Planes Brought Down by Clogged Toilets

by Alfie FEATHERSTONE on November 30, 2009

When people are flying there are any number of horrible scenarios that they might think of which would force the flight to land.  While some might envision a fiery crash others might picture terrorists taking over the flight.  Other people on the plane are content beneath headphones and not thinking these thoughts at all.  Regardless of the disposition of the passenger very few would imagine a scenario like the one which recently forced a Cathay Pacific flight to the ground.  The flight was taken out not by engine failure or terrorism but by a non-working toilet.

Recently a Cathay Pacific flight was forced to land because it did not have a working bathroom.  Cathay Pacific said in a recent announcement that it has suffered a bevy of toilet blockages on its airbus fleet which have become a mystery.  Over the last eleven days toilets on several Cathay Pacific flights have been blocked in separate incidents.  On November 17 a flight going to Hong Kong from Saudi Arabia was forced to divert to Mumbai after flight attendants discovered that none of the ten toilets aboard the aircraft were working.  The detour forced an eighteen hour delay for passengers on what should have been a flight lasting only eight hours.  Two other flights, both heading to Hong Kong, were also delayed for the same reasons.

For both of the other two flights the number of passengers had to be limited after it was discovered that only half of the airplane’s toilets were functional.  Cathay says they have hired engineers to fix the problem and are conducting deep cleaning of the toilets on all of their flights.

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