Alaska Airlines suffered from a huge booboo on their Barrow to Fairbanks flight last October 7. One of the passengers's luggage was filled with buckets of fish submerged in formaldehyde - and ultimately, one of the buckets caused a huge Formaldehyde leak in the aircraft.
Formaldehyde is a highly hazardous chemical used as a preservative in mortuaries and laboratories. It is also used as an industrial disinfectant among other uses. Other than the fact that it has a strong foul smell, ingesting this could potentially cause cancer as well.
Based on the official website of the Federal Aviation Association, the chemical is categorized alongside isopropanol, ethanol, and other alcohols. While it is allowed in checked in baggage and carry on, there is a limit being imposed.
According to Stuff New Zealand, the unnamed passenger carrying the two buckets did not inform the crew that he brought aboard the aircraft the chemical. It was very likely as well that the passenger didn't know about the harmful effects Formaldehyde. Why the fish were submerged in the chemical has yet to be investigated, as well as the exact amount of the chemical brought on board.
Cargo workers noticed the strong foul smell once they opened the cargo hold, and immediately addressed it to the higher ups. It turns out that one of the buckets wasn't sealed properly. Alaska Airlines was left with no choice but to hold all bags and luggage until they have checked each one for a possible contamination.
Fox News reports that 107 bags have already been cleared of contamination, and they have been safely returned to their respective owners. There were 118 bags in total on the said flight.
Airline spokeswoman Nancy Trott says that they've been reaching to each one of the passengers aboard on that aircraft, and they have been providing them with the necessary compensations.
The spokeswoman also said that she is not aware if there will be a criminal investigation regarding this incident.
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