Southwest Jet Lands With Hole in Cabin

'Pandemonium' erupts as 6-foot gash opens; no serious injuries
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2011 5:14 AM CDT
In this photo provided by passenger Brenda Reese, passengers are seen on board the holed Southwest Airlines plane.   (AP Photo/Brenda Reese)
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(Newser) – A Southwest Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing at a military base in Arizona after a gaping hole developed in the top of the plane. Passengers say they heard a "real quick blast, like a gun," which was followed by "pandemonium" as the Boeing 737 made a terrifying 36,000-foot descent, AP reports. A flight attendant and at least one passenger passed out and fell over as the plane lost cabin pressure, one passenger says.

No serious injuries were reported among the 118 people aboard. The FBI says the incident was caused by "mechanical failure" and foul play is not suspected. Federal Aviation Authority and National Transportation Safety Board investigators have been sent to Arizona to try to determine what caused the 6-foot hole to open up in the top of the 15-year-old aircraft.

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