Oxygen canisters in cargo hold

Date:         25 Nov 96 06:18:51 
From:         Stefano Pagiola <spagiola@worldbank.org>
Organization: World Bank
View raw article
  or MIME structure

In light of the problems caused by the oxygen canisters carried by the ValuJet
DC-9, I thought s.a.a. readers might find the following NTSB accident report
interesting:

AMERICAN TRANS AIR, INC.
Incident occurred AUG-10-86 at CHICAGO, IL
Aircraft: MCDONNELL DOUGLAS DC-10-40, registration: N184AT
Injuries: 7 Uninjured.

COMPANY MAINT PSNL HAD PLACED DAMAGED PASSENGER SEATBACKS (INCORPORATING
SOLID-STATE CHEMICAL OXYGEN GENERATORS) IN THE FWD CARGO COMPARTMENT WITH
SEAT COVERS & OIL. A COMPANY MECHANIC EXAMINED THE SEATBACKS TO FIND A
SERVICEABLE UNIT. HE FOUND A LOOSE OXYGEN CANISTER & HANDLED IT IMPROPERLY
BY ITS OXYGEN HOSE. SUCH HANDLING CAN RELEASE THE FIRING PIN, FIRE THE
PERCUSSION CAP, TRIGGER A CHEMICAL REACTION, & GENERATE OXYGEN. THIS CAN
GENERATE UP TO 430 DEG OF HEAT OUTSIDE THE CANISTER. A FIRE BGN IN THE
FWD CARGO COMPARTMENT IN THE VICINITY OF WHERE AN OXYGEN CANISTER WAS FND
(LATER) WITH A DENTED STRIKER PLATE. THE SEAT COVERS IGNITED, FIRE BURNED
THRU THE CABIN FLOOR, & SUBSEQUENTLY, IT SPREAD THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE
CABIN. COMPANY MAINT PSNL DID NOT KNOW THAT OXYGEN GENERATORS, CARRIED AS
COMPANY SUPPLIES, WERE HAZARDOUS MATERIALS. THE MECHANIC WAS NOT FAMILIAR
WITH THE REPAIR OR INSTALLATION OF THE PASSENGER SUPPLEMENTAL OXYGEN
EQUIPMENT.

Stefano
All opinions expressed are my own