilled, I guess a leak in this pipework could cause this problem until the crew turn it off.
calibansa333 From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 207 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (1 year 12 months 13 hours ago) and read 6612 times:
Quoting Andz (Thread starter): No-one aboard the aircraft, which landed in Cape Town about an hour after the coughing started, was informed about what was happening.
I imagine the crew did this because they didn't want to cause a state of panic. Smart move in my opinion, but it might have been better to at least let the passengers know they were making an emergency landing, and make up a reason for it. either way the flight landed safely with few problems (three people in the hospital), I'd say that's a fair result.
flood From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 1052 posts, RR: 1 Reply 8, posted (1 year 12 months 11 hours ago) and read 6278 times:
Avherald now reporting "The hazmat teams found some hazardeous cargo had spilled in the cargo compartment as result of not being properly secured into place causing chemical fumes to reach to the cabin." http://www.avherald.com/h?article=43d11715&opt=0
clemsonaj From United States of America, joined Aug 2009, 257 posts, RR: 0 Reply 10, posted (1 year 12 months 11 hours ago) and read 6187 times:
Quoting flood (Reply 8): "The hazmat teams found some hazardeous cargo had spilled in the cargo compartment as result of not being properly secured into place causing chemical fumes to reach to the cabin."
Interesting. Could be a mess of trouble for SA if that compound is carcinogenic or teratogenic. Likely not the case though if it were being transported on a passenger airliner.
PanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 7752 posts, RR: 26 Reply 11, posted (1 year 12 months 8 hours ago) and read 4647 times:
Dangerous goods must be reported to the captain when loaded on a flight. The captain has to sign the manifest which exactly shows the UN number, the class and the type of DGR, he knows what he has on board and can respond in such a case by notifying the destination airports fire service.
If DGR is not properly loaded the outer packaging might break, if the inner packaging damages as well, it is not properly packed either. In which case the shippr, the freight forwarder and the airline will have a severe problem and persons responsible face criminal charges.
7673mech From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 632 posts, RR: 0 Reply 12, posted (1 year 12 months 5 hours ago) and read 3783 times:
Quoting 767eng (Reply 3): Doesn't the 340 have supplemental cooling for the galleys - ie refrigerant piped to the galleys to keep the carts chilled, I guess a leak in this pipework could cause this problem until the crew turn it off.
I was under the impression that it is just cooled air piped in a la 767's.
Quoting goblin211 (Reply 9): I never heard of a gas leak on a plane before. I wonder if there were any similar incidents reported on this.
There have been previous ones - for the same reason as on this aircraft. Cargo spills.
I suppose you can consider hydraulic fluid in the form of mist a gas too - that has happened before too. (Pin hole leak in line -fluid comes misting out).