Unlatching a Boeing door: passengers may be victims of a “crime,” according to the FBI

Passengers aboard a Boeing whose door came loose in mid-flight may have been victims of a crime, the FBI reported on Friday in US media. At the beginning of March, the Ministry of Justice had already announced that it was opening a criminal investigation into this spectacular incident that occurred on January 5, when a “door stop” (a metal panel placed in a place capable of housing a door) detached from the fuselage of an Alaska Airlines plane.

No one was seriously injured, but the 737 MAX 9 had to make an emergency landing. Images of the terrified passengers sitting next to the huge hole in mid-flight went viral around the world. The passengers recently received a letter from the FBI, which is investigating the matter, according to the Seattle Times.

VIDEO. Door torn off in mid-flight from a Boeing 737 Max: screws poorly screwed in on several planes

“I am contacting you because we have identified you as a possible victim of a crime,” a US federal police agent wrote in this document. “A criminal investigation can be a long-term undertaking and, for various reasons, we cannot inform you of its progress at this time,” he adds.

Several bolts that were supposed to secure the lid support were missing, according to the US Transportation Safety Agency (NTSB), which blamed Boeing. The aircraft manufacturer was especially criticized for the slowness of its cooperation with the authorities.

In early March, the NTSB explained that it had not received some important documents and that the company had not yet provided the names of employees working on the part in question. “It is absurd that two months later we do not have this information,” denounced the president of the NTSB, Jennifer Homendy, before the US parliamentarians.

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