Southwest Airlines catastrophic engine failure leaves one dead | News | DW | 17.04.2018
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Southwest Airlines catastrophic engine failure leaves one dead

A passenger jet made an emergency landing in Philadelphia after the cover of one of its engines came off. One passenger was reportedly almost sucked out of the plane's cabin after the explosion.

One person was killed and seven people were injured after the left engine on a Southwest Airlines twin-engine Boeing 737 came apart in flight.

The plane, which had taken off from New York bound for Dallas, made an emergency landing just before noon local time (1600 UTC) in Philadelphia on Tuesday with part of the cowling from its left engine ripped off.

The explosion occurred around an hour into the flight shortly after the plane reached its cruising altitude of 10,000 meters (33,000 feet).

Shrapnel blew out one of the plane's windows, causing rapid decompression and almost sucking a female passenger out of the plane, according to US media reports.

Passenger Marty Martinez published a set of unverified videos and photos on Facebook from within the cabin shortly after the incident occurred.

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Southwest Airlines, which confirmed there were 143 passengers and five crew members on board the flight, posted its condolences on Twitter.

"The entire Southwest Airlines family is devastated and extends its deepest, heartfelt sympathy to the customers, employees, family members, and loved ones affected by this tragic event," the company said.

Philadelphia Fire Department Commissioner Adam Thiel would not release any additional details on the victim. He said that seven other passengers were treated for minor injuries, but none had to be taken to the hospital.

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Footage from a news helicopter showed damage to the left engine of the plane and the tarmac covered with firefighting foam, although there were no signs of flames or smoke.

The Philadelphia airport tweeted that Flight 1380 heading from New York's LaGuardia Airport to Dallas "landed safely at PHL and passengers are being brought into the terminal." No other details were given.

Watch video 00:18

Southwest Airlines flight diverts to Philadephia

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av/amp (AP, dpa, Reuters)

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