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False Fire Alarm Grounds Chinese Jetliner for 8 Hours

July 05, 1985|Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — A China Air Boeing 747 with 162 passengers aboard made an emergency landing after a false fire warning and was delayed nearly eight hours because the airport did not have replacement fire extinguishers, officials said.

The aircraft, with 30 Americans on board, was en route to New York from Peking via San Francisco on Wednesday when a cockpit light erroneously indicated fire in the cargo bay, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

No fire was found, but the pilot had triggered two fire retardant cylinders in the cargo bay, and FAA regulations say a plane may not be flown with cargo in the hold unless the cylinders are operational. The cargo was eventually put aboard other planes.

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