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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


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.