Japan orders airlines to inspect some Boeing jets

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's government has ordered domestic airlines to inspect early model Boeing 737s following a midair fuselage rupture on a 737-300 run by Southwest Airlines.

Transport ministry official Hideki Chiba said Wednesday the order would cover 46 Boeing planes from Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways and two smaller Japanese carriers.

The airlines should inspect Boeing 737-300, 400 and 500 models. Chiba said five of the 46 planes have each clocked up more than 35,000 flights and must be inspected within five days.

Southwest has grounded 79 older Boeing 737-300 planes after a similar jet sprang a hole in the roof Friday on a flight from Phoenix.

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