Passenger 'partially sucked out of plane' after window breaks mid-flight

Marcus Newton
April 18, 2018

Representatives from the National Transportation Safety Board sending a team to investigate the incident further, while Southwest Airline representatives said they are also investigating.

Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel said the passengers had done "some pretty incredible things under some pretty hard circumstances".

The plane, a Boeing 737 bound from NY 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 prayed and braced for impact.

When firefighters reached the airplane, one of the engines was on fire, Thiel said, and the airplane was still leaking fuel when the fire was extinguished. "Could you have medical meet us on the runway as well, we've got injured passengers", said a crew member in audio posted on LiveATC.net.

Passengers used air stairs to disembark the aircraft, the statement said. "But when I have asked people no one is confirming anything", she wrote.

Passengers posted photos of the plane after the emergency landing.

One of the passengers on the flight, Marty Martinez, told CBS News about the incident while still on the aircraft. He said on Facebook that an explosion outside the window injured a woman sitting next to it.

In the audio recording of the exchange, the crew member says the plane needed to slow down. Sumwalt, who confirmed one fatality, said NTSB will ship the engine offsite and deconstruct it to determine what went wrong.

The National Transportation Safety Board says it is taking over the investigation.

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Flight 1380 was scheduled to fly to Dallas but made an emergency stop in Philadelphia after an engine on the left side of the plane blew out.

The plane diverted to Philadelphia, where "passengers should expect delays", the airport tweeted earlier today.

News helicopter footage showed damage to the left engine of the plane and the tarmac covered with firefighter foam, although there were no signs of flames or smoke.

"We extend our heartfelt appreciation to the Southwest Pilots and Flight Attendants who acted professionally and swiftly to take care of our Customers during the emergency diversion and landing".

The company said the type of engine on the Southwest plane was installed on more than 6700 planes and had flown more than 350 million hours since its introduction in 1997. "And this could be a very hazardous situation because essentially those are. pieces of shrapnel that come off at very high rates of speed and can easily pierce the skin of the aircraft".

"First there was an explosion and nearly immediately, the oxygen masks came down and, probably within a matter of 10 seconds, the engine then hit a window and busted it wide open", said Martinez.

"Safety is always our top priority at Southwest Airlines, and we are working diligently to support our customers and crews at this time", the statement said.

The last time a passenger died in an accident on a US airliner was 2009, when 49 people on board and one on the ground were killed when a Continental Express plane crashed on a house near Buffalo, New York.

One photo shows the window broken out.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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