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Planes grounded as Alaska Airlines aircraft’s window blows mid-air

An Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9 had to make an emergency landing shortly after taking off from Portland, Oregon. According to the BBC, the…

An Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9 had to make an emergency landing shortly after taking off from Portland, Oregon.

According to the BBC, the incident happened on Friday, when the aircraft returned to Portland 35 minutes into its flight to California after an outer section, including a window, fell.

The airline said the plane, carrying 174 passengers and six crew members, landed safely.

“Alaska Airlines flight 1282 from Portland, Oregon, to Ontario, California, experienced an incident this evening soon after departure,” the company said.

On Saturday morning, the company said it would “temporarily” ground all 65 of its 737 Max 9 aircraft to conduct inspections.

BBC quoted the UK Civil Aviation Authority as saying it is “monitoring the situation very closely”.

A passenger sent a photo to the KATU-TV news outlet showing a gaping hole in the side of the plane next to passenger seats.

Another outlet, KPTV-TV, reported photos sent in by a passenger showing a large section of the plane’s fuselage missing.

Announcing the grounding of the 65 planes, Alaska Airlines’ CEO Ben Minicucci said: “Each aircraft will be returned to service only after completion of full maintenance and safety inspections.”

Minicucci commended the efforts of the six crew members on board the flight which had reached 16,000ft (4,876m) when it began its emergency descent, according to flight tracking data.

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