WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A passenger was killed after being partially sucked out of a window of a Southwest Airlines flight heading to Dallas.
- The plane was forced to do an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport on Tuesday when an engine exploded in mid-air.
- The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said a preliminary investigation at the engine reveals one of its 24 fan blades was missing.
Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 from New York’s LaGuardia Airport was flying with 144 passengers and five crew members to Dallas on Tuesday. When at 32,500 feet, an explosion was heard from the left side of the plane.
Passenger Marty Martinez said “a loud boom” shook the plane. He shared photos to social media after the incident, showing the serious damage to the plane—a damaged left engine and one shattered window.
“Flight 1380 From NYC to Dallas crash landed in Philly. Engine exploded in the air and blew open window 3 seats away from me. Explosion fatally (critically, not sure her status) injured woman sitting in the seat next to the window. Oxygen masked deployed…” Martinez wrote.
“Everybody was going crazy, and yelling and screaming,” he said. “As the plane is going down, I am literally purchasing internet just so I can get some kind of communication to the outside world.”
The passengers said that something in the engine shattered midair and hit the window, shattering it. Riordan was sucked toward the broken window and passengers scrambled to pull her back in.
“We could feel the air from the outside coming in, and then we had smoke kind of coming in the window,” Martinez recalled.
The NTSB said that metal fatigue was evident.
“In aviation, there should be inspection techniques and procedures in place to detect something like that. What we want to find out is why was this not detected ahead of time,” NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt. told CNN on Wednesday.
The passenger killed was identified as 43-year-old Jennifer Riordan, an executive at Wells Fargo.
The Southwest Airlines released a statement after the accident.
“Southwest Airlines flight 1380, which departed LaGuardia for Dallas Love Field, diverted to PHL because of an operational event. The plane landed safely. No slides were deployed.”