Toilet Ice Rips Hole in Couple's Roof

Friday, October 20, 2006


CHINO, Calif. — A chunk of blue ice, apparently from the holding tank of an aircraft toilet, ripped a hole in an elderly couple's roof and destroyed a bed. William McElroy was watching a movie with his wife Evelyn and would normally have been in the bed when the block of ice crashed into the house Wednesday night.

"It was a huge crash. It shook the whole building but we thought it was a car,"McElroy said. The couple went outside to investigate but found nothing, so they returned to finish watching the movie.

They didn't discover the chunk of ice on the bed and the 2-foot-wide hole in the ceiling until Thursday morning.

"If I'd been looking at TV (in his bedroom) I'd have had it,"he said.

"I think we had somebody extra looking over us,"Evelyn McElroy said from her wheelchair Thursday afternoon.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said Thursday if the offending chunk of ice is from an airplane, then it is likely the cause of a leak in a holding tank of the aircraft's bathroom.

Blue ice occurs when waste leaks from a plane's bathroom onto the outside of the plane and freezes at high altitudes. The liquid begins to thaw as the plane descends, Gregor said.

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