A three foot long gash in the fuselage, or the top of Southwest Flight 812 caused an emergency landing today after the craft dropped 16,000 feet in one minute. Earlier today we heard that some on the plane became ill, some passengers passed out. One flight attendant was injured.
The flight was departed Phoenix bound for Sacremento. The emergency landing was in Yuma, Arizona:
Passengers heard an explosion on Southwest Flight 812 from Phoenix, a 15-year-old Boeing 737-300 (N632SW), followed by the sight of oxygen masks dropping from the overhead compartments, after which the plane began descending quickly and the crew announced that they would 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,” according to a passenger in the CBS report.
One passenger reportedly sent a text message to his wife saying, “Plane going down. Love you.”
A CNN reports quotes a passenger saying there were some screams “as the blue sky and sun began to shine through the cabin in mid-flight. “Most people were just white knuckles…pilots did a great job…you could feel and hear the noise.”
There are stories of seeing insulation and wiring and the interior ceiling panel (shown above) bouncing up and down. I also note that some reports say the hole was in the top of the plane, not the fuselage, which seems to be the case from the photo above.