Health effects of jet crash being determined

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by Lucy Bustamante

WVEC.com

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 6:10 PM

VIRGINIA BEACH --  The effects of Friday's jet crash in Virginia Beach weren't just felt among residents of the apartment complex where the Hornet landed.

Carbon fiber dust and other toxic chemicals were let out into the environment. 13News learned that between 30 and 40 people from the surrounding area were taken to the hospital after the crash, all with respiratory issues.

"I talked to one of my partners about an hour ago and they've seen a good number of patients at Virginia Beach General Hospital with respiratory complaints because of this crash," stated Doctor Francis Councelman, chairman of emergency medicine at Norfolk Sentara. "They were all released. I don't think anyone needed to be admitted," he added.

Counselman, who is also a professor at Eastern Virginia Medical School, says the patients were mostly emphysema patients, asthmatics, and COPD patients who inhaled the dust from the crash.

"If you were going to have problems, you were going to have them Friday or Friday night. You would not have it now, several days later," Councelman said.

Navy officials say they've laid wax on the site to capture the fiber dust particles.

"They put a wax over the aircraft structure in order to keep the carbon fibers from flying away, especially on a day windy like this, it's important.  But those are being continuously sampled every day, all day long," said captain Bob Geis, commanding officer of Naval Air Station Oceana.

The crash site at Birdneck Road is still blocked off.  Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency has set up monitors in the immediate area as well as surrounding neighborhoods. It measures the levels of toxins in the air.  So far, Virginia Beach Fire Department reports no danger in the numbers.



 

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