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Last updated: 4 December 2021
Date:Sunday 3 October 1993
Type:Silhouette image of generic MD83 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83)
Operator:BWIA International
Registration: 9Y-THR
MSN: 49568/1380
First flight: 1987
Total airframe hrs:14657
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-219
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 76
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 82
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:near Miami, FL (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Miami International Airport, FL (MIA/KMIA), United States of America
Destination airport:Bridgetown-Grantley Adams International Airport (BGI/TBPB), Barbados
Flightnumber: 431
BWIA flight 431 experienced an explosion in the forward galley during climb to cruise altitude. The airplane was substantially damaged, 1 flight attendant received serious injuries and 1 flight attendant received minor injuries. The flight had originated from Miami, FL, about 15:25 and landed back at there around 16,25 the same day.
Examination of the airplane revealed that a water heater, Nordskog model, had over pressurized and exploded. The entire forward galley and the cabin wall to the cockpit was destroyed.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The failure of the water heater relay and the overpressure relief valve to operate properly. In addition, the design of the relief valve was inadequate in that it allowed the O-ring to migrate from its normal position preventing the valve from opening."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year
Accident number: MIA94FA001
Download report: Final report

Forced landing on runway

» Air Safety Week 13 December 1993 (p. 10)
» Air Safety Week nr.40-1993
» Aviation Week & Space Technology 18 October 1993 (40)


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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Miami International Airport, FL to Bridgetown-Grantley Adams International Airport as the crow flies is 2577 km (1611 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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