Southwest Grounds Boeing 737-300 After Fuselage Rupture (Photos)

After an in-flight fuselage rupture on a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-300 (N632SW) on Friday, Southwest announced that they grounded 79 affected Boeing 737-300 until important aircraft skin fatigue inspection is completed. Because of the grounding about 300 flights have been canceled on Saturday.

Southwest Airlines Flight 812, bound from Phoenix to Sacramento, conducted an emergency landing in Yuma, Ariz. Preliminary reports indicated the aircraft lost pressure and oxygen masks were deployed shortly after takeoff from Phoenix. Upon safely landing, the flight crew discovered a 3- to 4-foot hole in the top of the aircraft. One flight attendant was treated at the scene for a minor injury, as was at least one passenger. No injuries required transport to the hospital.

Southwest currently operates 173 Boeing 737-300, 25 Boeing 737-500 and 349 Boeing 737-700.

This is not the first time a Boeing 737 fuselage ruptured in-flight. In 2009 Southwest Airlines Flight 2294, a Boeing 737-300 as well, experienced a rapid decompression after a hole opened in the fuselage.

Photos of the damaged fuselage section of Southwest Airlines flight 812

Southwest Airlines Flight 812 - Ruptured Fuselage

Southwest Airlines Flight 812 Ruptured Fuselage - Photo: AP/Christine Ziegler

SWA812 Boeing 737-300 Fuselage Hole

SWA812 Boeing 737-300 Fuselage Hole - Photo: AP photo/Don Nelson

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