A Woman On A Southwest Flight Was Almost Sucked Out Of The Plane & Had To Be Pulled Back In
A plane made an emergency landing in Philadelphia on Tuesday in a harrowing situation in which a woman on the Southwest Airlines flight was nearly sucked out of the plane before being pulled back in by other passengers. The plane traveling from New York City’s LaGuardia Airport to Dallas depressurized mid-flight when the left engine tore off and broke a window, MSNBC reports. The plane landed safely in Philadelphia, and it's still unclear if anyone was injured.
UPDATE: One person has died after the Southwest Airlines flight made en emergency landing due to engine failure, the National Transportation Safety Board confirmed Tuesday afternoon.
EARLIER: In a statement posted to Twitter, Southwest Airlines said 143 passengers and five crew members were on Flight 1380. The airline said it's "in the process of gathering more information" about the incident. "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 read. The National Transportation Safety Board is also gathering information about the incident, CBS News reports.
The Philadelphia International Airport tweeted that Southwest Flight 1380 landed safely and passengers were taken into the terminal. The airport advised other passengers that their flights wouldn't be canceled because of the emergency landing but that the interruption could cause delays out of Philadelphia.
Marty Martinez, a passenger on the plane, streamed part of the emergency landing on Facebook live. “Something is wrong with our plane!" he wrote. "It appears we are going down! Emergency landing!! Southwest flight from NYC to Dallas!!"
Photos Martinez posted on Facebook show one of the plane's engines completely destroyed and a window blown out. Another shows passengers using the emergency oxygen masks. He wrote that the woman sitting next to the window was "critically injured."
"First there was an explosion and almost 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,” Martinez told CBS News. “There was blood everywhere."
Martinez said flight attendants started calling for passengers to help cover the hole created by the busted window. "Plane dropped dramatically and it smelled like fire with ash coming down on everyone thru the vents. Absolutely terrifying, but we are okay," he wrote on Facebook.
Todd Bauer, the father-in-law of a female passenger on the plane, told NBC News that his daughter-in-law saw another female passenger partially "drawn out towards the out of the plane" and then "pulled back in by other passengers." The woman partially sucked out the plane window has not been identified.
Plane windows have caused concern before. Last year, a passenger in Chile uploaded a video to YouTube showing a plane window coming loose. "It was a low-cost airline [$30]. The window was totally off its frame," they wrote on the clip titled "Should I be concerned?"
That window stayed in place, however. Dai Whittingham, chief executive of the United Kingdom Flight Safety Committee, told The Daily Mail that loose window wasn't as worrisome as it looked. "It is simply a piece of loose cabin trim," he said. "The internal window is there to protect the main glass from scratches and it cuts down some of the internal noise as well as providing an element of thermal insulation." He explained that the external window of a plane is fixed to the main body and sealed with a gasket so the interior of the aircraft can be pressurized.
While loose window trim won't result in a plane window coming out, a broken engine hitting the window could cause it to break, as reportedly happened on Tuesday. An aviation expert told NBC News it appeared the pilot maintained control of Southwest Flight 1380, but the incident was terrifying nevertheless.