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Alaska Airlines flight makes emergency landing after part of plane appears to detach

The FAA has ordered the temporary grounding of certain Boeing 737 MAX 9 airplanes operated by U.S. airlines or in U.S. territory.
/ Source: NBC News

An Alaska Airlines flight from Oregon to Southern California made an emergency landing Friday, Jan. 5, following a mid-air incident in which part of a side of the plane appeared to have detached.

Flight 1282 landed safety at Portland International Airport, Port of Portland spokesperson Allison Ferre said in a statement.

No injuries were reported among the 174 passengers and 6 crew members on board, Alaska Airlines said.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it returned to the airport after “the crew reported a pressurization issue.”

Alaska described what happened as an “incident.” A photo from a passenger on board showed an entire panel missing from a side of the fuselage, next to a row of seats.

It’s not clear how the panel became separated from the passenger jet.

airline mishap
A photo of a door plug blown out on an Alaska Airlines flight from Portland to Ontario, Calif., on Friday.Courtesy Kyle Rinker

Following the incident, the FAA ordered a temporary grounding of certain Boeing 737 MAX 9 airplanes operated by U.S. airlines or in U.S. territory. The safety inspections will affect approximately 171 airplanes worldwide, the administration said.

Kyle Rinker posted a photo from inside the plane on social media platform X, along with the caption, “When the wall of the plane just breaks off mid flight.”

Alaska said in a statement, “The safety of our guests and employees is always our primary priority, so while this type of occurrence is rare, our flight crew was trained and prepared to safely manage the situation.” 

The flight was destined for Ontario International Airport in San Bernardino County, California.

According to FlightAware, an air travel tracking site, the flight took off from Portland at 4:52 p.m. and landed back at Portland at 5:27 p.m.

It identified the aircraft as a Boeing 737 MAX 9.

Boeing said in a statement that it was aware of the incident.

“We are working to gather more information and are in contact with our airline customer,” it said. “A Boeing technical team stands ready to support the investigation.”

The National Transportation Safety Board, FAA and Alaska Airlines all said they were probing the incident.

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