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Odor was on airplane ahead of illnesses

Jan. 20, 2010 at 1:56 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Maintenance logs show an airplane that landed in North Carolina with 15 ailing people aboard was previously was taken out of service due to a foul odor.

WCNC-TV, Charlotte, N.C., said Wednesday that maintenance logs indicate a foul odor was twice noticed on a Boeing 767 jetliner before the aircraft was used for US Airways Flight 1041 on Jan. 16.

Eight passengers and seven crew members on board the January flight from St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands fell ill. The complaints of headaches and nausea were attributed to a strange smell aboard the aircraft.

Judith Murawski of the Association of Flight Attendants said a strange odor was also noticed on the aircraft on Dec. 28 and Dec. 30, resulting in crew members becoming ill in both instances.

US Airways spokeswoman Michelle Mohr said the plane was temporarily grounded following each incident and experienced no problems between Jan. 5 and the Jan. 16 incident.

The smell was later attributed to a leak of the hydraulic fluid Skydrol, Mohr told WCNC.

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