Event Details

Title:Galley heater explosion, McDonnell Douglas MD-83, 9Y-THR, October 3, 1993
Micro summary:A galley water heater on this MD-82 exploded during climb.
Event Time:1993-10-03 at 1555 EDT
File Name:1993-10-03-US.pdf
Publishing Agency:National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Publishing Country:USA
Report number:MIA94FA001
Site of event:Climb
Departure:Miami International Airport, Miami, Florida, USA
Destination:Grantley Adams International Airport, Bridgetown, Barbados
Airplane Type(s):McDonnell Douglas MD-83
Flight Phase:Climb
Operator(s):British West Indies Airlines
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:2
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:On October 3, 1993, about 1555 eastern daylight time, 9Y-THR, a McDonnell Douglas MD-83, experienced an explosion in the forward galley during climb to cruise altitude. The airplane was registered to and operating as British West Indies Airlines [BWIA] flight No. 431, scheduled, international, passenger service from Miami, Florida, to Barbados. The airplane was substantially damaged, 1 flight attendant received serious injuries, 1 flight attendant received minor injuries, 82 persons were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and an IFR flight plan was filed. The flight had originated from Miami, Florida, about 1525 and landed back at Miami, Florida, around 1625 the same day.

Examination of the airplane revealed that a water heater, Nordskog model, had over pressurized and exploded. The entire forward galley and the cabin wall to the cockpit was destroyed. The water heater was removed and examined at the NTSB laboratory. All failures noted were consistent with overload. The over pressure valve was examined and the "O" ring had migrated blocking the valve "Pop Off" function. The electrical contacts to the heater element were found failed in a way that allowed constant power to the element. Details of these examinations are included in this report as attachments.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Maintenance
Systems - Galley Equipment
Other - Manufacturing Issues
Consequence - Flight Attendant Fatality - Injury


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