Issue 6 and Volume 144.

HIGH-ALTITUDE HAZ MATZ A Boeing 707 cargo freighter takes off from a major East Coast airport with a full load, bound for Europe (a freighter is a large aircraft that transports cargo only). On board is more than 15,000 pounds of hazardous materials. Most of it is improperly packaged and labeled, and it lacks the proper paperwork. Over the Atlantic Ocean the three-member crew smells and observes smoke coming from the main cargo deck. The captain declares an emergency and sets a return heading for the nearest airport on the mainland United States. They crash land on the airport approach, and if crew, cargo, and aircraft are a total loss. The resulting investigation discovers that several glass jars of nitric acid were packed in sawdust and shipped as ordinary machinery. This strong acid leaked and reacted with the organic sawdust, generating heat and eventually fire. A crowded passenger aircraft is…

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