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UPDATED: Seven injured in Airbus A330 test flight depressurisation

Seven occupants of an Air Mauritius Airbus A330-200 aircraft were taken to hospital after a depressurisation incident yesterday (21 November).

The twin-jet, the first of two A330s ordered by the carrier last year was performing a customer-acceptance flight from Toulouse, the final step in the process before an aircraft is delivered. It had been due to be formally received by Air Mauritius in the next few days.

Ten people were on board the aircraft: three Airbus personnel, six from Air Mauritius and one representative of a supplier. Two pilots and an observer were in the cockpit at the time, while the others were moving around the cabin.

"While in the cruise there was a sudden decompression," says a spokeswoman for Airbus. "When it happened it was so sudden that there was no time for [those in the cabin] to grab oxygen masks. Some became dizzy and unconscious."

There is no firm information on the altitude of the A330 at the time. Standard procedures following decompression include performing a swift descent to an altitude of around 10,000ft where atmospheric oxygen density is sufficiently high.

Seven people were taken to hospital as a precaution although all but one have since been released. The Airbus spokeswoman describes the occurrence as a "minor incident" and says none of the occupants suffered serious injuries.

Air Mauritius selected the A330 last year after revising an earlier order for Airbus A340-300s, opting to fit them with General Electric CF6 engines.

French investigation agency Bureau d’Enquetes et d’Analyses (BEA) is conducting an inquiry into the event. The organisation is already looking into last week’s testing accident at Toulouse involving an Airbus A340-600 destined for Etihad Airways.
NB: the lead picture is the actual aircraft involved taking off from Toulouse for the test flight in question.

Further information on the aircraft's serial number is available via Flight's premium news service, Air Transport Intelligence.

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