FBI Sends Letters To Impacted Alaska Airlines Passengers, Contents Leave Them On Edge

By Javier Sanchez | Sunday, 24 March 2024 01:00 AM
Views 4.5K

Passengers aboard an Alaska Airlines flight, during which a door plug blew out mid-flight, have been identified as potential victims of a crime by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), according to a letter sent by the bureau's Seattle Division.

The incident, which occurred on Alaska Flight 1282, is currently under investigation.

The letter, dated March 19, was shared with FOX Business by Attorney Mark Lindquist, who is representing the passengers on the flight. The FBI's communication stated that due to the "large number of potential victims in this case," passengers may not receive further notice by mail. The bureau also informed passengers about the services they are entitled to under the FBI's Victim Assistance Program.

Lindquist expressed his support for the Justice Department's investigation, stating, "We want answers, accountability, and safer Boeing planes. The DOJ brings a lot of leverage to our litigation."

Alaska Airlines, in a statement to FOX Business, noted that it is standard procedure for the DOJ to conduct an investigation in such circumstances. The airline is fully cooperating and does not believe it is the target of the investigation. Both the FBI and Boeing declined to comment on the matter.

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Earlier this month, the Department of Justice initiated a criminal investigation into the January incident, during which a door plug detached from a Boeing 737 Max 9 at 16,000 feet, leaving a gaping hole in the aircraft's side. The DOJ has already reached out to some passengers and crew members, according to sources familiar with the matter who spoke to The Wall Street Journal.

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In the wake of the incident, a federal audit of Boeing revealed over 30 operational failures within the company. The New York Times reported that Boeing failed 33 aspects of the audit, with a total of 97 points of noncompliance, while passing 56 points. Spirit AeroSystems, a manufacturer of parts for the Max fuselages, also underwent an audit and failed seven of 13 points, according to the same report.

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FAA Administrator Michael Whitaker, in an interview with "NBC Nightly News," expressed concerns about Boeing's safety culture following a recent visit to the company's manufacturing facilities. He stated that Boeing's "priorities have been on production and not on safety and quality," and emphasized the need to shift the focus from production to safety and quality.

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