An Alaska Airlines flight made an emergency landing at Portland International Airport Friday evening after encountering what federal authorities described as an in-flight “pressurization issue” that passengers say caused it to explode a piece of the fuselage.
The airline said Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 made a safe emergency landing carrying 171 passengers and six crew members after returning to Portland Airport shortly after taking off for Ontario, in California. The crew reported a “pressurization problem” before landing to the Federal Aviation Administration. said in a separate statement.
One passenger, Vi Nguyen of Portland, said she was sleeping and woke up to a loud noise during the flight. Then she saw a large hole in the side of the plane.
“I open my eyes and the first thing I see is the oxygen mask right in front of me,” Ms. Nguyen, 22, said. “And I look to the left and the wall on the side of the plane is gone.”
“The first thing I thought was, ‘I’m going to die.'”
The plane was a Boeing 737-9 Max, according to Aware of theft, a flight tracking website. The airline, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board said they were investigating what happened.
Ms. Nguyen, who was traveling with her friends, said that after landing, they were told they could board another flight to Ontario later that night.
Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 took off for Ontario International Airport at 5:07 p.m., according to Aware of theft and was redirected to Portland six minutes later.
The plane reached a maximum altitude of about 16,000 feet, when its speed was recorded at more than 440 miles per hour, and landed in Portland at 5:27 p.m., according to FlightAware data.
Marc Walker reports contributed.
This is a developing story.