Sunday, July 09, 2006

Holiday jet fume risk to passengers


DOZENS of passenger airline pilots have been poisoned and left unable to carry on flying because of contaminated air leaking into cockpits and cabins.

Government-appointed researchers will this week disclose shocking new details of hundreds of incidents where pilots and cabin staff were allegedly poisoned by faulty air-systems during flights across Europe.

The government-backed Committee on Toxicity (COT) will this week hold a public hearing on the claims that hundreds of crew have been affected by fumes seeping into pressurised cabins mid-flight.

New figures obtained by Scotland on Sunday reveal ministers were warned of 10 serious incidents on flights on the short-hop BAe 146 model alone last year.

They included at least one in Edinburgh and three mid-air crises where the co-pilot was incapacitated by suspected contamination of the plane's air conditioning system. Several more involved cabin staff being forced to use oxygen masks after the flight-deck was filled with fumes.

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