BARBADOS NARROWLY AVOIDS AIR TRAGEDY: LIAT Employees hailed for averting possible disaster

Two employees of regional airline LIAT have been rewarded for possibly averting a disaster when they removed a smouldering bag from a plane bound for Barbados, while the owner of the luggage could face action.

The airline revealed for the first time this week the plane was about to leave the George Charles Airport on August 16 when Peterson Octave and Patrick Noel discovered that boxes of matches in a passenger’s bag had ignited.

LIAT Chief Executive Officer Mark Darby, who said there were 500 boxes in the bag, said the workers’ quick thinking could have prevented a major catastrophe.

Without being overly dramatic, this was not just a small source of ignition but it’s a potential bomb,” he said.

We have turned the matter over to the OECS (Organisation of Eastern Caribbean) Civil Aviation Authority for a decision to be made as to whether action should be taken against the offending passenger,” Darby added.

For what LIAT described as their heroic actions, Noel and Octave were each presented with EC $1,000 (US $373) and two free flights to destinations of their choice.

Darby said that to prevent a repeat of the incident the airline is preparing to mount a special public awareness campaign to ensure that passengers do not place potentially hazardous substance in their luggage.

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