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Gaping Hole in Plane Rips Open Mid-Flight Forcing Emergency Landing ‎

The fuselage ruptured on a Southwest Boeing 737 mid-flight, depressurizing the aircraft and leaving a hole in the cabin ceiling. 

Big Hole in Southwest Plane

April 1: A Southwest flight carrying 118 people rapidly lost cabin pressure after the plane's fuselage ruptured -- causing a 5-foot-long tear -- just after takeoff from Phoenix.

AP

Passenger Photo of Hole With Sunlight in Southwest Plane AP

April 1: This passenger photos shows the tear along a riveted "lap joint" near the roof of the Boeing 737. Above the midsection shows evidence of extensive cracking that hadn't been discovered during routine maintenance before the flight

AP

Close Up Photo of Hole in Southwest Plane, Passenger Photo

April 1: Unidentified passengers take photos with cell phones of a  hole in the cabin on a Southwest Airlines aircraft.  

The riveted joints that run the length of the plane were previously not believed to be a fatigue problem and not normally subjected to extensive checks, NTSB board member Robert Sumwalt said.

AP

Vertical Photos, Passengers on Southwest Plane

April 1: Passengers are seen on board a Southwest Airline flight in Yuma, Ariz. Southwest 

"What we saw with Flight 812 was a new and unknown issue," said Mike Van de Ven, Southwest executive vice president and chief operating officer.

"Prior to the event regarding Flight 812, we were in compliance with the FAA-mandated and Boeing-recommended structural inspection requirements for that aircraft."

AP

Passenger Photo of Hole in Southwest Plane

April 1: A passenger's photo of a hole in the cabin on a Southwest Airlines aircraft.

AP/Christine Ziegler

NTSB Investigate Southwest Plane Hole

April 3: A member of the National Transportation and Safety Board investigates the emergency landing of Southwest Airlines flight 812 after a portion of the planes fuselage cut off.

AP

NTSB Investigaters Carry Southwest Plane's Fuselage

April 3: A member of the National Transportation and Safety Board carry a portion of the plane's fuselage to a waiting vehicle.

AP

File Photo of SouthWest Airlines Boeing 737-300 AP

A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-300 takes from Tampa, Fl. On April 3 a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-300 carrying 142 people diverted to Los Angeles because of a burning electrical smell in the passenger cabin.

AP

Southwest Airlines Customers Wait on Long Lines AP

April 2: Southwest Airlines customers wait in long lines to find out their flight was either changed or canceled at Oakland Airport in Oakland Calif.

AP

Gaping Hole in Plane Rips Open Mid-Flight Forcing Emergency Landing ‎

The fuselage ruptured on a Southwest Boeing 737 mid-flight, depressurizing the aircraft and leaving a hole in the cabin ceiling. 

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