Photos from Alaska Airlines flight show metal paneling breaking away from plane

A series of images have emerged showing the metal panels covering the engine of a Alaska Airlines aircraft broke away from the aircraft during a flight that was forced to return to Seattle.

The plane, which was traveling to San Diego, was forced to turn back on Monday due to an “unusual vibration” on the left side of the plane shortly after departure.

An image taken after the plane landed safely showed one of the plane’s engines exposed after the panels covering it came unstuck.

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Metal panels covering one of the engines of Alaska Airlines Flight 558 peel off during the flight. (Greg Anderson/X LOCAL NEWS/TMX)

“The initial big chunk ripped off and wrapped around the wing until we landed,” wrote Greg Anderson, a passenger who took the photos, on Twitter.

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The airline told FOX Business on Tuesday that the cowl on Alaska Airlines Flight 558 detached from the plane upon landing at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Alaska Airlines airplane Seattle San Diego

The plane’s wing is seen before the metal panels came off on Monday August 22. (Greg Anderson/X LOCAL NEWS/TMX)

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There were a total of 176 passengers and six crew members on the flight and the customers were rebooked on another flight to their destination.

“The aircraft, a Boeing 737-900ER, is now temporarily out of service while our safety team investigates,” Alaska Airlines said.

Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-900

An Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-900ER in flight. (Alaska Airlines)

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The aircraft’s pilots have over 32 years of combined flying experience.

“They, along with our flight attendants, handled the incident with exceptional professionalism and care. We also greatly appreciated the patience of our guests during this event,” the company noted.

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