Two flight crew aboard American Airlines flight 729 were rendered unconscious and the pilots were forced into an emergency landing this week after a cleaning product spilled and absorbed into the aircraft’s carpeting. The plane was traveling from Heathrow Airport in London, where the cleaning product had been thoughtlessly left behind.
Flight 729 was bound for Philadelphia, but pilots landed the plane in Dublin, Ireland, and asked that paramedics come onto the plane to help the flight crew and passengers who were sickened by the spill. Passengers complained of burning eyes and itchy skin. The two crew that were left unconscious regained consciousness and were taken to a nearby hospital along with one passenger. All were treated and released.
The cleaning chemical was left behind in one of the plane’s lavatories. A passenger reported that the flight was delayed from taking off for nearly an hour after reports of an unusual smell. The flight was cleared to take off. After the crew became unconscious other cabin staff recovered the container and sealed it in a plastic bag. It was determined that the cleaning product was not toxic.
American Airlines said it is “fully investigating the specifics on what happened on this flight.”
Mike Andrews, a lawyer in the firm’s Personal Injury and Products Liability section, focuses much of his practice on aviation accident litigation. He has represented people seriously injured in aviation crashes, and the family of those killed in both civilian and military airplane crashes and helicopter crashes. Currently, Mike represents family members of victims in the Ethiopian Airlines crash.