DOJ Launches Criminal Investigation Into Alaska Airlines After Door Plug Blowout

(Photo by Daniel SLIM / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images)

Julianna Frieman Contributor
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The Department of Justice (DOJ) launched a criminal investigation into Alaska Airlines after a door plug blew off of one of its planes mid-flight.

Passengers and crew from the January flight were contacted by investigators, who seek to get to the bottom of the door plug disaster that took place on one of its Boeing 737 Max aircrafts, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.

The DOJ already interviewed multiple pilots and flight attendants who were on the plane when the blowout occurred, according to the outlet. The U.S. grounded hundreds of commercial 737 Max-9 planes after the left door plug of Flight 1282 broke off the aircraft mid-flight, causing the cabin to depressurize.

Several passengers aboard Flight 1282 sued Boeing for emotional and physical trauma, claiming that the company “failed to design and/or construct those aircraft safely, according to court documents. The flight was en route to Ontario, California, from Portland, Oregon when the incident occurred. (RELATED: Major Airline Finds Loose Bolts On Multiple Boeing Planes In Fleet Following Alaska Air Accident)

Alaska Airlines responded to the DOJ’s investigation in a statement.

“We are fully cooperating and do not believe we are a target of the investigation,” the airline said.

Boeing has not yet turned over documentation about the production and installation of the door plug that came detached, the outlet reported. The investigation will help in the assessment of whether Boeing complied with an earlier settlement resolving another federal probe into the safety of the 737 Max following deadly plane crashes reported in 2018 and 2019.