What happened on the Alaska Airlines flight after the door plug blew out?

Terrifying tales from passengers on an Alaska Airlines flight after a gaping hole opened in the aircraft prompted many people to wonder: How did everyone survive?

The midair accident Friday could have been much worse, experts say, if the plane had already reached its higher cruising altitude, where the decompression could have happened with much greater force and could have pulled passengers out of the aircraft. But the plane was only at 16,000 feet and still ascending. The air pressure in many commercial airline cabins is typically equal to 8,000 feet in altitude.

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