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American Flight Makes Emergency Landing as Cabin Walls Buckle


The cabin walls of an American Airlines flight began to buckle on Monday, forcing the aircraft to make an emergency landing in San Francisco.

An American Airlines flight made an emergency landing at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) on Monday after parts of the interior cabin walls on both sides of the aircraft began to give way. Even though the captain assured everyone onboard that the damage was only cosmetic, passengers have since described the tense moments when the walls began to push inward.

“The plane started shaking violently, and making a loud ‘Pop! Pop! Pop!’ sounds (sic),” James Wilson, a passenger on the American flight en route from SFO to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), told FOX Oakland affiliate KTVU. “And all of a sudden, the interior panels ripped and we were all screaming and yelling.”

Wilson said the captain initially told the passengers that because the damage was not serious, the flight would continue on to DFW. After about 30 minutes the air, however, the decision was made to return to SFO, where emergency crews were standing by.

The captain’s decisions did little to appease passengers. “We should have come back sooner, or landed somewhere closer, like Sacramento,” Wilson told KTVU, adding that all passengers were “screaming or yelling.”

American spokesman Matt Miller told the San Francisco Gate the plane was never in any danger. Miller described the problem as an “air duct issue” and noted that the aircraft never lost pressurization.

“When they realized those panels came loose, the captain decided it was best to return to San Francisco and landed the plane there safely,” Miller explained to the paper. “They declared an emergency because it was an unscheduled landing.”

[Photo: KTVU]

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