The Alaska Airlines incident where a door panel blew out mid-air two months ago has now prompted a criminal investigation by the Justice Department, according to The Wall Street Journal. This incident occurred on Flight 1282 on Jan. 5 heading to Ontario, California from Portland, Oregon, where a section of the plane ripped off midair, resulting in an emergency landing. Investigators have reached out to passengers, pilots, and flight attendants involved in the incident.

The DOJ’s investigation is not only focusing on the direct cause of the incident itself but is also taking into account whether Boeing complied with a previous settlement from a federal investigation into the fatal crashes of the 737 Max in 2018 and 2019. The Wall Street Journal reported that the review is a crucial part of the investigation to ensure that Boeing has met the necessary safety standards.

In response to the incident, three passengers have filed lawsuits against Boeing and Alaska Airlines seeking $1 billion in damages. The lawsuit accuses both companies of negligence for allegedly ignoring warning signs that may have prevented the incident from occurring. The legal battle surrounding this incident is likely to escalate as more details emerge from the ongoing investigation.

Following the incident, Alaska and United Airlines, the two U.S. carriers operating the Boeing 737 Max 9, were forced to ground their planes for inspections. This led to the cancellation of thousands of flights in January, resulting in significant financial losses for both airlines. Alaska Airlines estimated that the weekslong grounding of the Boeing 737 Max 9 will cost the carrier $150 million, highlighting the operational and financial impact of such incidents.

The Alaska Airlines incident has not only raised concerns about the safety of Boeing’s aircraft but has also triggered a criminal investigation by the DOJ. The legal battles and financial losses incurred by the airlines involved underscore the seriousness of the situation and the need for a thorough investigation to prevent similar incidents in the future.


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