An Alaska Airlines flight bound for California turned into a nightmare for passengers when a section of the plane’s body was blown out, causing a terrifying depressurizing situation.
The incident occurred during the flight, and thankfully, there were no serious injuries.
One passenger, Vi Nguyen, described the harrowing experience: “I open up my eyes and the first thing I see is the oxygen mask right in front of me, and I look to the left and the wall on the side of the plane is gone.” The sudden loss of a portion of the aircraft left passengers in shock and fearing for their lives. A video shared by one of the passengers shows the aftermath of the incident, with a blown-off window and debris scattered inside the cabin.
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The pilot immediately declared an emergency and initiated an emergency landing. “Portland approach, Alaska 1282 emergency! Aircraft is now leveling 12,000 in a left turn heading three four zero,” the pilot radioed. The plane successfully landed, and all passengers and crew members onboard were reported to be safe.
The number of passengers on the flight exceeded 170, with six crew members. Although it was initially reported that the emergency door had blown off, the video evidence suggests that it was, in fact, a window that was ripped from the aircraft. Fortunately, no one was seated directly next to the damaged area.
In response to the incident, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ordered U.S. airlines to temporarily halt the use of some Boeing 737 Max 9 planes. The move comes as a precautionary measure to ensure passenger safety. Boeing spokesperson Jessica Kowal expressed support for the FAA’s decision and emphasized their commitment to the thorough inspection of affected aircraft.
Alaska Airlines CEO Ben Minicucci assured the public that the grounded aircraft would only be allowed back in service after undergoing comprehensive maintenance and safety inspections. The airline is actively investigating the incident and will release further details as they become available.
In the wake of the terrifying event, Minicucci extended his sympathies to the affected passengers: “My heart goes out to those who were on this flight – I am so sorry for what you experienced. I am so grateful for the response of our pilots and flight attendants.”
The incident serves as a reminder of the crucial importance of safety protocols in the aviation industry. Alaska Airlines and Boeing are fully committed to understanding the cause of the incident and implementing necessary measures to prevent such occurrences in the future.