Re: Toilet sucks in child

Date:         03 Feb 97 03:18:34 
From:         "Gerald M. Barca" <>
Organization: MindSpring Enterprises
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Peter Little <> wrote in article
> On 7 Jan 1997, a South African Airways  A320 [Flight SA327] flight
> from Johannesburg to Cape Town, the pilot had to decrease altitude in
> order for a 9 year old child to be pulled free from the toilet by a
> doctor that was on board after it had sucked her in. The child was
> later admitted to hospital with external and internal injuries to her
> private parts - which required surgery.
> This was reported today [8 Jan 1997] in The Natal Witness and on
> national television - SABC News.
> Two questions arise from this :-
> 1. How does an unaccompanied minor find herslf in such a position -
> especially in Business Class?
> 2. What was the reason to decrease altitude in order for the passenger
> to be freed from the toilet?? Are the toilets at a different pressure
> to that of the rest of the cabin?
> I would be grateful for any technical explanation of the incident. I
> suppose that the moral of the story is never go for a shit on an
> Airbus!!!!
>Believe it or not....

 We had a similar thing happen on a UA 767 when they first came out.  This
was the first aircraft with the vacuum-flush system.  It involved a
heavyset woman and flushing while seated.  One of our favorite tricks as
employees to show people how strong the vacuum is is to take the toilet
paper and pull it across the cabin, placing the other end in the toilet and
flushing.  A couple of seconds and one WHOOSH later and all of the paper is

Back to our stuck lady...the vacuum pulled her loose flesh in and it formed
a seal and she could not get free.  The only way to relieve the pressure
was to drop in altitude and depressurize, releasing the extra pressure on
the lady and allowing her to pull free.

Jerry Barca
jerry barca