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Emergency landing as American Airlines Boeing breaks apart on the inside

An American Airlines Boeing 757 has been forced to make an emergency landing after passengers noticed the cabin wall was starting to break apart in midair. 

Passengers reported hearing a "loud bang" as the walls started to tear apart at the seam, exposing the aircraft's insulation.

The aircraft was on its way from San Francisco to Dallas on Tuesday. The incident occurred about half an hour into the flight.  

One of the passengers, James Wilson, said that many of the passengers were scared because of the strange noises that were heard as the plane ascended. 

When they saw the cracks, they started screaming, he said. 

"I was thinking I'm not going to stay in this airplane," Mr Wilson said. "It's still making noise and whistling; there were no oxygen masks dropping. They [the crew] said no we are OK. We're going to keep going.

"[None of the passengers] wanted to stay on the plane," said Mr Wilson.

The pilot eventually came out of his cabin, inspected the damage and decided to make an emergency landing. 

Remarkably, Mr Wilson was able to live blog the whole ordeal via his Facebook page. 

"Both sides of the fuselage in Row 14 buckled and the interior panels came apart. Sounded like rivets ripping apart and popping," Mr Wilson wrote as the plane began the emergency landing.

"Pilot says emergency crews are waiting." 

He then pleaded with friends to let his wife, Allison Wilson, know that he was on the flight. 

"My texts may not have made it to my wife please call her asap 858-XX-XXX.

"Seriously someone please call Allison right now," he reiterated. 

He made some time for a couple of quick jokes before the plane was halfway back to San Francisco.  

"Bad form to put my helmet on? Passengers probably don't need the bad vibes." 

As the aircraft neared the airport, his friends began counting down the minutes, offering messages of support. 

"Flight aware says you are 8 minutes out. hang on buddy!," wrote Scott Rogers.

James Newman was a bit more direct. "Whoa! Pants would be pooped for sure!" he wrote.  

Finally, with a few minutes' pause in the Facebook thread, came relief for everyone who had been following the ordeal. 

"Landed! !!!!!!," wrote Mr Wilson about 2.30pm California time.  

Shortly after the ordeal was over, Mr Wilson's wife finally got in touch. 

"Thanks to all of you for reaching out to me with phone calls, voice mails and texts," Mrs Wilson wrote. 

"What an inconvenient time to be driving through an area with no mobile phone coverage. James is so blessed to have a wonderful network of friends!" 

An American Airlines spokesman, Matt Miller, said that an "air duct issue" had caused the interior to start coming apart from the fuselage.

Mr Miller said there was no depressurisation and no passengers were injured. 

"When they realised those panels came loose, the captain decided it was best to return to San Francisco and landed the plane there safely.

"They declared an emergency because it was an unscheduled landing."

Mr Wilson also took the opportunity to complain about American Airlines' response. 

"They want each and every passenger to call the AA customer service line to organise our own transportation. Tweet away, friends." 

The jet has since been taken out of service and a replacement will take the passengers to Dallas on Wednesday morning. 

Cr.Eryk Bagshaw/smh<P>
Natalie P.Sisutcharit.../Reports
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