A female passenger aboard a Southwest Airlines flight was partially sucked out of her plane Tuesday after a window was shattered by an exploding jet engine.
One passenger has died after the person was transported to the hospital in critical condition. It’s unclear whether the deceased passenger is the same person as the woman who was sucked through a window.
National Transportation Safety Board chairman Robert Sumwalt said there’s been a “fatality” but wouldn’t provide more details.
Shrapnel from the engine blast shattered the woman’s window. The flight landed safely in Philadelphia after the incident, according to NBC 10 in Philadelphia. It was originally headed from New York to Dallas.
Todd Baur, a passenger on the flight, told the news station: “One passenger, a woman, was partially … was drawn out towards the out of the plane … was pulled back in by other passengers.”
Sources told Fox News that a female passenger who was transported to the hospital had sustained a head trauma. Twelve others were assessed for injuries, and seven people are being treated for minor injuries.
The plane, a Boeing 737-700, was forced to make an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport at 11:30 a.m. It had departed from LaGuardia Airport in Queens, New York.
TERRIFYING: Video from inside a Southwest Airlines plane shows passengers securing oxygen masks after an engine reportedly exploded. Several injuries have been reported. MORE: https://t.co/s2TtP2uUIp
(Video courtesy of Marty Martinez) pic.twitter.com/pyb2bFWiVC
— FOX 5 DC (@fox5dc) April 17, 2018
NBC 10 reported that passenger photos reveal major damage to the engine, including shredded pieces of metal bent outward.
Passenger Marty Martinez filmed part of the incident and posted a video on his Facebook page. He said he was “recording his last moments” and that there was “blood everywhere” on the plane.
“We were probably going down for 10 to 15 minutes,” he said. “And of course everyone is freaking out, everyone is crying. It was the scariest experience.”
Martinez said a female flier suffered a heart attack during the incident.
“Someone on the plane had a heart attack and it looks like an engine blew out then a window was blown open,” he said on Facebook. “We are still on the plane and they are trying to revive a woman on the plane.”
Firefighters were on the scene as the plane landed in Philadelphia. They led some passengers requiring crutches off the plane.
Southwest Airlines released the following statement Tuesday:
We are aware that Southwest Flight #1380 from New York LaGuardia (LGA) to Dallas (DAL) has diverted to Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). We are in the process of transporting Customers and Crew into the terminal. The aircraft, a Boeing 737-700, has 143 Customers and five Crewmembers onboard. We are in the process of gathering more information. Safety is always our top priority at Southwest Airlines, and we are working diligently to support our Customers and Crews at this time. We will share updates to the flight as they are confirmed.
The incident comes after another Southwest Airlines flight, this time from Fort Lauderdale to New Orleans, was filled with terrified passengers who were “howling, crying and texting their loved ones goodbye” as the flight entered a ferocious storm that made the plane swing violently on Saturday
The turbulent weather forced the pilot to divert the plane to Panama City in Florida before the aircraft ran out of fuel.
Passenger Lauren Bale told WWL-TV 4: “We came through the clouds and the plane was just tilting back and forth. It was going all over the place.”
She tweeted: “I’m a loyal Southwest customer but I cannot believe @SouthwestAir just tried to land in New Orleans during severe weather that meteorologists have been tracking for days. People were screaming and crying. Most terrifying experience of my life.”
I’m a loyal Southwest customer but I cannot believe @SouthwestAir just tried to land in New Orleans during severe weather that meteorologists have been tracking for days. People were screaming and crying. Most terrifying experience of my life. pic.twitter.com/iYeFPCUyO1
— Lauren Bale (@LaurenBaleWWLTV) April 14, 2018
Passenger Marie Wary explained: “It felt like I was about to lift off. I felt like I was done. I felt like I was about to see baby Jesus and Papa God.”
Southwest Airlines released the following statement after the Saturday incident:
Our top focus is Safety. Flight 3461 from Fort Lauderdale to New Orleans arrived about four hours behind schedule after persistent thunderstorms over New Orleans forced prolonged holding near New Orleans awaiting clearance from air traffic controllers followed by a refueling stop in Panama City before the completion of the journey. The Safety of our Customers and Employees as well the Safe operation of every flight is our highest priority.