Southwest Airlines Checks Planes After Hole In Cabin Forces Landing

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Charleston, W.Va. (AP) -- Southwest Airlines has inspected about 200 planes after a hole opened up in the top of a jet while it was in flight yesterday.

The Boeing 737 made an emergency landing at Yeager Airport in Charleston.

But there were no injuries among the 126 passengers and five crew.

Passengers were able to see the hole, which was about the size of a football, and the cabin lost pressure.

It's not clear what caused the damage.

Southwest says it inspected other Boeing 737-300 series jets overnight for structural integrity, but found no similar problems.

Those planes are in service today.

Meanwhile, the National Transportation Safety Board and Boeing are working with the airline to determine the cause.

The incident comes just four months after Southwest agreed to pay a $7.5 million civil penalty to settle charges that it operated planes that had missed required safety inspections for cracks in the fuselage.

(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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