Boeing setback: Door blows out during pressurisation test

Boeing has suffered another major setback in the development of its new 777X aircraft after an incident during stress testing of one of the aircraft.

According to the Seattle Times, a cargo door exploded outward during a high-pressure stress test which took place on the ground at the Boeing factory in Washington.

An employee at Boeing's Everett plant told the paper there was "a loud boom" and "the ground shook." 

The newspaper said the accident occurred on a static test airplane, which is built for ground testing only and not intended to fly.

Although Boeing hasn't confirmed the details of the incident, the company did announce that it was suspending load testing of its new widebody 777X fleet.

"During final load testing on the 777X static test airplane, the team encountered an issue that required suspension of the test," Boeing spokesman Paul Bergman said in a statement.

The test involved putting the aircraft under loads and stresses that are well beyond what would be experienced in normal operations.

Earlier this year the 777X programme was delayed due to issues with the General Electric engines the manufacturer plans to use.

These expensive delays come on top of the ongoing issues with its 737 MAX aircraft since the single-aisle plane was grounded worldwide in March after two fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people.