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Jet's nose cone damaged in midflight

  • Story Highlights
  • Passenger safety wasn't compromised by nose cone damage, spokeswoman says
  • Northwest Airlines plane lands safely and on time in Tampa, Florida
  • Northwest spokeswoman calls matter a "minor maintenance issue"
  • Plane didn't continue flight and was towed away, delayed passenger says
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(CNN) -- Northwest Airlines is investigating why the nose cone on one of its planes was damaged on a flight Sunday from Detroit, Michigan, to Tampa, Florida, a spokeswoman said.

The Northwest spokeswoman called the damage a "minor maintenance issue" and a "rare occurrence."

Northwest Airlines Flight 478 landed in Tampa, Florida, on Sunday as scheduled, a spokeswoman said.

The safety of the 182 passengers on board was not compromised, said Northwest spokeswoman Kristin Baur.

The damage to the plane occurred during the flight, it but didn't affect Flight 478's scheduled 2:30 p.m. landing in Tampa, she said.

Baur called the damage a "minor maintenance issue" and a "rare occurrence."

The nose cone appears bashed in, according to pictures that CNN obtained from a passenger awaiting the plane's next leg, to Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota.

The Northwest plane didn't continue onward but was towed away, said the passenger, who was still waiting for a replacement plane five hours later.

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