American Airlines has confirmed that a cabin odor was the likely reason seven flight attendants requested to be hospitalized with severe headaches following a flight from Charlotte to Orlando late Monday night.
ABC News reported that Service Difficulty Reports (SDRs) filed with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reveal this week's incident marks the third time in less than two months that the Airbus A330 has experienced a fume incident.
The aircraft "experienced a dirty sock odor" on Nov. 23, and flight attendants reported smelling fumes in the cabin Nov. 28, according to those SDRs. American told ABC News that the plane in question is now undergoing a "thorough maintenance inspection" to determine the cause of the issue.
"The health and welfare of our crews and customers continues to be our top priority at American Airlines," American said in a statement to ABC News. "We take cabin odor issues seriously and have devoted extensive efforts over time, including working with aircraft, engine and auxiliary power unit manufacturers, to address these types of concerns."
The airline went on to state that its technical operations team "actively monitors and conducts in-depth inspections" any time a crew member reports an odor and that it encourages employees to report odors.
The seven flight attendants who sought medical attention in Orlando Tuesday after being evaluated by paramedics at the airport were released from the hospital a few hours later, a spokesperson for the airline confirmed to ABC News.
None of the 89 passengers on the flight required medical attention.
Citing a Kansas State University study, ABC News reports oil, fume and smoke incidents are quite rare, occurring at an average rate of just 0.2 incidents per 1000 flights.
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