KOREAN AIR GUAM CRASH LAST YEAR FUELED BY DUTY-FREE ALCOHOL

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (July 31, 1998 - Radio Australia)---A New Zealand inquiry has found that storing alcohol in overhead passenger aircraft lockers is potentially dangerous.

Radio Australia Pacific correspondent Richard Dinnen reports the inquiry studied last year’s Boeing 747 crash at Guam which killed 225 people.

"The Korean Airlines jet crashed on approach to Guam. It appears many passengers may have survived the initial impact but died in a fire that broke out shortly afterwards.

"Off duty New Zealand pilot Barry Small survived the crash. He says duty-free alcohol stored in overhead lockers fueled the fire and helped it spread rapidly.

"The New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority commissioned a study of his claim and says it has some validity.

"The study notes the potential danger of storing alcohol so close to oxygen generating equipment located above lockers.

"The report suggests aviation authorities encourage passengers to buy alcohol when they reach their destinations rather than at departure."

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