1 Person Dies After Southwest Jet With Engine Trouble Makes Emergency Landing

Updated at 3:49 p.m. ET

At least one person died after a Southwest plane experienced serious engine trouble Tuesday and was forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia. Seven other people on board Flight 1380 were injured.

“We do have information that there was one fatality,” NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt told reporters during a news conference. Philadelphia Fire Department Commissioner Adam Thiel had previously told reporters that one person was transported to the hospital in critical condition and that the seven others were treated at the scene for minor injuries.

The Boeing 737-700 had 143 passengers and five crew members on board as it headed from New York to Dallas, according to the airline.

The plane made the emergency landing “after the crew reported damage to one of the aircraft’s engines, as well as the fuselage and at least one window,” according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Thiel told reporters that firefighters “found a fuel leak and a small fire on one of the engines.”

Photos taken by passengers on Flight 1380 and others showed that one of the plane’s windows was blown out and parts of an engine were ripped off.

“Something is wrong with our plane! It appears we are going down!” passenger Marty Martinez said in a live-stream video as he breathed through an oxygen mask. He said on Facebook that an explosion outside the window injured a woman sitting next to it.

Passenger Kristopher Johnson told CNN, “All of a sudden we just heard this loud bang rattling and then felt like one of the engines went out, the oxygen masks dropped.

“We just got the mask on, and as soon as we landed we were thankful. The pilots did a great job, the crew did a great job, got us down in Philly.”

Southwest Airlines said it is “in the process of gathering more information” and did not immediately indicate what caused the trouble. The FAA says it is investigating the incident, which will be led by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The flight tracker FlightAware shows that the plane took off from New York’s LaGuardia Airport at 10:27 a.m. ET, then suddenly turned sharply toward Philadelphia, where it landed at 11:23 a.m.

Philadelphia International Airport said the plane landed safely and that passengers were taken to the terminal. It added that people on other flights to and from the airport should expect delays.

CNN video showed the plane on the tarmac as rescue workers operated around it. Firefighting foam was visible on one side of the plane.

Although the airline hasn’t officially confirmed what led to the emergency landing, Aviation analyst Miles O’Brien told CNN that the images of the plane show signs of “uncontained engine failure.”

He said this could mean that a piece of the engine came off and escaped from the cowling. “And this could be a very hazardous situation because essentially those are … pieces of shrapnel that come off at very high rates of speed and can easily pierce the skin of the aircraft.”

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