Southwest plane lands in Ariz. with hole in cabin

PHOENIX, April 1 (Reuters) – A Southwest Airlines (LUV.N: Quote, Profile, Research)
plane with a gaping hole in the fuselage made an emergency
landing at a military base in Arizona on Friday after a sudden
drop in cabin pressure, airline officials said.

Southwest Flight 812 from Phoenix to Sacramento,
California, with 118 passengers on board, landed safely at the
Yuma Marine Corps Air Station with a hole in the top of the
aircraft, a Southwest spokeswoman said in a statement.

There were no passenger injuries reported, the statement
said. The airline said one flight attendant was slightly
injured.

The Boeing 737 landed at 4:07 p.m. local time after
declaring an emergency, said Ian Gregor, a Federal Aviation
Administration spokesman.

“We do not know the cause of the decompression,” Gregor
said.

Passengers described the scene to the CBS television
affiliate in Sacramento, detailing the damage to the plane.

“They had just taken drink orders when I heard a huge sound
and oxygen masks came down and we started making a rapid
descent. They said we’d be making an emergency landing,” a
woman identified as Cindy told the station.

“There was a hole in the fuselage about 3 feet (9 metres)
long. You could see the insulation and the wiring. You could
see a tear the length of one of the ceiling panels.”
(Reporting by David Schwartz; Editing by Greg McCune)

Southwest plane lands in Ariz. with hole in cabin