Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Manchester air disaster.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987; 294 doi: (Published 27 June 1987) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987;294:1663
  1. S P O'Hickey,
  2. C A Pickering,
  3. P E Jones,
  4. J D Evans


    On 22 August 1985 a fire occurred on a Boeing 737 jet airliner at take off at Manchester Airport. One hundred and thirty seven passengers and crew were on board. Fifty two passengers died on the aircraft, 85 escaped. Most survivors had minor physical injuries, but 15 required admission to hospital because of smoke inhalation and two of these had severe burns. At presentation only one survivor required ventilation but within 12 hours a further five required ventilation. Although initially patients suffering from smoke inhalation may seem relatively well, lung function may deteriorate rapidly in the first 24 hours. Careful organisation and regular practice of procedures to deal with a major accident are essential to be able to respond adequately to such an event.