Alaska Airlines grounds 737 Max 9 planes after cabin emergency
By TOI Desk Report January 7, 2024 Update on : January 7, 2024
US regulators on Saturday temporarily grounded 171 Boeing 737 MAX 9 jetliners for safety checks after an Alaska Airlines plane suffered a blowout that left a gaping hole in the side of the fuselage.
Following the blowout, the new Alaska Airlines plane carrying 171 passengers was made an emergency landing in the US state of Oregon, report AFP and BBC.
Several passengers sustained injuries after the flight had suffered the blowout of a window and a fuselage above Portland, Oregon.
The incident took place seven minutes after an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-9 Max takeoff from Portland on Friday.
However, pilots made an emergency landing safely with the 171 passengers and six crew on board.
According to flight tracking data, the flight to Ontario, California, had reached 16,000ft when it began its emergency landing.
Talking to BBC, Evan Smith, one of the 171 passengers on board, said they heard a loud bang towards the left rear of the plane and a woosh noise. All the air masks dropped following it.
Another passenger Elizabeth Lee said as part of the plane was missing, the wind was just extremely loud. But, every passenger was in their seats and had their belt on.
Alaska Airlines has yet to specify how many passengers were injured and how severe their injuries were. The airlines said all the injured have taken medication.
Alaska Airlines’ CEO Ben Minicucci, said they announced the initial grounding of 65 planes. Besides, they will return each aircraft to service only after completion of full maintenance and safety inspections.Read more: Alaska Airlines grounds 737 Max 9 planes after cabin emergency