According to CBS, a Boeing 737 bound from New York to Dallas with 149 people aboard made an emergency landing in Philadelphia around noon Tuesday after suffering an apparent engine explosion while in flight. The engine explosion resulted in shrapnel smashing through a window and damaging the fuselage.
Authorities say that one passenger was killed in the incident, marking the first passenger fatality in a U.S. airline accident since 2009 and the first Southwest passenger death since the airline’s founding. The decedent has not been identified, but it is believed the individual suffered a heart attack.
At least seven other people were injured in the chaos, and one woman was nearly sucked out of the broken window before being dragged back in by passengers.
In an interview, John Goglia, a former National Transportation Safety Board Member, said investigators will dismantle the engine and look at engine maintenance records as part of their investigation. Goglia said there is a ring around the engine that is meant to contain engine pieces in the event of an engine explosion; however, the containment ring on this engine appeared to fail.
A similar failure occurred in August 2016 when a Southwest Boeing 737-700 engine blew and shrapnel left a 5-by-16-inch hole just above the wing. That plane landed safely in Pensacola, Florida.
An investigation of that accident determined one of the engine’s fan blades broke off from the hub with the blade showing signs of metal fatigue.
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