Alaska Airlines' Boeing 737 Max 9 emergency landing after door blew off, leaving a gaping hole in the plane's fuselage.
Social media images revealed the chaos inside the cabin, with emergency oxygen masks dangling as passengers grappled with the unsettling turn of events.
The incident has triggered investigations by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) into the cause, leading to a temporary grounding of Boeing 737 Max 9 jetliners worldwide.
The incident occurred during the flight to Ontario, California, with the Boeing 737 Max 9 climbing to 16,000 feet before the blowout caused cabin depressurization.
The emergency landing took place in Portland, Oregon, ensuring the safety of all 174 passengers and six crew members on board.
The detached panel fell over the Portland suburb of Cedar Hills, prompting the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to request residents report any findings.
Despite the severity of the incident, passengers seated away from the affected area were unharmed. However, reports mention a young boy suffering minor injuries due to the sudden decompression.
The Boeing 737 Max 9 had a huge gaping hole in the side.
While Alaska Airlines has not disclosed the cause, both the NTSB and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have committed to investigating the incident.
The focus will be on determining what led to the blowout and the subsequent detachment of the cabin panel.
The ill-fated Boeing 737 Max 9, delivered to Alaska Airlines in late October, had been in service for a mere eight weeks.
Following the incident, federal authorities ordered the temporary grounding of all 171 Boeing 737 Max 9 planes worldwide for thorough inspections, affecting carriers like Alaska Airlines and United Airlines.
The Boeing 737 Max series faced previous global groundings following fatal crashes in 2018. International airlines are responding to the recent incident, with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency and various carriers temporarily grounding or inspecting their Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft.
Passengers, like Emma Vu, shared firsthand accounts on social media, describing the surreal experience of witnessing a part of the plane tear off mid-flight.
Vu's emotional TikTok post captured the panic and subsequent relief during the emergency landing. Despite the traumatic incident, all passengers landed safely.
Alaska Airlines CEO Ben Minicucci expressed condolences and reassured passengers of ongoing investigations in collaboration with Boeing and regulators.
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.- Alaska Airlines CEO Ben Minicucci
We are working with Boeing and regulators to understand what occurred tonight, and will share updates as more information is available. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating this event and we will fully support their investigation.- Alaska Airlines CEO Ben Minicucci
The airline's decision to temporarily ground its entire fleet of Max-9 aircraft reflects a commitment to safety, with each aircraft set for comprehensive inspections before resuming service.
The Alaska Airlines emergency landing has thrust the aviation industry into another bout of scrutiny, with investigations underway and the global grounding of Boeing 737 Max 9 planes.
As the industry confronts this latest challenge, passengers and aviation authorities alike await the findings of the investigations and anticipate measures to ensure the safety and reliability of air travelin the future.