Legionella bacteria detected at 4 American Airlines hangars

Posted October 11

— American Airlines says bacteria that cause Legionnaires' disease were detected in water at maintenance hangars in Texas after one worker became sick.

In a letter to workers, American said an expert it hired last month found "varying levels" of Legionella bacteria in the water supply for four maintenance hangars at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

American said it will install filters on all showers and faucets and provide bottled water to workers at the hangars.

In the memo, American said the bacteria could be coming from the outside water supply. The company told workers that Legionella bacteria are often found in municipal water supplies and cooling towers and their presence in the hangars "does not mean anyone will become ill."

The contaminated water was first reported by KXAS-TV (, which said that one worker showed symptoms of Legionnaires' disease, which can include fever, muscle aches, vomiting and diarrhea.

About 5,000 cases of Legionnaires' are reported each year in the United States, and about one of every 10 victims die from it, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control and Prevention.

American said Tuesday that the ill employee has returned to work.

Airline spokesman Matt Miller said that the company also was working with the airport and local health authorities to come up with a permanent plan to provide safe water.


This story has been corrected to fix the spelling to hangars, not hangers.


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