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DOJ launches a criminal probe into the rupture of the Alaska Airlines 737 aircraft, according to a report

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<p>According to a Wall Street Journal story published on Saturday, the Department of Justice has opened a criminal inquiry into the Boeing 737 burst that caused a massive hole in an Alaska Airlines aircraft in January.</p>
<p><img decoding=”async” class=”alignnone wp-image-494327″ src=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/theindiaprint.com-doj-launches-a-criminal-probe-into-the-rupture-of-the-alaska-airlines-737-aircraft-750×500.jpg” alt=”theindiaprint.com doj launches a criminal probe into the rupture of the alaska airlines 737 aircraft” width=”988″ height=”660″ title=”DOJ launches a criminal probe into the rupture of the Alaska Airlines 737 aircraft, according to a report 18″ srcset=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/theindiaprint.com-doj-launches-a-criminal-probe-into-the-rupture-of-the-alaska-airlines-737-aircraft-750×500.jpg 750w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/theindiaprint.com-doj-launches-a-criminal-probe-into-the-rupture-of-the-alaska-airlines-737-aircraft-1024×683.jpg 1024w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/theindiaprint.com-doj-launches-a-criminal-probe-into-the-rupture-of-the-alaska-airlines-737-aircraft-768×512.jpg 768w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/theindiaprint.com-doj-launches-a-criminal-probe-into-the-rupture-of-the-alaska-airlines-737-aircraft.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 988px) 100vw, 988px” /></p>
<p>The newspaper said that investigators had spoken with some of the passengers and staff from the Jan. 5th aircraft, including pilots and flight attendants, citing records and sources with knowledge of the situation.</p>
<p>Seven minutes after takeoff from Portland, Oregon, the Boeing aircraft operated by Alaska Airlines had a blowout, requiring the pilots to perform an emergency landing. Since the incident, when a panel that was intended to plug in an additional emergency door blew off a Max 9 airplane, Boeing has come under further scrutiny. No significant injuries were reported.</p>
<p>Alaska Airlines issued a prepared statement saying, “It’s normal for the DOJ to be conducting an investigation in an event like this.” “We do not think we are the investigation’s target; we are fully cooperating.”</p>
<p>Boeing opted not to respond. An immediate statement was requested, but the DOJ did not respond.</p>
<p>According to The Journal, the inquiry would support the Department’s assessment of Boeing’s compliance with an earlier settlement that ended a federal probe into the safety of its 737 Max aircraft in the wake of two fatal disasters in 2018 and 2019.</p>
<p>In 2021, Boeing agreed to pay $2.5 billion, which included a $244 million fine, to resolve an inquiry into Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines aircraft disasters. Additionally, the business accused two workers of lying to authorities about flight-control system defects.</p>
<p>In a letter to Congress, Boeing admitted that it was unable to locate documentation for the modifications done on the Alaska Airlines plane’s door panel.</p>
<p>Sen. Maria Cantwell received a letter from Boeing executive vice president and top government lobbyist Ziad Ojakli on Friday, saying, “We have looked extensively and have not found any such documentation.”</p>
<p>The business said that, despite Boeing’s systems requiring it, records regarding the panel’s removal and reinstallation on the 737 MAX final assembly line in Renton, Washington, were never produced. This was their “working hypothesis.”</p>
<p>Following a heated Senate committee meeting on Wednesday, during which Boeing and the National Transportation Safety Board sparred over whether the firm had cooperated with investigators, The Seattle Times first published the letter.</p>
<p>Jennifer Homendy, the head of the safety board, stated that over a two-month period, Boeing consistently declined to identify workers who do repairs on Boeing 737 door panels and neglected to submit paperwork on a repair job that included taking the door panel off and reinstalling it.</p>
<p>“It is ridiculous that we still lack that after two months,” Homendy said. “Without that information, that raises questions about safety management systems, quality assurance, and quality management at Boeing.”</p>
<p>Washington Democrat Cantwell asked Boeing to respond within 48 hours.</p>
<p>Soon after the Senate hearing, Boeing said that it had already provided some of the identities of all personnel who work on 737 doors to investigators and that it had provided the NTSB with their names as well.</p>
<p>Boeing said in the letter that it had previously informed the safety board that it was unable to locate the necessary paperwork. It said that “Boeing was not aware of any complaints or concerns about a lack of collaboration” prior to the hearing.</p>
<p>Four bolts that hold the door plug in place were missing when the panel was taken out last September so technicians could fix adjoining broken rivets, according to a preliminary study released by the NTSB last month. The contractors who worked for Spirit AeroSystems, a Boeing supplier, repaired the rivets, but Homendy said on Wednesday that the NTSB is still unsure of who took out and replaced the door panel.</p>
<p>Recently, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) given Boeing ninety days to reply to questions the agency and a group of government and industry experts made over quality control. Despite advancements after two Max 8 aircraft crashes in 2018 and 2019, which resulted in the deaths of 346 people, the panel discovered issues with Boeing’s safety culture.</p>


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