Date
17 January 2017
Workers cleaning the plane may have opened the hatch door, activating the system that inflates the evacuation slide. Photos: Internet, Apple Daily
Workers cleaning the plane may have opened the hatch door, activating the system that inflates the evacuation slide. Photos: Internet, Apple Daily

Cathay flight delayed after evacuation slide opens at tarmac

A Cathay Pacific flight to Chicago was delayed for an hour and a half after the plane’s evacuation slide suddenly inflated at the Hong Kong International Airport, Ming Pao Daily reported on Wednesday.

Workers had been cleaning the plane two hours before the scheduled noontime flight with 227 passengers.

However, someone might have opened the hatch door, thus activating the system that inflates the slide.

The flight took off at 1:30 p.m. after the plane crew quickly arranged for another aircraft.

A Cathay Pacific spokesman apologized for any inconvenience caused by the incident and promised a full investigation.

According to an airline staffer, if the handle of the hatch door is switched to auto (or arm) mode, the evacuation slide will be activated once the door is opened from the aircraft. 

The slide will not be activated if the handle is switched to manual (or disarm) mode, he said.

But regardless of the mode it is on, the evacuation slide will not be activated if the door is opened from the outside, he added.

He said the handle could have malfunctioned or someone might have carelessly opened the door inside the aircraft when the handle was in auto mode.

A similar incident happened at the Hong Kong International Airport last year.

The evacuation slide of a Hong Kong Express flight from Nanjing was activated while workers were cleaning the aircraft after the passengers had disembarked, the newspaper said.

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