4 Southwest planes have cracks, inspection finds

Southwest Airlines discovered fuselage cracks on four of the airplanes that it grounded for inspections Wednesday, the airline said Thursday.

The Dallas-based carrier took 38 Boeing 737 planes out of service to check for cracks in the exterior above and below passenger windows in the wake of a congressional investigation into its airplane inspections. It also checked five planes that were already parked for maintenance, and one plane that had recently been retired from the fleet.

The FAA proposed a record $10.2 million fine last week against the carrier for failing to ground dozens of jets last year after it discovered they had not been examined for potentially dangerous fuselage cracks.On Tuesday, the airline said that it suspended three of its employees in the wake of an internal investigation and is auditing its inspection records.

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