US to sanction Boeing

Investigators said Boeing ‘clearly violated’ federal rules by providing ‘non-public investigative information’ and sanctioned the company.

US investigators have sanctioned Boeing for disclosing details of an investigation into damage to an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX aircraft during a flight and said they would refer Boeing’s conduct to the US Department of Justice (DOJ), demanding an apology from the embattled aircraft manufacturer.

A statement from the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said Boeing “clearly violated” its rules by providing “non-public investigative information” during a factory tour attended by dozens of journalists and speculating about the possible causes of the January 5 Alaska Airlines door plug emergency.

“As a party to many NTSB investigations over the past decades, few organizations know the rules better than Boeing,” the agency said.

The NTSB said Boeing will retain its status as a party to the Alaska Airlines emergency investigation, but will no longer be able to see information produced during the investigation into the crash, which occurred when a door plug missing four bolts exploded in midair. Boeing will also not be allowed to ask questions of other participants at the August 6-7 hearing.

“We deeply regret that some of the comments we made to clarify our responsibility for the accident and explain the steps we took went beyond the NTSB’s role as the source of investigative information,” Boeing said in a statement.

“Boeing has provided insights and analysis on the factors it suggests caused the accident,” it added.

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