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Boeing says up to 50 planes grounded globally over cracks

Boeing had previously reported a problem with the model's "pickle fork" - a part which helps bind the wing to the fuselage - prompting US regulators to order immediate inspections of aircraft that had seen heavy use.

In this file photo taken on March 12, 2019 the Boeing logo is pictured at the Boeing Renton Factory in Renton, Washington. Crisis-hit Boeing faced fresh safety concerns on October 31, 2019, as the firm admitted cracks were found in up to 50 of its popular 737NG planes following worldwide inspections. Picture: AFP.

SYDNEY, Australia - Crisis-hit Boeing faced fresh safety concerns Thursday, as the firm admitted cracks were found in up to 50 of its popular 737NG planes following worldwide inspections.

Boeing had previously reported a problem with the model's "pickle fork" - a part which helps bind the wing to the fuselage - prompting US regulators to order immediate inspections of aircraft that had seen heavy use.

A company spokesperson on Thursday told AFP that so far around 1,000 planes worldwide had "reached the inspection threshold", with less than 5% -- or up to 50 jets globally -- having "findings" that kept them grounded until repair.

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