“Like a bomb went off.” Faye, an Alaska Airlines passenger who witnessed the opening of a door on a Boeing 737 overnight Friday into Saturday, gave startling testimony during an interview with The Seattle Times. A fifty-year-old lawyer sat next to his 15-year-old son. “I took him in my arms and repeated:It's going well, it's going well', she assured.
The Seattle Times
WATCH: Alaska Airlines flight loses door mid-flight
The 171 passengers on Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 connecting Portland, Oregon, Ontario, California, United States will never forget this January 5, 2024. 15 minutes after take off, the sign of the Boeing 737 Max 9 broke at altitude. 4,877 meters. This is a “dummy door” in row 26, which is not used on this flight and is therefore hidden in the side wall.
They fear for their lives
Faye was on board with her 15-year-old son. They sat side by side in row 25, he in seat 25A on the outside and her in seat 25B in the middle. When part of the wall came unstuck, the teenager was “sucked by his seat towards the back and outside of the plane, in the direction of the hole,” reports the lawyer, who wishes to remain anonymous.
“I leaned over him and held his body,” she continues. “I pulled him over the armrest to me. I've never felt such a rush of adrenaline in my life. It wasn't until after the robbery that I realized his top was torn.
“When the door burst open, I went into action. Of course I was scared. But I am a mother. And you don't have this fear when you see your child near the plane's cockpit. What matters then is: 'I need to get my child out of here immediately'. It was only when I sat back in my seat that fear hit me.
Help from a stranger
Following his heroic gesture, a woman sitting in seat 25C leaned over the former journalist to put a mask on her son. She then manages to struggle, hand Fae an oxygen mask, and hold her. “We were both holding my son,” she says. “I held him in my arms and I always said to him:It will be alright. Everything will be fine. It will be alright. Everything will be fine. Everything will be fine'”.
As the pressure in the cabin eased, the two women took the opportunity to pull the teenager from his seat. Fay pressed the button for help and a flight attendant approached her. “I could see the shock on his face,” she says. “Up until that moment, I thought she didn't know there was a hole in the plane,” he says.
A minor injury
The cabin crew immediately gave them other seats, further up the front of the plane. “I am not a believer, but I prayed for the passengers on that plane. I don't know if I've ever prayed in my life. But I did it,” she said.
The pilot made an emergency landing at the Portland airport where the Boeing took off. Photos taken after landing show Faye's son's seat still slightly reclined. “During the incident, the seat was pushed so far that I could see the dark sky directly through the hole,” says Faye.
Fay and her son suffered minor injuries, but did not require emergency treatment. As they exited the plane, the captain approached them. “She asked me several times if we were okay,” she concludes. “She was very concerned about our safety. I gave her a hug and thanked her for getting everyone back on the field safely.
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