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"Fire in the Sky"

ValuJet Flight 592 crashed into the Florida Everglades shortly after takeoff from Miami International Airport, killing all 110 passengers and crew members. Investigators were first inclined to believe that the plane was to blame for the crash. But a close examination of the wreckage uncovered that the plane had been carrying oxygen generators in its cargo hold - forbidden on passenger planes. Oxygen generators contain a mélange of sodium chlorate, barium peroxide and potassium perchlorate that can heat and ignite under specific conditions. A tape recording of the final minutes of the flight, with passengers screaming "Fire! Fire!" confirmed that a fire had brought the plane down. Now investigators needed to understand how the fire had ignited and spread and what oxygen generators were doing there in the first place.




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