FBI tells Alaska Airlines passengers they may be ‘victim of a crime’

FBI tells Alaska Airlines passengers they may be ‘victim of a crime’ - Crime and Courts - News

FBI Investigates Mid-Air Blowout Incident on Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9 – Passengers Identified as Potential Victims

Passengers aboard the Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9 that experienced a mid-air blowout incident in January have received letters from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) stating they may be victims “of a crime.” This disclosure comes as part of an ongoing investigation into the incident.

Attorney Mark Lindquist, who represents numerous passengers on Alaska Airlines flight 1282, shared the letter received by passengers from the FBI office in Seattle on Tuesday with News Finder. The correspondence reads:

“I’m contacting you because we have identified you as a possible victim of a crime.” The letter further explains that the FBI is actively investigating the case.

When News Finder reached out to the FBI Seattle’s Public Affairs Office for comment, they stated, “The FBI does not confirm or deny the existence of an investigation.”

Boeing has yet to respond to News Finder’s request for comment regarding this matter.

On January 5, 171 passengers and six crew members boarded Alaska Airlines flight 1282 from Portland, Oregon, headed for Ontario, California. Shortly after takeoff, the aircraft experienced a panel blowout, referred to as the “door plug,” which resulted in an emergency landing.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) initiated a probe into this incident and Boeing in February, as previously reported by News Finder. Subpoenas were also issued in recent weeks requesting documents and information related to Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems Holdings, with a particular focus on the “door plug” used in Boeing 737 Max 9s.

Lawyer Mark Lindquist shared his sentiments with News Finder: “My clients and I welcome the DOJ investigation. We want accountability, answers, and safer Boeing planes. A DOJ investigation helps advance our goals.”

News Finder contacted multiple other attorneys representing passengers onboard the flight for comment, but they were unavailable at the time of publication.

This development follows Boeing’s announcement that it will report significant losses in the first quarter due to the Alaska Airlines incident. The losses are a result of compensation to the affected airlines, which owned the Max 9 and was grounded for three weeks following the incident. Alaska Air CEO Ben Minicucci shared with investors in February that the event cost his airline approximately $150 million, and the company expected to be reimbursed for those losses by Boeing.

Beyond these costs, Boeing will also face additional financial burdens as they address issues within their factory. According to Chief Financial Officer Brian West’s statements on Wednesday, slower production at the 737 Max plant in Renton, Washington, will contribute to these losses.