An Alaska Airlines flight from Oregon to Southern California made an emergency landing Friday following a mid-air incident that saw part of the plane cut off.
Flight 1282 landed safely at Portland International Airport, Port of Portland spokeswoman Alison Ferre said in a statement.
Alaska Airlines said there were no injuries to the 174 passengers and six crew on board.
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 of a passenger on the plane, next to a row of seats, showed an entire panel missing from one side.
It is unclear how or when the panel was detached from the passenger jet.
On Saturday, the airline said it would temporarily ground all 65 of its 737 Max 9 planes while it underwent maintenance and safety inspections.
Kyle Ringer posted a photo from inside the plane on social media XWith the title, “When the wall of the plane breaks in mid-air.”
A passenger on the flight gave her name only as Elizabeth told NBC affiliate KGW The incident occurred about 20 minutes after takeoff from the Portland, Oregon, airport.
“Everything was fine until I heard a loud noise! Or like a boom,” she said. “I look up, the air masks, out, down.”
“I looked to my left and there's this big gap on the left side where the window is,” he told the station in a phone interview. She said the wind was very loud.
He said everyone was wearing seat belts and people were calm.
In a statement, Alaska said, “The safety of our guests and employees is always our top priority, so while such incidents are rare, our flight crews are trained and prepared to manage the situation safely.”
The flight departed for Ontario International Airport in San Bernardino County, California.
According to flight tracking site FlightAware, the flight took off from Portland at 5:07pm and landed in Portland at 5:27pm.
The plane has been identified 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 touch with our airline customers,” it said. “Boeing's technical team stands ready to support the investigation.”
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg X said Saturday morning that he “has been briefed on last night's incident and is in close contact with the FAA regarding a response.”
Both the FAA and Alaska Airlines said they were investigating the incident. The National Transportation Safety Board has launched a team to Portland to investigate the incident.
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