A boom, a whoosh, a flicker: ‘I started to text my loved ones’

Nicholas Hoch was relaxing with a podcast onboard Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 as it left Portland, Oregon, on Friday night. A few minutes later he was texting his mother and girlfriend to say he loved them and wondering whether he would die.
Hoch said he knew something was wrong when the plane lights flickered shortly after takeoff, and a rush of air ripped off his hat.He would later learn the whoosh of wind also tore out some passengers’ earbuds and even ripped the shirt off a teenager’s back.
A blast reverberated through the plane after a fuselage section blew out shortly after takeoff, leaving a gaping hole. All 171 passengers and six crew on the Boeing 737 Max 9 escaped unscathed but, for a moment, Hoch said it felt as though he may die.
A “mini boom” shook the plane, and then there was an instantaneous depressurisation of the cabin. “We were just all super confused, terrified, really.” Luckily, the two seats next to the portion of fuselage that blew out were unoccupied. The plane landed 21 minutes after takeoff. Flyers were able to exit normally via the jet bridge. “I can’t thank the pilot guy enough.”
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