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Nation IN BRIEF : WASHINGTON, D.C. : Officials Urge Check of Jet Exit Handles

From Times staff and wire reports

Federal safety officials, citing their investigation of last month’s fatal runway collision in Detroit, urged that hundreds of DC-9 jets be inspected for broken or cracked rear exit handles. The National Transportation Safety Board also said the McDonnell Douglas Corp., manufacturer of the DC-9 and the follow-on MD-80, should redesign the tail cone emergency exit system on both aircraft “to correct its propensity for damage and malfunction.” Eight people died aboard the DC-9, and two of them were found near the plane’s closed tail cone evacuation slide and its manual release handle. The NTSB said it found “serious deficiencies” with the release mechanism. McDonnell Douglas said in a statement that many of the devices already have been inspected and none has been found to be defective.


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