How oxygen masks brought down a plane

Credit: ACS.

When oxygen masks drop from the airplane ceiling, they’re not connected to a big tank of gas.

Instead, a chemical reaction supplies oxygen to passengers.

But in 1996, this safety feature brought a plane crashing down into the Florida Everglades, killing all 110 people aboard.

This Reactions video will tell you why that happened.

Reactions is a video series produced by the American Chemical Society and PBS Digital Studios.

The American Chemical Society (ACS) is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress.

The Society is a global leader in promoting excellence in science education and providing access to chemistry-related information and research through its multiple research solutions, peer-reviewed journals, scientific conferences, eBooks and weekly news periodical Chemical & Engineering News.

ACS journals are among the most cited, most trusted and most read within the scientific literature; however, ACS itself does not conduct chemical research.

As a leader in scientific information solutions, its CAS division partners with global innovators to accelerate breakthroughs by curating, connecting and analyzing the world’s scientific knowledge.

ACS’ main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.