33 injured in Airbus evacuation drill
Thirty-three people were injured Sunday during an evacuation drill in Hamburg for the latest Airbus super-jumbo airliner.
One man broke his leg and 32 people suffered minor friction burns and other injuries during an exercise in which 853 people and 20 crew members practised the emergency drill.
These drills are standard practice in the aerospace industry as the airplane manufacturers strive to meet international safety regulations.
The United States, Europe, Canada and other countries will not approve a new airplane model unless the airplane meets strict evacuation times.
The manufacturers also fly new planes to harsh environments to prove they will work under a variety of conditions. The Airbus, the largest airliner in the world, was tested in Nunavut in the winter to show it will fly in the extreme cold.
Many manufacturers practise these evacuation routines ahead of the government tests, pushing the passengers to leave the airplane as quickly as possible. People are frequently hurt as they climb onto the airliner's wings, clamber through windows or tumble down exit chutes.
In this case, 873 employees of Germany's Lufthansa AG tumbled out of the huge double-decker airliner in 80 seconds, in the dark, well within the limits set by the European Aviation Safety Agency.
The EU wanted 650 people to exit the airplane in 90 seconds.
"That [test] was a very great success," Airbus manager Gustav Humbert told the Associated Press after the test.