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Melbourne Airport Shut Down Over Mystery Illness

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posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 02:12 AM

About 700 people were evacuated from a terminal at Melbourne Airport in Australia after 57 passengers and staff suddenly got sick. The terminal has reopened but they still haven´t found the cause of the illness.

From: Bloomberg: Virgin Blue's Melbourne Airport Terminal Evacuated (Update4)

A terminal at Melbourne Airport shared by Virgin Blue Holdings Ltd. and regional carrier Rex was evacuated for eight hours after passengers and staff became ill.

About 700 people were evacuated from the terminal just after 10 a.m. as authorities searched for the cause of the illness, which caused at least 47 people to be taken to hospital with nausea and dizziness. Virgin Blue and Regional Express flights were grounded 6 p.m. while the terminal's baggage, food handling, staff and passenger areas were tested

The terminal was reopened at 6 p.m., even though chemical assessment teams from state and federal government departments and emergency services were unable to identify the source of the irritant. ``We haven't worked out what it was,'' Holmes said. ``There's certainly no contaminant or anything else in the building, it's been thoroughly sampled and checked and there's nothing in here.''

From: Channel NewsAsia: Melbourne airport shut down over mystery illness

It began with several airport workers feeling sick.

Within an hour, the ambulance service had activated a full scale disaster plan as those affected came forward in droves.

"I've got a headache and my tummy started hurting."

"Nauseous, faint and sweaty - my heart was racing."

Authorities quickly evacuated the Virgin Blue terminal, unsure what the problem was - only that people inside were rapidly falling ill.

The travel plans of thousands of commuters across the country were thrown into chaos.

Bloomberg says 47 were taken to hospital, norwegian media says 57. Some suggest there might have been a gas-leak. BBC says: "Most of those affected were Virgin Blue security and airline staff"...

Related news sources:
BBC: Dozens sick at Australian airport

[edit on 2005/2/22 by Hellmutt]

posted on Mar, 5 2005 @ 01:19 AM
"Gas leak" in Melbourne. Again!

This time they evacuated 1000 people from a shopping centre in Melbourne's south-east because of a "gas leak". Shoppers evacuated after gas leak

This starts to smell like...


posted on Mar, 5 2005 @ 05:38 AM
I'd like to know from where did the last halfdozen flights arrive from. It is possible that a plane could have had someone on board who was already infected or contaminated with some type of bioligical pathogen. I noticed the article did not mention this. I am aslo wondering that here in the U.S. we add a compound to or natural gas and propane to know if it is leaking. Do they have something similar to this down under?

posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 02:05 AM
Anyone from the refrigeration industry that has some neuron functionality will know what this leak was caused by. They're just not saying it to anyone who'll publicize it. The rest have just fallen for the utter baloney put out by the makers of these refrigerants (read: mostly American massive multinationals... read: DuPont et al) that they are 'safe'. They are anything but safe.

The cause of this incident is a leak of fluorocarbon refrigerant (most likely to be "R123" in this case) from one of the many chillers at the airport which provide air-conditioning to the building. The leak would be due to some kind of system failure or overpressure, causing a release of the gas, which was taken up through an air-conditioning intake and distributed to the unwitting occupants of the airport.

You want a conspiracy? The real conspiracy here folks, is the massive amounts of money poured into the pushing and propagating a dangerous and uneccessary range of synthetic chemicals, with the US government acting as accessories to the whole dog-and-pony show. Even the USEPA frowns at DuPont et al from one side of their face whilst kissing them on the rear with the other half of their face.

Why such a propaganda and marketing extravaganza for these products? Simple - these synthetic chemicals are PATENTABLE, natural refrigerants on the other hand, are not. DuPont et al hold the key patents, so they hold the keys to the money tree whilever they can maintain a dominant campaign in the minds of average-joe-whadda-I-know-about-refrigeration-I-just-want-my-airconditioner-to-work. Meanwhile the ozone layer gets blasted by these chemicals. greenhouse heats up and leaks such as this leave everyone wondering what the hell happened.

Why would the system be designed so poorly, such that a leak could get straight into an air intake, you may ask? Elementary, my dear Watson, because the fluorocarbon industry has intentionally misled industry and the public about the real human exposure risks of it's refrigerant chemicals, so the designers neglect such leak scenarios because they have not been properly educated about the risks. Why have they not been properly educated? Elementary again: if the fluorocarbon industry were to educate the industry and public about the real risks, they would lose market share to natural refrigerants because people would realise that fluorocarbons have no net safety benefit compared to more natural alternatives.

More info on fluorocarbon refrigerants, including the likely culprit in this particular incident, can be found here. This is data published by one Australian university professor who has been a constant annoyance to the fluorocarbon industry because of his persistence in publicizing the truth about fluorocarbons and the availability of superior, more natural, alternatives:

These kinds of incidents occur all the time. If it's an ammonia-based airconditioning system (which is easy to detect because of it's unique smell) then fluorocarbon lobby make sure the public knows it was a "nasty ammonia leak" (ammonia is a "natural refrigerant, so DuPont can't monopolise it). But when there's a fluorocarbon leak, the propaganda machine switches into "suppress" mode and does all it can to assist the public in being blissfully unaware of the real risk of fluorocarbons.

It's about money, folks. The Number ONE driver behind all REAL conspiracies....

To Flyin High: It is international standard practice to stench all natural gases and light hydrocarbons with mercaptans. It was not such natural gases. Furthermore, natural gas exposure does not cause the symptoms mentiond. Fluorocarbon R123 data, on the other hand, reveals a virtual dead ringer match of the symptoms documented in the Melbourne incident.

posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 02:43 AM
Ok i think i have something to add on this, on the day of the evacuation of the melbourne airport i was comming back from a holiday in queensland, when i was diriving tot he airport i got a phone call telling me that the whole melbourne airport had been shutdown, no planes were going in or out. We though we were going to be diverted to a smaller airport. Anywho, when we got to the airprot in brisbane, no one said anything about it and the plane was already delayed a hour.
So everything was fine on the trip and when we got to melbourne airport everthing seemed fine, one section had been closed off. I foudn out the nextday that it was jsut a chemical comming out of the aircoditioning, smoked literaly pour out of the vetns i heard. And it casue mass panic, alot of people were just scared and thought they couldnt breath. Only 3 people had been serious affected.
So, if it was some kind of chemical out to purposely kill people wouldnt it have hurt much more also when i was there i saw the cut off section it just had some ribbon around it. If it was a serious chemical leak wouldnt it be higly guarded?
Anyway that was my perspective.

posted on Apr, 3 2005 @ 10:48 PM
They still don´t know what happened...

The Australian: Airport illness remains mystery

AN inquiry has failed to identify what sickened almost 60 people at Virgin Blue's Melbourne terminal, disrupting its operations for days.

But the inquiry into the February 21 incident did identify shortfalls in the response of emergency services to the drama.

The Victorian Government, which ordered the inquiry, has written to Prime Minister John Howard, asking that airport emergency response services call the MFB immediately if a similar situation occurs again in Melbourne.

Visit the link for the whole article...

posted on Apr, 4 2005 @ 08:17 AM
Any further updates? I've seen the refrigerant problem before (and yes people do get sick from it) and am suspicious of the "illness" angle. You just don't get sick THAT quickly from any germ, in spite of the way Hollywood plays it.

It's either got to be something that's poisonous or causes severe allergic reactions.

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