We hate to believe all the complaining that “terrorists have already won”, but stories like these seem to reinforce the notion. If terrorism is intended to generate fear, well it sure as heck has…especially when you can make someone fearful of toilet paper. As reported by AOL Travel, on April 22 Alaska Airlines flight 508 was evacuated after a flight attendant reported a suspicious substance in the lavatory.
The flight attendant discovered tissue with “white dust” and immediately raised alarm bells. The plane was met by a hazardous materials team when it landed in Orange County, California, arriving from Seattle. According to a spokesperson for the airport, the mysterious substance turned out to be toilet paper remnants.
The airplane was put back into service after being cleaned. 151 passengers and 6 crew members were unharmed in the incident.
Although this one is example is pretty funny – alse alarms can be serious business. In 2010, a flight bound for Chennai was ready to take off in Mumbai when one of the 153 passengers in the back noticed smoke. After reporting it, there was a breakdown in emergency procedures of the staff, resulting in 26 passengers being injured in an ensuing stampede. While Jet Airways claimed that the emergency exits were opened by passengers, reports from aviation authorities claimed otherwise, that they were opened by panicked staff.