01/28/2018: Spirit Airlines flight NK517
from Akron/ Canton (OH) to Fort Lauderdale (FL) in USA
Warnings about danger from toxic gases on aircraft causing not only a serious safety risk but also severe health issues for passengers and crews are increasingly becoming a daily news item.
This time it is a Spirit Airlines Airbus 320 flight number NK-517 from Akron/Canton to Fort Lauderdale (USA) on 28th January 2018. They were en-route and cruising at altitude FL380, when about one hour prior to landing a passenger complained about an abnormal smell on board.
Cabin crew confirmed the smell, which became increasingly stronger until the cabin air became nearly “not breathable”, sources report. The flight deck was informed and they in turn informed ATC about the fumes on board. About 20 minutes prior to landing the captain confirmed the bad smell in the cockpit as well, causing both pilots to don their oxygen masks. Flight attendants felt increasingly nauseous; several indicated they nearly passed out. Descending fast to below 10.000ft the captain depressurized the aircraft and the cabin air improved. The aircraft landed at Fort Lauderdale about one hour after the first passenger had complained. Emergency services treated cockpit and cabin crew while still on board, after which the entire crew were taken to hospitals. (source Aviation Herald) In other such scenarios involving toxic fumes, the pilots from a different airline declared pan-pan-pan, for a quicker emergency landing.
First medical findings indicated a seriously high level of carbon monoxide in all members of the cabin crew, with several flight attendants’ levels reaching near lethal values!, sources report.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is not only produced by (aircraft ‘APU’) ‘exhaust’ fumes, CO is also generated (amongst other toxic particles) through thermal degradation from chemicals which are present in the jet-oil fumes, presenting severe health dangers by route of inhalation and dermal exposure. These people, passengers and crew, were exposed to the poisonous fumes for over one hour!
One flight attendant suffered a heart condition, which, as currently cannot be ruled out, could become a serious health issue. Another flight attendant suffered from disorientation, migraine and loss of memory, and a nerve ending inflammation was diagnosed. The flight attendants were kept in hospital care until Jan 31st 2018, after which they were released into home care, but they still feel ill. (source Aviation Herald)
first reporting about this accident by Aviation Herald