A Southwest Airlines plane flying from Chicago to New Jersey was forced to land in Cleveland on Wednesday after one of its windows cracked. The exit-aisle window cracked mid-flight, reports the New York Times, but the cabin never lost pressure as only one of the window's many plexiglass layers was affected. (You can see images here.) There were no reports of injuries after Flight 957 landed safely at Cleveland's Hopkins International Airport, and no emergency was declared. Aviation experts tell the AP the slightest defect or micro-crack in a plane window can cause cracks like this one.
Airline consultant Robert Mann says windows are periodically polished to remove the formation of tiny cracks in the acrylic windows from exposure to chemicals and the sun's rays. "The flight landed uneventfully in Cleveland," Southwest said in a statement. "The aircraft has been taken out of service, and our local Cleveland Employees are working diligently to accommodate the 76 customers on a new aircraft to Newark." The incident comes two weeks after a Southwest Airlines plane made an emergency landing in Philadelphia after an engine explosion and a blown out window. A woman who was partly sucked out of that window was killed.
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