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June 26, 2014

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Jet escape slide is inflated by mistake

A FLIGHT attendant released an inflatable evacuation slide by mistake yesterday, after a flight landed at Hongqiao International Airport.

The crew member on the Shanghai Airlines flight from Beijing had intended to open the aircraft door but released the slide by mistake, the airline said.

The Boeing 767, which landed at about 2:15pm, could then not dock with the terminal building, so a stair truck was dispatched to take the passengers off.

“Luckily, no passengers fell onto the slide and slid down to the ground,” a passenger surnamed Zhu said on his microblog.

The airline dispatched another aircraft for the return flight.

Opening and folding inflatable emergency slides is a time-consuming task for maintenance crews, said Zhao Gangfeng, a senior aircraft maintenance engineer and inspector with China Eastern.

While a slide inflates within seven seconds, it can take at least four days for four crew members to fold and pack it away, said Zhao.

At Hongqiao airport, China Eastern staff check 40 escape slides a month, Zhao said.


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