"Promoting the science of aerospace medicine"

21st of May 2012

Ignition of oxygen bottle forces OLT A320 to divert

An OLT Express Airbus A320 made an emergency landing in Sofia, Bulgaria on 17 May after suffering cabin decompression and, subsequently, a fire in the cabin. 

All 147 and eight crew members evacuated the aircraft safely with no injuries, according to the Polish carrier.

The aircraft was en route from Warsaw to Hurghada, Egypt, as flight YAP7107 when cabin pressure was lost at cruising altitude and the oxygen masks deployed. The cause of the decompression has not yet been determined, the airline says. The captain decided to make an emergency landing in Sofia.

The fire was caused by a short-circuit in an oxygen generator, which then fell onto the cabin carpet during the oxygen mask deployment. It ignited the carpet, but this was "immediately extinguished" by the cabin crew, says OLT.

The aircraft landed around noon, and passengers and crew evacuated the twinjet via the escape slides.

A replacement A320 by Air Via Bulgarian Airlines took off at 19:05 for the remaining part the flight to Hurghada. OLT says that all passengers decided to continue the journey.