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Crack found in Boeing 737 tail section

Date Posted: 2007-09-23

A China Airlines jetliner was grounded in mainland Japan Thursday after an inspection turned up a 30-inch crack on the underside of the tail.
The plane, a Boeing 737-800, had landed at Saga Airport in Saga Prefecture on a flight from Taipei. The Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry is investigating the 77-centimeter crack. China Airlines denies reports the aircraft may have struck its tail on the runway while landing.
The Boeing 737-800 is the same model aircraft that exploded in a ball of flames at Naha International Airport August 20th. In that incident, a loose bolt that penetrated a fuel tank is believed to have caused a fuel leak that led to the explosion and fire. The 157 passengers and eight crew members used emergency slides to exit the China Airlines plane and escaped only moments before the jetliner burst into flames, then exploded.
The Sago incident is now being investigated by the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry, as well as by a dozen engineers sent by China Airlines from its Taiwan headquarters. A replacement aircraft was flown to Sago after the crack was discovered, and all 49 passengers left Japan to Taipei six hours behind schedule.

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