Anti terrorist measures make plane toilets unsafe

March 17th, 2011 - 5:33 pm ICT by ANI  

Paris, Mar.17 (ANI): Trade unions have warned that new anti- terrorist measures which state all oxygen canisters should be removed from airplane toilets, can be dangerous in case cabin pressure drops in the plane.

France’s Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGCA) made the decision following advice from the United States, which said that the oxygen canisters could be turned into bombs by terrorists.

Next week onwards Air France will remove all oxygen canisters from WCs on all A320 aircraft and three Airbus A340s.

However, the national pilots’ union, Syndicat National des Pilotes de Ligne (SNPL) fears that anyone using an airline toilet will be liable to serious illness if the plane suddenly depressurizes.

Union spokesman Captain Louis Jobard said: ” Without emergency oxygen anyone could suffer burst eardrums and hearing problems, and indeed pass out,” adding that pilots using the toilet would also be at risk from a sudden loss of pressure, leaving the co pilot to deal with the emergency alone.

He also said that at the normal cruising height of around 35,000ft, crew and passengers could black out in five seconds and it could take upto ten minutes for the plane to descend to a breathable height at 14000 feet.

Over the past eight months there have been 19 incidents of sudden decompression in Europe, The Daily Mail reports.
France is currently on a high security alert following bomb threats from a number of terrorist groups linked to the Al Qaeda. (ANI)

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