August 13, 2008

Federal Investigators Probe Failure of Oxygen Masks

Federal investigators probe failure of oxygen masks

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is reviewing reports that dozens of oxygen masks aboard an American Airlines flight failed last week, when the aircraft made an emergency landing at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), the Los Angeles Times reported on Tuesday.

FAA officials said they were looking into reports that some masks did not deploy while others failed to provide oxygen, according to the newspaper.

"We take reports like this very seriously," Ian Gregor, an FAA spokesman, was quoted as saying. "The FAA is working closely with American to determine what the problems are, why they happened, and to make sure the problems are fixed."

American Airlines Flight 31 had just taken off from LAX on its way to Honolulu with 195 people aboard on Aug. 5 when the pilot reported smoke in the cabin, prompting the Boeing 757 to return to LAX, where passengers were let out on inflatable emergency chutes. Eight people suffered minor injuries.

American Airlines blamed the incident on hot oil that leaked from a compressor for one of the plane's two jet engines, a problem described by an airline spokesman as ultimately minor.

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