The short, terrifying journey of Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 on Friday could have been much worse.
When a part of the fuselage exploded shortly after takeoff, a child’s shirt was sucked off his torso and out through the hole, passengers reported, leaving the mother holding the child.
“He ripped his son’s shirt off!” A man can be heard saying in a video posted to Twitter by passenger Stephanie King.
The flight had reached 16,000 feet after taking off from Portland, Oregon, bound for Ontario, California, around 5:07 p.m., according to FlightAware. It landed safely about 20 minutes later at the airport, with no serious injuries among the 171 passengers and six crew members.
Shortly after takeoff, a panel, including a window, came off, passenger Kyle Rinker told CNN. “It was really abrupt. “I just got to the height and the window/wall just fell off.”
“You heard a loud bang in the left rear. There was a whistle and all the oxygen masks were instantly deployed and everyone put them on,” passenger Evan Smith told CNN affiliate KATU.
“We would like to get off,” the pilot told air traffic control, according to a recording posted on liveatc.net. “We are declaring an emergency. We need to get down to 10,000.”
After being granted clearance to reach a lower altitude, the pilot told air traffic control: “We are in an emergency, we are depressurized, we need to turn back, we have 177 passengers. The fuel is eighteen eight.
Passenger Emma Vu said passengers were comforting each other.
“The flight attendant also came over and told me everything was going to be okay,” Vu told CNN. “The fact that everyone was a little scared and she took that time to make me feel like I was the only passenger…honestly, it was really sweet.”
Passengers applauded when the plane landed, as King’s video shows.
Some passengers got up. Flight attendants reminded them to remain seated.
A man can be heard saying: “There is a hole inside the plane. What the fuck is that?