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This Southwest Airlines jet was forced to make an emergency landing after part of the fuselage ruptured on Friday. The hole was in the top of the plane, above a wing. (AP)

Southwest Finds 5 Jets With Cracks

Apr 5, 2011

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Southwest Airlines says it has completed its inspections of older Boeing 737-300 passenger jets and found five with fuselage cracks, Reuters and other news outlets report. The airline is making repairs and is operating on a full schedule, Reuters adds.

Those inspections followed Friday's dramatic incident on a Southwest flight from Phoenix to Sacramento. An "in-flight fuselage rupture" tore a large hole out of the top of the plane, forcing it to make an emergency landing. No one was injured.

Meanwhile, MSNBC answers the question "why wasn't anyone blown through the hole?"

"Seat belts and safe distance" is the simple answer, according to MSNBC. "While such an event can involve thousands of pounds of force, it's focused in the area immediately surrounding the hole. A passenger seated just a few rows from a five-square-foot hole could probably hold himself down without a seat belt. Anyone who was wearing his seat belt would be very unlikely to sail through the gap, regardless of location."

It also helped that the rupture was in the roof, several feet above passengers' heads.

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