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9/17/2014
Alaska Air's hazardous scare scrambles EMS, turns out to be juice
Emergency personnel respond to a reported leak
aboard an Alaska Airlines Cargo plane (not pictured)
Tuesday at the Ketchikan International Airport.
                                 Staff photo by Taylor Balkom



By MATT ARMSTRONG

Daily News Staff Writer

Lime juice can be a key ingredient in many things, including cocktails and meals. However, Tuesday afternoon at the Ketchikan International Airport, lime juice was the key ingredient in a situation that potentially involved hazardous materials on an Alaska Airlines cargo freighter.

A 737-400 cargo freighter landed at the airport from Seattle at approximately 3:30 p.m. Tuesday. After landing, the crew began to unload the cargo when one of the workers noticed about a gallon of a "sour smelling liquid" leaking from one of the containers, according to Alaska Airlines spokesman Cole Cosgrove.

"None of the cargo was listed as dangerous goods," Cosgrove said in a phone interview Tuesday night.

Workers used caution and alerted airport staff. Emergency responders from the Ketchikan Fire Department — including hazardous materials personnel — responded to the airport by taking the ferry from Ketchikan to Gravina Island.

It was determined shortly before 7:30 p.m. that the mysterious liquid was lime juice from a container that had broken open during the flight, Cosgrove said.

After the non-hazardous lime juice was named the culprit, the cargo bound for Ketchikan was scheduled to be unloaded before the plane continued its flight to Sitka, Juneau and Anchorage, Cosgrove added.