Passengers have given terrifying accounts of what happened on a Southwest plane flying from New York to Dallas before it made an emergency landing in Philadelphia. You can read various passenger accounts below and see photos and videos of the incident. Authorities confirmed that one passenger had died but did not identify that person.
However, KOAT-TV identified the victim as Jennifer Riordan of Albuquerque, New Mexico. It’s not clear whether she was the woman partially sucked out of the plane, though.
Facebook Live videos and photos from passengers capture the horror inside Southwest Flight 1380 after, one report says, a woman was nearly sucked out of the plane. Some passengers reported that they thought they were going to die – and one posted a Facebook Live video that showed his terror – before the airplane managed to land safely. The woman’s condition was not yet clear, and there were also reports from passengers that a passenger suffered a heart attack and that the woman was hit by shrapnel.
What appears certain: The engine suffered a catastrophe mid-air and blew out a window in the plane. The pilot was named as Tammie Jo Shults, one of the U.S. Navy’s first female fighter pilots.
According to NBC 10, “the jet violently depressurized when a piece of an engine flew into and broke a window” and “a female passenger was partially sucked out of the plane when the window imploded.” That account came from the father of a passenger. However, it has not yet been confirmed by the airline, although photos clearly show the imploded window and the damaged engine in the aircraft.
“One passenger, a woman, was partially … was drawn out towards the out of the plane … was pulled back in by other passengers,” the passenger’s father told NBC10. The incident occurred on the morning of April 17, 2018.
Passenger Marty Martinez, a digital marketing adviser and CEO, shared photos and videos on Facebook from inside the troubled flight. He also shared a series of terrifying Facebook live videos and wrote with one video, “Something is wrong with our plane! It appears we are going down! Emergency landing!! Southwest flight from NYC to Dallas!!” You can watch his videos below and throughout this article, although they are garbled at times due to technology issues.
Martinez told CNN, of the older female passenger sitting next to the window: “She wasn’t like sucked out of the window or pulled out. But her like arms and her body were sucked, like sucked in that direction, from my vantage point. So you see people, from the back of the seat, holding onto her, you know, trying to keep her contained.”
Martinez wrote on Instagram, “Engine exploded and shattered one of the windows critically injuring a passenger. 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. Had to do a crash landing in Philly. I Facebook LIVED the entire experience. I literally thought these were my last moments on earth. It was so terrifying!!”
Cassie Adams, another passenger, wrote on Twitter, that she was on the airplane. “My SW flight from NYC to DAL just blew an engine and the window blew out mid flight. I just saw a human being fly out of a plane 40,000 feet above. I’ve never been more terrified in my life,” she said.
A passenger also wrote a vivid account on Instagram, saying, “Our engine that blew out at 38000 ft. A window blew out, a man saved us all as he jumped to cover the window. Unfortunately we lost a passenger to a heart attack. The pilot, Tammy Jo was so amazing! She landed us safely in Philly. God sent his angels to watch over us. I actually heard someone say, there is a God!!” The passenger clarified on Instagram that she is not certain whether the passenger who had a heart attack was OK or not. “I was in the back of the plane. This passenger was near where the window broke open in mid flight. I continue to hear that. But when I have asked people no one is confirming anything,” she wrote.
The situation was chaotic and depending on where people were seated they have somewhat different accounts of what unfolded.
Martinez gave a running account of the mishap in his Facebook comment thread. His comments are riddled with spelling errors as he typed in full terror. He wrote, “the place is going down!” and “I a freaking out” and “We are3 goingfro caa crash landing!!” and “WE ARE DOING DOWN!!?
He also wrote, “Someone on the plane had a heart attack and it looks like an engine blew out then a window was blown open. We are still on the plane and they are trying to revive a woman on the plane.” Luckily, though, the plane was able to land in Philly.
Here are some of his photos:
One photo shows the window broken out.
Another photo showed oxygen masks had tumbled out.
A video showed Martinez with an oxygen mask over his face.
He also shared this video although the quality goes in and out:
According to USA Today, the plane had “143 passengers and a crew of five onboard.” Southwest Airlines released a brief statement. “We are aware that Southwest Flight 1380 from New York La Guardia to Dallas Love Field has diverted to Philadelphia International Airport,” Southwest said in a statement. “We are in the process of transporting customers and crew into the terminal.”
Some people were lauding the crew as heroes on Twitter.
A brief statement was released:
The Philadelphia airport released a statement that read, “PHL Update 12:35 PM: FAA has issued ground stop for planes on the ground at other airports waiting to depart for PHL. Check flight status with your airline. Flights are departing PHL. Passengers should expect delays.” The injured woman has not yet been identified.