Guardian Unlimited Business | | Panicky scramble to evacuate A380 'a great success'
Interesting story above about the somewhat dangerous tests that aircraft manufacturers need to go through to show a new airliner can be evacuated quickly enough:
In a German airport hangar yesterday, 873 volunteers scrambled down rubber emergency slides from one of Airbus's new A380 superjumbos in only 80 seconds....
The target was achieved at some cost. One volunteer aged over 50 suffered a broken leg; another 32 sustained minor injuries including friction burns and bruises....
Still, compared to previous tests for other aircraft, just one broken leg looks good:
Yesterday's apparent success will be a relief to Airbus as evacuation exercises have a hazardous history. In a 1991 test of a McDonnell Douglas MD-11 in California, evacuation of 421 people took 132 seconds and resulted in 28 injuries.
In a re-run, a 60-year-old woman fell down a slide, broke her neck and was left paralysed for life.