Investigators find missing parts of Southwest engine that exploded

  • The National Transportation Safety Board has released two new photos that depict portions of the engine that exploded on a Southwest Airlines flight from New York to Dallas on Tuesday.
  • Earlier on Wednesday, the agency said it is looking for photos and videos of the Southwest Airlines Boeing 737.
  • If you have photos or videos of the flight, you can send them to [email protected]

The National Transportation Safety Board has released two new photos that depict portions of the engine that exploded on a Southwest Airlines flight from New York to Dallas on Wednesday.

In the photos, which were posted to one of the agency’s Twitter accounts, fragments of the engine’s cowling (which is the engine’s exterior), are shown lying on the ground in an unidentified location. The NTSB didn’t say who took or sent the agency the photos but implied the photographer was part of “the general public” and not a member of the agency.

Earlier on Wednesday, the agency said it’s looking for photos and videos of the Southwest Airlines Boeing 737.

“If you have video, photos regarding the Southwest Airlines engine failure, please contact NTSB; [email protected],” the agency wrote on one of its Twitter accounts.

Flight 1380 from New York to Dallas had to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia after an engine exploded in mid-air on Tuesday. One passenger died on the flight and seven were injured, according to Southwest. The Associated Press reported that the deceased passenger was 43-year-old Jennifer Riordan.

National Transportation Safety Board chairman Robert Sumwalt said the death was the first on a US passenger airline in over nine years. Prior to Tuesday, the most recent fatal accident came in February 2009 near Buffalo, New York, when an aircraft operated by the now-defunct regional airline Colgan Air crashed and killed 50 people, including 49 on board and one person on the ground.

The NTSB sent a team to Philadelphia to investigate the crash on Tuesday. The agency said a full investigation will take 12-15 months.

On Tuesday, Sumwalt said one of the 24 fan blades on the aircraft’s CFM56 engine had fallen off near the central hub. He said there was evidence of metal fatigue near the area where the blade malfunctioned.

Sumwalt also said Southwest CEO Gary Kelly indicated the airline would immediately start enhanced inspections of the engines on its over 710 Boeing 737 aircraft.

Reuters reported that CFM56 engines had become a point of concern for regulators in the US and Europe. In March, European regulators made an announcement requiring inspections of the engines within nine months of April 2. US regulators were reportedly close to making a similar announcement.

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