Monday 20 August 2018

One person killed after piece of plane engine breaks off and smashes cabin window

The flight from New York to Dallas made an emergency landing after the crew reported damage to one of the engines, as well as the fuselage and at least one window

A Southwest Airlines plane sits on the runway at the Philadelphia International Airport after it made an emergency landing in Philadelphia, on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. (David Maialetti /The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)
A Southwest Airlines plane sits on the runway at the Philadelphia International Airport after it made an emergency landing in Philadelphia, on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. (David Maialetti /The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)
A Southwest Airlines plane sits on the runway at the Philadelphia International Airport after it made an emergency landing in Philadelphia, on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. (David Maialetti /The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)
A Southwest Airlines plane sits on the runway at the Philadelphia International Airport after it made an emergency landing in Philadelphia, on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

Clark Mindock, Simon Calder

A federal investigator has said that one person died after a plane with engine failure made an emergency landing in Philadelphia.

National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt said that the engine of the Southwest Airlines jet will be shipped for a detailed examination.

The Federal Aviation Administration says the flight from New York to Dallas made an emergency landing after the crew reported damage to one of the engines, as well as the fuselage and at least one window.

Philadelphia's fire chief says that one person was taken to the hospital in critical condition and seven were treated for minor injuries.

The jet has made an emergency landing in Philadelphia after a piece of its engine broke off mid-flight and smashed a window, leading to a depressurisation that pulled a woman partly out of the cabin, according to family speaking to reporters.

The plane landed safely after the incident, and firefighters could be seen responding to the scene while some people exited the aircraft on crutches. One person was taken to a nearby hospital with reported head trauma. Nine others were said to have been injured, but it was not immediately clear if they were taken to hospital.

Passengers posted pictures of the damaged engine online, and one passenger, Marty Martinez, posted a live video on his Facebook page after the engine part damaged the window. The grainy footage showed one man putting a yellow oxygen mask on amid the chaos.

"One passenger, a woman, was partially...was drawn out towards the out of the plane...[she] was pulled back by other passengers," Todd Bauer, the father of the female passenger who was partially sucked out of the plane, told NBC in a phone interview.

The plane was flying from New York's LaGuardia Airport on its way to Dallas.

Another passenger told CNN that a piece of the plane's engine had acted like shrapnel, causing a serious injury and forcing the plane to divert from their position west of Philadelphia.

"We left LaGuardia heading to Dallas and we were west of Philly when we lost the left side engine and diverted to Philly," they said. "Shrapnel hit the window causing a serious injury; no other details about that, several medical personnel on the flight tended to the injured passenger."

But another passenger told the network the plane touched down normally.

"It definitely was a stable landing," Kristopher Johnson said. "When we finally landed it was relatively smooth. Kind of a typical landing."

Southwest released a statement acknowledging the emergency landing, and said they were working with passengers and crews regarding the incident.

"We are aware that Southwest flight #1380 from New York La Guardia (LGA) to Dallas Love Field (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," the statement read.

"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."

Southwest is the world's safest airline. In more than 1.5 billion flights since it started operations in Texas in 1971, no passenger has been killed in a crash.

The airline, based in Dallas, is likely soon to overtake Delta to become the carrier that flies the highest number of domestic passengers.

The Philadelphia airport remained open, but a Twitter account warned passengers to expect delays.

Independent News Service

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