Passenger Dragged From Seat as Commuter Jet Window Blows Out

From United Press International

A window of a commuter jet with 18 people aboard blew out at 14,000 feet Wednesday, dragging a man from his seat as other passengers clung to him and forcing the pilot to make a quick descent and emergency landing.

The man, identified as Gayle Sears of Portland, Ore., suffered minor cuts and bruises and was treated for possible shock before his release from Highline Community Hospital near Sea-Tac Airport, Horizon Air spokesman Nancy Hamilton said.

Although Sears was buckled into his seat in the second row on the right side of the plane, the sudden decompression dragged him toward the window as other passengers grabbed him, passengers told officials.

Officials said the window blew out as the Fairchild Metro 3 jet passed over Olympia on a flight from Portland to Seattle. The window popped out cleanly and reportedly did not break.

"There was no indication that the window had been struck," Hamilton said. "We consider this to be an isolated incident."

Horizon Air ordered inspections on all 33 of the Fairchild planes in its fleet as the aircraft make their next landings at airports with maintenance centers, Hamilton said.

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