Thursday, May 8, 2008

Flight attendants fight in-flight fire on Northwest Airlink regional jet

Compass Northwest AirlinkA fire broke out in a lavatory on a Compass Airlines Embraer 175 regional jet, operating as Northwest Airlink Flight CPZ 2040 between Minneapolis-St.Paul and Regina, Saskatchewan on the evening of May 7, 2008. The aircraft diverted to Fargo, North Dakota, where it landed safely. The 72 passengers and four crew members on board were not injured.

According to news reports about the incident, the flight attendants reacted quickly to extinguish the fire. They donned Protective Breathing Equipment (PBE) [smoke hoods] and used fire extinguishers to control the fire , which was in a lavatory in the rear of the aircraft. They also moved passengers forward to an area where the smoke was not as heavy, and prepared the cabin for the emergency landing.

An article about the incident in the Calgary Herald quoted passengers who were on the flight. One man said:

"I heard the commotion, turned around. (There was) a lot of smoke, a lot of people looking really terrified. The next thing you know, the last probably eight or nine rows were running to the front of the plane because of the smoke. Next thing you know they were all sitting in the laps of the people up front ... (A flight attendant) came on (the intercom) and said, 'Electrical fire and we're going to be making an emergency landing.'"
Another passenger said:
"One of the attendants had on big headgear or something and was yelling and running up and down the aisle. Some people were getting up (to help) and they were yelled at and (told) to sit down, put their seat belts on, stay sitting ... We just kept declining fast. I was thankful the pilot, he was great. He went right down, he got us there quick."
According to various news reports, crew members and passengers were interviewed by local police and FBI agents at Fargo's airport. The cause of the fire is still being investigated. The aircraft has been taken out of service.

[Photo Source]

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