A Germanwings Airbus A320-200, registration D-AIQC performing flight 4U-8460 performing flight 4U-8460 from Berlin Tegel (Germany) to London Heathrow,EN (UK), was preparing for departure. While being pushed back strong odour of hydraulic oil and exhaust gasses spread in the cabin. Flight attendants reported the odour to the cockpit, the recirculation of cabin air supply was increased, the odour became weaker. The aircraft departed Tegel’s runway 26L and climbed to cruise level 360. Shortly after departure the odour increased again, additionally the smell of jet fuel developed, the flight attendants in the back of the cabin developed symptoms like respiratory problems, desorientation, blurred vision, tingling and sensivity problems, head ache, vertigo, imbalance and nausea, one of the flight attendants vomitted. Both flight attendants were administered oxygen. The flight crew considered to return to Berlin, in consultation with dispatch it was decided however that the aircraft would divert to Hamburg (Germany), where a replacement aircraft was ready to take the passengers to London. The aircraft landed on Hamburg’s runway 23 about 45 minutes after departure from Berlin. Both seriously affected flight attendants were taken to a hospital, the first officer and a third flight attendant also reported mild symptoms of being affected by the fumes and went to see a doctor.
A replacement A319-100 registration D-AGWY reached London with a delay of 4:45 hours.
The two most affected flight attendants are still on sick leave 26 days after the occurrence with reduced function of lungs.
Germany’s BFU reported: “der Vorfall vom 30.09.2016 wurde der Bundesstelle für Flugunfalluntersuchung (BFU) gemeldet. Nach Sichtung der vorliegenden Informationen wurde der Vorfall gem. dem gültigen Regularien weder als Schwere Störung, noch als Unfall eingestuft. Aus diesem Grund wurde keine Untersuchung des Ereignisses eingeleitet.” Translation: The occurrence of Sep 30th 2016 was reported to the BFU. After assessment of available information the occurrence was not rated a serious incident or accident according to the rulework applicable. For this reason no investigation of the occurrence was initiated.
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