One person is dead after an engine exploded on a Southwest Airlines flight on Tuesday, sending a piece of shrapnel flying back into a window which caused the woman sitting next to it to be nearly sucked out of the aircraft.
The plane had not long departed from LaGuardia Airport in New York City and was on its way to Dallas when the left engine exploded and shrapnel flew towards the window.
It turned back on itself to make an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport at 11.30am.
According to other passengers on the plane, the shrapnel pierced a window next to a female passenger who was ‘partially sucked through it’ as the aircraft made its descent.
‘One passenger, a woman, was partially … was drawn out towards the out of the plane … was pulled back in by other passengers,’ Todd Bauer, the father of another passenger on board, told NBC 10.
There were unconfirmed reports from other passengers that someone else suffered a heart attack on the plane and died. The Boeing 737-700 was traveling at 32,500ft when the engine on the left side of the plane exploded.
In a statement, the airline said: ‘Southwest Airlines flight 1380, which departed LaGuardia for Dallas Love Field , diverted to PHL because of an operational event.
‘The plane landed safely. No slides were deployed.’