Nov. 20, Miami, Fla. / Airbus A300


At about 12:22 eastern time, an Airbus A300B4-605R operated by American Airlines as flight 1291 had a flight attendant receive fatal injuries during an emergency evacuation after the flight returned to Miami. In addition, one passenger was seriously injured and 15 suffered minor injuries. The captain stated both automatic cabin pressurization controllers would not control cabin pressure while climbing through 16,000 feet and that the forward outflow valve went to the full open position. He told controllers he was unable to control the pressurization and that he would need to return to Miami. During the return, the flight attendant call chime continually chimed erratically and the forward lavatory smoke detector sounded. About three minutes before landing the captain declared an emergency with air traffic controllers and requested that fire trucks be standing by for the landing. After landing, the aircraft would not depressurize. Firefighters saw no signs of fire from the outside, but about 1 minute after their inspection the pilot reported they had a fire and would need to evacuate. As the flight attendant opened the door, the pressure caused it to explode outwards and the flight attendant was hurled to the pavement. The other injuries occurred when the passengers slid down the evacuation slides.


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