Southwest Airlines flight diverts due to 'rapid decompression in the cabin'

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Southwest Airlines Flight 812 carrying 118 passengers between Phoenix, Arizona and Sacramento, California was forced to divert to the Yuma Marine Corps Air Station in Arizona, after a hole appeared in the top of the aircraft; the plane landed safely at Yuma.

The plane was forced to make an emergency descent down to 11,000 feet and reportedly descended 16,000 feet in one minute. One passenger identified as Cindy said, "[t]hey had just taken drink orders when I heard a huge sound and oxygen masks came down and we started making a rapid decent. They said we’d be making an emergency landing. There was a hole in the fuselage about three feet long. You could see the insulation and the wiring. You could see a tear the length of one of the ceiling panels."

In a statement issued by Southwest Airlines they informed that, "Southwest Airlines Flight 812, the scheduled 3:25 pm departure from Phoenix to Sacramento today, diverted to Yuma, Ariz due to loss of pressurization in the cabin. Upon safely landing in Yuma, the flight crew discovered a hole in the top of the aircraft. There are no reported Customer injuries. One of the Flight Attendants, however, received a minor injury upon descent."

Southwest Airlines have provided a replacement aircraft to take the 118 passengers to Sacramento. The National Transportation Safety Board confirmed it is investigating "an in-flight fuselage rupture."


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