Qantas grounds Boeing 737 plane due to ‘cracking’

epa02969467 (FILES) A file picture shows the tail part of an Qantas Airways aircraft seen through a decorative window from the international terminal at Sydney Airport, in Sydney, Australia, 14 May 2011. A Sydney-bound Qantas Airways Boeing 747 in the night from 16 to 17 October 2011 safely returned to Bangkok after the pilot shut down one engine following what the Australian carrier described as a 'bang'. EPA/BARBARA WALTON

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Australian airline Qantas has grounded one of its Boeing 737 NG planes after discovering “cracking” in one section.

The carrier said several airlines were inspecting their 737 NG fleets after Boeing revealed an area near the wing may be prone to cracking.

News agency AFP reported up to 50 planes globally had been grounded due to the issue.

Qantas said: “Even when a crack is present, it does not immediately compromise the safety of the aircraft.

“We would never operate an aircraft unless it was completely safe to do so.”

Boeing said cracks had been found in the “pickle fork” – a section of the plane which helps attach the wing.

Last month, US regulators ordered checks of all 737 NG planes which had undertaken more than 30,000 flights.

Via BBC/ABC News/ 7News

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