DFWJIM
Topic Author
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 7:00 am

Airline Accidents

Fri May 28, 2004 11:16 am

Hello everyone,

I watched the History Channel special this evening about the crash of flight 191 and I noticed that one of the commentators mentioned that 273 people were instantly "vaporized". When the US Air 737 crashed back in the early 90s near Pittsburgh I remember an aircrash expert also mentioned that all of the persons on board that aircraft were "vaporized" upon impact. In severe accidents such as these does the human body actually "vaporize" into nothing or is "vaporize" used in this case to indicate that the person died instantly and did not feel any type of pain?

I did not mean to be disrespectful or to upset anyone but I would like to get some clarification of the term "vaporization" as it was used in tonight's show.

Regards,

Jim





 
EMBQA
Posts: 7798
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 3:52 am

RE: Airline Accidents

Fri May 28, 2004 11:26 am

No.....I think that was just a nice way of saying they died a horrific death. 'Vaporized' implys that nothing was left or found...sadly bodies and remains where recovered in both cases.


[Edited 2004-05-28 04:27:29]
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: Airline Accidents

Fri May 28, 2004 11:27 am

Personally, I think "vaporized" is an insensitive and inaccurate term.

The fact that the 191 program footage showed yellow tarps covering bodies and body parts would clearly indicate that not everything was "vaporized."

Whatever reason the show's producers chose the term, accuracy wasn't it...

ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
FlyinGuy1
Posts: 51
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2003 1:00 pm

RE: Airline Accidents

Fri May 28, 2004 11:30 am

Jim, when "vaporization" is mentioned, that term is being used correctly, and it means exactly what you think it means- all human tissue literally disenegrates due to the extreme heat (burning jet fuel) and the impact of the aircraft. The tissue turns into air (chemicals in the form of smoke), just as when the jet fuel burns, it turns into air in the form of chemicals. Of course, as we all know from most airplane accidents, some body parts (limbs) become detached from the body upon impact and are found hundreds of feet away. I know this is gruesome, but this is how it is. Maybe a chemist can chime in with any additions, but this is pretty much what occurs. Hope this helps.
The Magic City
 
btv92
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Joined: Thu Dec 25, 2003 10:46 pm

RE: Airline Accidents

Fri May 28, 2004 11:40 am

Hello DFWJIM,I would think that what the commentators really were alluding to is similar to what happens at very high temperatures when human remains are burned,similar to cremation.There are gases emitted as the natural byproduct of combustion and probably just ashes left and little else.Pieces of jewelry may not burn depending on the temperature of the fire.Passengers would have died instantly as they said,whether from the trauma of the crash or the instant fire immediately after impact.Not to be grim or disrespectful to anyone,I'm sure no individual lived long enough after impact to have suffered in any manner.Kind of my take on the medical/scientific angle of what may have happened. I highly recommend Bill Adair's book on the Pittsburgh US Airways 737 crash "The Mystery of Flight 427" Regards,Tim
 
OPNLguy
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: Airline Accidents

Fri May 28, 2004 3:08 pm

>>>I noticed that one of the commentators mentioned that 273 people were instantly "vaporized".

I just got to actually watch the repeat of the show (missed it the first time due to thunderstorms messin' up my satellite reception) and the commentator actually said "virtually vaporized." Use of that "disclaimer" takes him off the hook a little bit, but it was still a bad embellishment to use.

I wasn't overly impressed with the 90 minute show, but I did learn a couple of things about the crash's aftermath that I didn't know before.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
ra-85154
Posts: 601
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2001 10:16 pm

RE: Airline Accidents

Fri May 28, 2004 4:06 pm

Hi

The term vaporization could be used very well, we had some reports of possible 'vaporized' victims here in Amsterdam in October 1992, when EL AL's Boeing 747 4X-AXG crashed into a high-rise appartment building.

The official death toll was put at 43, including the 4 people aboard the plane. Many believe that there should have been much more than 39 deaths, as more people were registered in the appartments that were destroyed by the impact. We will never know how many people died in this accident, as the flats were also known to be home to a lot of illegal people.




The 'vaporization' stories began to circulate as the firemen found silhouettes of humans on the concrete walls and floors of the burnt out appartments, leading to the possibility of human bodies 'vaporising' after being exposed to the extreme heat of the fire and impact forces of the crashing plane...

 
AirframeAS
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RE: Airline Accidents

Fri May 28, 2004 4:29 pm

Also, dont forget that skydrol (aircraft hydraulic fluid) is very corrosive when it comes to contact with the skin. Any contact to the skin, you can get a very 'burned' feeling and its sometimes painful. Ive had contact with Skydrol before. Luckly, I washed it off quickly when exposed and I was fine.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
DFWJIM
Topic Author
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 7:00 am

Thank You

Fri May 28, 2004 8:59 pm

A big thank you to everyone who answered my question!