1 dead after Southwest Airlines flight makes emergency landing in Philadelphia

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Passengers recounted saying their goodbyes as a Southwest Airlines plane made a dramatic emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport on Tuesday. (KABC)

A Southwest Airlines jet apparently blew an engine at about 30,000 feet and got hit by shrapnel that smashed a window and damaged the fuselage Tuesday, killing a passenger and injuring seven others, authorities said.

Multiple witnesses told ABC News that the female passenger sitting by the window was "partially sucked out of the plane."

A crew member on a plane reported to air traffic controllers that a piece of the plane was missing and "someone went out." In the audio recording of the exchange, the crew member says the plane needed to slow down.

It has not been confirmed that the person being referenced by the crew member is the individual who died.

The woman was identified as Jennifer Riordan, according to ABC News. Her former employer, the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center released a statement upon the news of her death.

"Jennifer was an amazing community leader, team member, wife and mother. Her passion for our community, our students and our future was unwavering. We are committed to carrying on her work to ensure quality education and career opportunities to New Mexico's youth. Our thoughts and prayers remain with her family during this difficult time. She will be forever missed by her Lobo family," it said in part.



Riordan was a vice president of community relations for Wells Fargo bank. She was the wife of Michael Riordan, who served until recently as the chief operating officer for the city of Albuquerque.

The aircraft, a twin-engine Boeing 737 bound from New York to Dallas with 149 people aboard, made an emergency landing in Philadelphia just before noon as passengers breathing through oxygen masks that dropped from the ceiling said their prayers and braced for impact.

National Transportation Safety Board chairman Robert Sumwalt said one person was killed. It was the first passenger fatality in an accident involving a U.S. airline since 2009.

Kristopher Johnson on board the flight and captured this photo of the engine upon landing at Philadelphia International Airport.



Matt Tranchin was on his flight home from New York to his eight-month pregnant wife in Dallas when he saw an explosion ahead of him.

"Right around the time there was a huge explosion and glass shattering three rows ahead of me, that was about the moment that I realized this was not going to be a normal flight," Tranchin said.

Chaos and confusion were felt throughout the plane, Tranchin said, followed by panic.

"Flight attendants rushed up. There was momentary chaos. Everyone kind of descended on where this hole was. As passengers, we weren't sure if they were trying to cover up the hole, but the plane smelled like smoke. There was ash coming through the ventilation system. We started dropping," Tranchin said.

An image taken from the cabin by passenger Kristopher Johnson showed one engine of the plane which appeared to be damaged. A window was also seen blown out.

Video from WPVI-TV's helicopter showed the same engine with apparent damage.
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RAW VIDEO: Passengers exit after Southwest flight makes emergency landing on April 17, 2018.



Tranchin said passengers received internet access and texting capability as the situation progressed.

"I know I was with a colleague of mine and we spent the next 15 minutes before landing saying our goodbyes. You don't want to scare your friends and family, but you also don't want to not say goodbye," Tranchin said.

With a shattered window and a plane coming in for an emergency landing, Tranchin's thoughts were on his family and the baby boy on the way.

"That I'll never live to see my son born. That I'll never be able to say goodbye to my wife, say goodbye to parents. But I am. I am. I feel really very fortunate for that," he said.

The FAA said that the plane landed after the crew reported damage to one of the engines, along with the fuselage and at least one window.

The Philadelphia airport tweeted that Flight 1380 "landed safely at PHL and passengers are being brought into the terminal." No other details were given.

Passenger Marty Martinez did a brief Facebook Live posting with the caption, "Something is wrong with our plane! It appears we are going down! Emergency landing!! Southwest flight from NYC to Dallas!!"



The airport released the following statement shortly after 12 p.m.:
Southwest Airlines flight 1380, which departed LaGuardia for Dallas Love Field (DAL) , diverted to PHL because of an operational event. The plane landed safely. No slides were deployed. At this time, passengers are coming down a mobile stairway and are being bussed to the terminal. PHL Flights continue to arrive and depart but passengers should expect delays.

Numerous firefighting vehicles were seen surrounding the jet on the tarmac. A large amount of fluid, possibly jet fuel, was seen under and trailing behind the left side of the plane.
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RAW VIDEO: Southwest Airlines flight makes emergency landing on April 17, 2018.


Tracking data from FlightAware.com shows the flight was heading west over New York's southern tier when it abruptly turned toward Philadelphia.

Southwest has about 700 planes, all of them 737s, including more than 500 737-700s like the one involved in Tuesday's emergency landing.

It is the world's largest operator of the 737. The Boeing 737 is the best-selling jetliner in the world and has a good safety record.

John Goglia, a former NTSB member, said investigators will take the Southwest engine apart to understand what happened and will look at maintenance records for the engine.

"There's a ring around the engine that's meant to contain the engine pieces when this happens," Goglia said. "In this case it didn't. That's going to be a big focal point for the NTSB - why didn't (the ring) do its job?"
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philadelphia international airportemergency landingu.s. & worldsouthwest airlineswoman killedPennsylvania
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