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  • Oct 2, 2014
  • Updated: 6:24pm
NewsHong Kong

Emergency exit 'blew open' on Hong Kong-bound Emirates A380 flight

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 17 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 17 February, 2013, 5:23am

A British tourist has claimed an emergency exit on an Emirates Airline superjumbo blew open at more than 8,000 metres on a flight from Bangkok to Hong Kong.

David Reid and his son Lewis heard what they thought was a "massive explosion" two hours into Monday's flight on the £250 million (HK$3 billion) Airbus A380. Freezing air blasted in and the cabin pressure plunged after the door in business class came 4cm ajar, leaving a gaping hole, Reid said.

A spokeswoman for the Civil Aviation Department said it had not received any complaints about the incident. She said it should be investigated by the industry regulator in the country in which the airline was registered as there had been no accident and no assistance was sought. The department would not require a report from the airline.

Reid's 18-year-old son reported the incident to the British Department of Transport's air accident investigation branch, which has passed it on to air investigators at the United Arab Emirates General Authority for Civil Aviation.

Reid told Britain's Daily Mail: "We were about two hours in when suddenly there was a huge blast. It was a real shock, so loud that I thought a bomb might have gone off. Air was gushing into the cabin like a gale."

He said a stewardess jumped up and stared at the door. Her face drained white and she ran up the aisle, grabbed the intercom and started screaming: "The door's going to go, the door's going to go!" Then she hid under her chair.

Other passengers were crying and saying: "We're going to go down, we're going to go down," Reid said. "It was complete panic. The emergency door was ajar and leaving a gaping hole. You could see straight out into the atmosphere."

He claimed that some passengers wept in terror.

Instead of making an emergency landing, Reid said the crew decided to stuff blankets and pillows stuck together with gaffer tape into the hole and continue the flight despite a horrendous droning noise and sub-zero temperatures.

An Airbus spokesman said: "It is not possible for a cabin door to open [in flight]. We can confirm there was a whistling noise emanating from one of the doors on the [plane's] upper deck between Bangkok and Hong Kong on Monday. But at no point was the safety of the flight in jeopardy."

Reid claims he suffered a chest infection following the ordeal and he and his son had to cut short a £4,500 trip.

Emirates in Hong Kong could not be reached for comment.


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This article is now closed to comments

a) stewardess will not "jump up and look at the door", she will sit and fasten seatbelt if a door opened...
b) she cannot hide under her chair, the jumpseat on the planes are folded, there is no "under"...
c) She will not grab the interphone and scream door is going to go, the 1st thing to do is secure herself if there is a decompression...
d) stuff pillows and blankets into the hole? if there is really an opened door, with the airplane speed on 270 000 ft, you will be pulled out in the atmosphere, and the cabin will be foggy and visibility will be very low, so how will you stuff pillows and blankets there?
e) chest infection? because you ate too much fries and drank too much coke maybe?
Conclusion: This Reid guy's statement doesn't make sense, he is ****ting and trying to make money.
Ignatius J Reilly
He said a stewardess jumped up and stared at the door. Her face drained white and she ran up the aisle, grabbed the intercom and started screaming: "The door's going to go, the door's going to go!" Then she hid under her chair.
Well, "he" is a liar. The flight attendants' chairs are fold down jump seats. There is no "hiding under" them.
Aircraft doors cannot be opened in flight because of their plug type design.
See here: ****en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plug_door
Chest Infection, haha, i love people who always looking for an opportunity to make money.
From the report by the Briton and the photograph supplied, I would like to make a guess of what has happened then. These doors are closed by very heavy mechanism with airtight gaskets, after closure the mechanism is locked by a few means, one is by an electrical control pin controlled by the airplane control system. If the electrical control malfunction, as quite some electrical stuffs do, the lock pin would be released and the green light comes up, besides it might also open up a vent which equalizes the air pressure with the outside to facilitate door opening, hence allowing air to discharge to the outside making the hissing sound. Since the air leakage is small it had not caused much of the problem but just the hissing sound.
I believe that there was in fact a problem with the airplane but not as serious as the Briton has claimed.
why airline and civil aviation authorities so coy about this incident, ask yourself that.
Dai Muff
Probably because it is not possible for it to have happened the way he said, particularly to anyone who knows the laws of physics and engineering.
Huge apologies to the manufacturers of the A 380. This must be one of the most grossly uninformed and inaccurate news stories ever perpetrated by the English press. I was stupid enough to believe their written report. I can only hope the airline successfully prosecutes the Daily Mail and the moron Reid, the creater of the lie. One would think that after the News of the World fiascos thay might be a bit more clever.
Aircraft doors needs to be pulled inwards before they can be opened. If there is an explosive decompression, Mr. Reid won't see the door and blankets and gaffer tape won't be enough to seal the gap.
Dai Muff
Garbage. On a pressurised plane that springs a leak, air rushes OUT not in. And not one other passenger bought their story or complained. And I'd like to see ANYONE hide under an Airbus chair.




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