Process Slowed By Discovery Of Asbestos In Firewall
In an odd twist, investigators looking into the Friday crash of
a vintage biplane in Australia had to halt their work Saturday
because a 1930s safety feature designed into the plane was declared
a hazard to humans in later decades.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports John Fisher and
David Oxley, both members of the Maryborough Aero Club, were
fatally injured when the Tiger Moth biplane they were flying
(similar aircraft pictured) struck trees shortly after take-off at
Maryborough. When ATSB personnel arrived Saturday, one of their
first discoveries was that the plane's firewall contained asbestos.
The naturally-occurring mineral, known for its ability to insulate
against heat and sound, is now considered a hazardous material due
to its role in causing certain cancers.
The Courier cites police sources in reporting witnesses saw the
plane burst into flames in trees at the northern end of the runway
about 1700 local time. It's not clear whether the fire preceded the
impact with trees. ATSB is expected to require up to a year to
prepare a report on probable cause.