Next time you travel on an airplane, be sure not go to the bathroom because you may die.
The United States federal government has ordered the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
to remove oxygen generators in bathrooms from approximately 6,000 commercial airplanes, according to Gizmodo
The new FAA directive is called Air Worthiness Directive 2011-04-09
. It was introduced because the government feels the emergency oxygen masks posed a national security threat as it is believed they could be used in a terrorist attack. However, no specifics were ever mentioned, notes Gadling
It was kept secret for quite a while before it was officially announced citing, again, national security purposes.
“The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently required the nation’s airlines to disable the oxygen generators located in all aircraft lavatories to eliminate a potential safety and security vulnerability,” the FAA said in a statement issued to the general public. “The airlines completed the work on 6,000 aircraft in the U.S. fleet on Friday March 4.”
The FAA statement added: “The FAA, along with federal agencies, identified and validated the problem before making the work public. This proactive measure will help keep travelers as safe and secure as possible.”
Click On Detroit
reports that if there is a rapid decompression during a passenger’s time in the lavatory then there won’t be any oxygen flow. Officials at the FAA say the chances of that occurring are extremely low, notes KTAR
“It's a risk you take when boarding an airplane,” said one airline industry representative who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “You should know. People can die. If you have a rapid decompression and you're in the bathroom, there's a good chance you won't survive it, and the rest of the airplane will.”