Southwest Opens Up: Hole In The Fuselage At 36,000 Feet Grounds 79 Planes, Cancels 300 Flights

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Giant dogs are not currently a threat to Southwest. (Photo by bravoinsd via Flickr)

A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 Phoenix-to-Sacramento flight carrying 118 passengers made a "rapid, controlled descent" emergency landing on Friday afternoon after the aircraft's fuselage cracked open at 36,000 feet causing an explosion-like sound and sudden loss of cabin pressure, reports LA Now.

According to Southwest Airlines, the passengers on board Flight 812 have received a full refund along with an apology and two complimentary round-trip passes on Southwest for future flights. After the plane landed safely in Yuma, the crew confirmed there was a hole in the top of the aircraft, approximately mid-cabin.

300 flights have been cancelled and 79 aircraft are grounded while engineers examine the fleet for additional signs "aircraft skin fatigue," and the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board investigate the incident.

Notes LA Now, "At least 13 Southwest Airlines flights were canceled at Los Angeles International Airport Saturday as the airlines grounded 79 of its aircraft after a harrowing 'depressurization event' Friday." Additionally, three flights scheduled for Bob Hope Airport in Burbank and four flights at John Wayne Airport in Orange County are also cancelled.