We’re receiving reports that an engine on a Southwest Airlines airplane has exploded, injuring a passenger and almost sucking her out of the plane. The plane was on its way from LaGuardia Airport in New York City to Dallas Love Field in Texas, according to Fox News.
According to NBC Philadelphia, when the Boeing 737-700’s engine exploded, a piece went through a female passenger’s window, causing the cabin to rapidly depressurize and suck the woman out the window.
The father of one of the passengers on the plane told NBC, “One passenger, a woman, was partially … was drawn out towards the [outside] of the plane … was pulled back in by other passengers.”
The plane made an emergency landing in Philadelphia. Photos posted by shaken passengers showed heavy damage along one side.
Passengers on the flight were terrified and shared their thoughts on social media. One man filmed himself struggling to put his oxygen mask on and posted panicked messages on Facebook. (Note: The video is choppy)
Mary Martinez wrote, "Something is wrong with our plane! It appears we are going down! Emergency landing!! Southwest flight from NYC to Dallas!! We are bracing for landing!!"
Another passenger, Matt Tranchin, told NBC News, "There was an explosion of the engine. A shard of the engine hit the window. The plane dropped immediately. Our oxygen masks dropped immediately."
“As we landed, they kept repeating 'Brace for landing! Brace for landing!'" he continued, adding that he texted loved ones goodbye. “My wife is in her third trimester. We’re expecting our first child. It was one of those things when you don’t want to terrify your family, but if you do go down, you don’t want to not say goodbye."
Now we've learned that a passenger on the plane has passed away. According to CBS Philadelphia, a passenger was taken to the hospital in critical condition and later died. It's not entirely clear if the dead passenger is the one who almost got sucked out of the plane. Seven other passengers were treated for minor injuries.
Martinez later gave more details about the harrowing experience, recalling that, “Flight attendants ran over calling for passengers to help cover the hole as they broke down and began uncontrollably crying and looking horrified as they looked outside. Plane dropped dramatically and it smelled like fire with ash coming down on everyone thru the vents. Absolutely terrifying."
Please pray for the family of the passenger who was killed. In related news, passengers on another Southwest Airlines flight this weekend thought they were about to die during the “most terrifying experience” of their lives.