FBI says that the Alaska Airlines passengers last January may be a "possible victim of a crime"

FBI: Alaska Passengers May Be a “Possible Victim of a Crime”

The FBI is investigating the Alaska Airlines incident last January, wherein a door plug blew off mid-flight. According to the agency, Alaska passengers may be “a possible victim of a crime.” 

The incident took place in January when an Alaska Airlines flight’s door plug blew out. It happened on a Boeing 737 Max 9 plane and the panel flew while the aircraft was at around 16,000 feet altitude. 

Days after the incident, multiple Alaska Airlines passengers from the flight filed a lawsuit against Boeing. In March, both Boeing and the airline denied their responsibility despite Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun admitting on CNBC that it was “our mistake.”

A Possible Victim

An attorney of 27 of the passengers, Mark Lindquist told CNN that his clients received a letter from the FBI on March 19. The letter says, “I’m contacting you because we have identified you as a possible victim of a crime.”  

Lindquist isn’t the only attorney of the passengers who confirmed this. Attorney Robert Clifford, who also represents other Alaska passengers, said that some of his clients also received the letter. Clifford also represents family members of the victims involved in the 2019 crash involving a Boeing 737 Max jet flown by Ethiopian Air. 

The FBI’s victim specialist says that the agency launched a criminal investigation into the incident and that the process “can be a lengthy undertaking.” Plus, the agency can’t tell the passengers about the progress of the investigation at this time. However, the passengers were encouraged to contact an email address with the alias “AlaskaFlightVictims” if they have questions. 

According to the specialist, those who received the letter will be updated either by email or their victim notification system. 

DOJ Investigation

Last week, the DOJ opened a criminal investigation into the January incident. Lindquist said that he was pleased that the DOJ launched an investigation on the near-disaster. He said, “We want answers.” He also added “We want accountability. We want safer Boeing planes. And a DOJ investigation helps advance our goals.”

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John Michael Jayme
John Michael Jayme is a Travel Analyst for The Jet Set. He writes about news and events affecting the travel industry.

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