Southwest flight makes emergency landing

A Southwest airplane made an emergency landing at the Philadelphia International Airport after an engine blew in flight. CNN's Jason Carroll reports.

Posted: Apr 18, 2018 11:19 AM
Updated: Apr 18, 2018 11:19 AM

Passengers aboard a Dallas-bound Southwest Airlines flight Tuesday heard an explosion before seeing oxygen masks drop from the ceiling and a woman sucked toward a broken window in the plane, a witness said.

One person died in the incident, according to National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt. The person has not been identified.

"Everybody was going crazy, and yelling and screaming," passenger Marty Martinez said of the flight, which left New York and was forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia.

"As the plane is going down, I am literally purchasing internet just so I can get some kind of communication to the outside world," he said.

The plane had suffered damage to one of its engines, and according to passenger Kristopher Johnson, who was sitting near the front of Flight 1380, debris from the engine flew into the window, breaking it and injuring a woman sitting nearby.

"Shrapnel hit the window causing a serious injury. No other details about that. Several medical personnel on the flight tended to the injured passenger," Johnson said.

The crew reported damage to one of the aircraft's engines as well as the fuselage and a window, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.

The injured woman's arms and body were sucked toward the opening in the plane, Martinez recalled in a phone interview. Objects flew out the hole where the window had been, and "passengers right next to her were holding onto her. And meanwhile, there was blood all over this man's hands. He was tending to her," said Martinez, who was sitting a row or two away from the woman.

Other passengers began trying to plug the hole with jackets and other objects but to no avail. Those items, too, were sucked out of the plane, he said.

Martinez said he didn't think he would survive. Nor did his colleague in an adjacent seat who was scrambling to write one last message to his wife and unborn son, he said.

"We could feel the air from the outside coming in, and then we had smoke kind of coming in the window. Meanwhile, you have passengers that were in that aisle, trying to attend to the woman that was bleeding from the window explosion," he said. "That was just chaos all around."

The plane descended precipitously, Johnson said, but the pilot regained control and informed passengers the flight was headed to Philadelphia.

"The crew did a great job," he said.

The flight tracking website FlightRadar24 estimated the Boeing 737-700 descended from 31,684 feet to about 10,000 feet in a little over five minutes.

It was a rough landing, Martinez said, and things were still so chaotic that he wasn't sure if the plane was going to crash. The jet could have been landing on a freeway for all he knew, he said.

"I didn't know if we were going to be running into a building. I didn't know what state the plane or even the pilot was in, if we were in condition to land," he said. "It was just all incredibly traumatic, and finally when we ... came to a halt, of course, the entire crowd was (in) tears and people crying and we were just thankful to be alive."

Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel said earlier that one of the 149 passengers and crew members on board was taken to the hospital in critical condition. Seven others were treated for minor injuries.

"We are in the process of gathering more information," Southwest said.

Video from the scene showed the plane on the tarmac surrounded by emergency vehicles. The engine on the left wing was badly damaged.

Philadelphia International Airport said the plane landed safely. Passengers using the airport should expect delays, it said.

The NTSB sent a team to Philadelphia to investigate the incident. Boeing said it is providing technical assistance in the investigation.

The NTSB's Sumwalt said the plane carrying his team will return to Washington with the airliner's flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder. The agency expects to have preliminary readouts by Tuesday night.

Sumwalt said part of the inquiry will look at the CFM International 56 turboprop engine. Last year the FAA issued an airworthiness directive on the CFM56-7B version that would have required inspection of the fan blades.

"There are various iterations of that (engine) and so I can't say exactly what that air worthiness directive might have applied to at this point, but that will be part of our investigation," he said.

The directive says the proposal came after an inflight failure.

In August 2016, a Southwest Airlines 737 flying from New Orleans to Orlando was forced to make an emergency landing in Pensacola, Florida, when an engine failed.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 42772

Reported Deaths: 1542
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin13697791
Ramsey5313234
Dakota275396
Stearns253619
Anoka2458111
Nobles16946
Washington130641
Olmsted130220
Mower9872
Scott8994
Rice8928
Clay62038
Kandiyohi5951
Blue Earth5862
Wright5475
Carver5002
Todd4042
Sherburne3725
Lyon3512
Freeborn3140
Watonwan2720
Steele2501
Benton2423
St. Louis23816
Nicollet20712
Martin1755
Winona15015
Cottonwood1420
Goodhue1428
Le Sueur1361
Crow Wing11512
Otter Tail1151
Pine1150
Chisago1111
McLeod1030
Dodge990
Carlton940
Polk903
Unassigned8838
Pipestone864
Isanti830
Murray830
Chippewa811
Waseca800
Itasca7612
Douglas740
Morrison691
Becker680
Meeker661
Faribault610
Jackson580
Sibley572
Beltrami550
Pennington540
Brown492
Wabasha430
Mille Lacs412
Renville373
Fillmore360
Rock350
Swift351
Grant320
Houston320
Yellow Medicine310
Roseau280
Lincoln250
Redwood250
Koochiching221
Wilkin223
Norman210
Cass202
Big Stone180
Kanabec181
Wadena180
Aitkin160
Marshall160
Clearwater150
Mahnomen131
Pope130
Stevens110
Hubbard100
Lake90
Traverse70
Lac qui Parle50
Red Lake50
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 35534

Reported Deaths: 754
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk7611185
Woodbury334944
Black Hawk253459
Buena Vista173811
Johnson14878
Dallas141531
Linn141083
Marshall110019
Scott109810
Dubuque100023
Story8778
Pottawattamie84113
Wapello71631
Muscatine69545
Crawford6813
Sioux5050
Tama48829
Webster4295
Wright3991
Louisa36713
Jasper35717
Plymouth3535
Warren3371
Cerro Gordo3291
Dickinson3073
Washington2559
Hamilton2041
Boone1751
Clay1511
Clarke1453
Clinton1391
Allamakee1384
Mahaska11917
Shelby1190
Carroll1171
Bremer1167
Franklin1130
Poweshiek1128
Pocahontas1091
Des Moines1022
Emmet970
Cedar961
Henry933
Hardin920
Cherokee851
Marion840
Floyd822
Guthrie814
Taylor810
Benton781
Monona780
Jones741
Butler702
Osceola690
Sac680
Jackson670
Buchanan651
Calhoun652
Iowa631
Jefferson630
Hancock621
Harrison620
Lyon610
Humboldt601
Fayette590
Delaware581
Madison562
Lee542
Mills530
Palo Alto530
Monroe527
Clayton503
Winneshiek500
Grundy470
Mitchell470
Winnebago440
Davis431
Kossuth430
Union430
Howard370
Lucas354
Unassigned350
Chickasaw310
Greene310
Cass300
Worth270
Appanoose243
Keokuk241
Ida230
Page220
Van Buren211
Audubon181
Adair170
Ringgold161
Montgomery152
Decatur130
Fremont110
Wayne110
Adams80
Rochester
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 74°
Mason City
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 82°
Albert Lea
Broken Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 75°
Austin
Scattered Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 82°
Charles City
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 79°
Slight Risk of Severe Storms Tuesday as a Cold Front approaches
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Getting Back to School physicals during the Pandemic

Image

'Cradle 2 Career' hosting discussion about race

Image

Dave's Main 6:30 Weather 7-14

Image

Sean's 10pm Weather 7/13

Image

Albert Lea council considers Covid response

Image

Rochester Police Policy Conversation

Image

Training the area's best basketball stars

Image

Pandemic Positive: A decline in air pollution

Image

Sen. Smith Highlights Health Inequalities

Image

School district weighs back to school options

Community Events