Criminal Investigation Opened 2 Months After Alaska Airlines' Mid-Air Blow-Out: 'Trip from Hell'

The Boeing aircraft blew out mid-air on an Alaska Airlines flight on Jan. 5

<p>NTSB via Getty </p> Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 after part of the plane

NTSB via Getty

Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 after part of the plane's fuselage blew off mid-flight.

A January incident in which part of a Boeing aircraft blew out mid-flight on an Alaska Airlines trip is now under criminal investigation by the Department of Justice.

The Wall Street Journal, citing documents and sources familiar with the matter, was the first outlet to report on the investigation, more than two months after the Jan. 5 flight had to make an emergency landing after a chunk of the aircraft's cabin blew out mid-flight.

In a statement to PEOPLE, Alaska Airlines confirmed the investigation is taking place but stated it’s a “normal” part in the process.

“In an event like this, it’s normal for the DOJ to be conducting an investigation,” the airlines said in the statement. “We are fully cooperating and do not believe we are a target of the investigation.”

As part of the investigation, authorities are reportedly interviewing pilots and flight attendants who were on the plane, the WSJ reported.

<p>NTSB via Getty </p> A door flew off an Alaska Airlines aircraft mid-flight

NTSB via Getty

A door flew off an Alaska Airlines aircraft mid-flight

Related: 'I Thought We Were Going to Nose Dive Any Second': Alaska Airlines Passenger on 'Terrifying' Mid-Air Blow Out

The Alaska Airlines flight was en route to California from Oregon when  it “experienced an incident,” the airlines said in a news release at the time.

Photos and videos of the flight obtained by KPTV show a large section of the airplane’s fuselage missing and passengers in oxygen masks, PEOPLE reported previously. The videos captured a sliver of the night sky visible through the gap in the cabin.

Passengers documented the incident on social media.

A passenger named Courtney, who goes by @imsocorny on Tiktok, gave an account of the moment she heard a section of the plane’s fuselage get ripped off, describing the episode as "terrifying."

“We all heard a really loud bang, a jolt, and a woosh of air came back at us really quickly,” she said in a TikTok video following the incident. “Immediately, the next moment, the oxygen masks came down from the overhead compartment.” Everyone quickly put on their masks without an announcement even needing to be made, she says.

Related: Alaska Airlines Flight Makes Emergency Landing in Portland After Part of Plane Blows out Mid-Air

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Diego Murillo, another passenger, told the BBC the hole left in the aircraft was "as wide as a refrigerator.”

Passenger Jessica Montoia dubbed the flight a “trip from hell.”

Authorities are beginning to inform passengers from the flight that they may be considered victims of a crime in this investigation, according to a document reviewed by WSJ.

It’s unclear what kind of charges a criminal investigation would entail. The DOJ did not immediately respond Monday morning to PEOPLE’s requests for comment or confirmation about the reported criminal investigation. 

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Read the original article on People.