Saturday 26 May 2018

'In her memory please remember to always be kind' - Family of woman who died after being partially sucked out of plane window

Southwest Arlines employees check in travelers at the Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania U.S. April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Mark Makela
Southwest Arlines employees check in travelers at the Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania U.S. April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Mark Makela
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

The family of a woman who was killed after suffering head injuries when she was partially sucked out of a plane window has released a statement.

Jennifer Riordan died after a US passenger plane blew an engine at 32,000ft and got hit by shrapnel that smashed a window, causing her to be partially sucked out of the window.

The incident sparked a desperate scramble by passengers to save the woman from getting pulled out of the plane by the sudden decompression, but she later died and seven others were injured.

The family of Ms Riordan, a bank executive and mother-of -two from Albuquerque, New Mexico, today released a statement, fondly remembering her "vibrancy, love and passion".

The statement added: "Her impact on everything and everyone she touched can never be fully measured. But foremost, she is the bedrock of our family. She and Mike wrote a love story unlike any other. Her beauty and love is evident through her children.

The family said that while they appreciate of the outpouring of support that they have received in the wake of Ms Riordan's death, they need to take time to "both grieve and celebrate Jennifer's impact on us all" and asked for privacy.

"In her memory, please remember to always be kind, loving, caring and sharing," they wrote.

Ms Riordan was the first passenger killed in an accident involving a US airline since 2009.

New Mexico governor Susana Martinez said the hearts of all New Mexicans were with Ms Riordan's family.

The pilots of the Southwest Airlines plane, a twin-engined Boeing 737 flying from New York to Dallas with 149 people aboard, took it into a rapid descent and made an emergency landing in Philadelphia as passengers using oxygen masks said their prayers and braced for impact.

As a precaution, Southwest said it will inspect similar engines in its fleet over the next 30 days.

Photos of the plane on the tarmac showed a missing window and a chunk gone from the left engine, including part of its cover.

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