Southwest says it's 'devastated' after major engine failure leads to a fatality

  • Southwest Airlines has released a statement about Flight 1380, which made an emergency landing in Philadelphia and left one passenger dead on Tuesday.
  • “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,” Southwest Airlines said.
  • One passenger died during the flight and seven received minor injuries, Southwest Airlines said.

Southwest Airlines has released a statement about Flight 1380, which made an emergency landing in Philadelphia and left one passenger dead on Tuesday.

“We are deeply saddened to confirm that there is one fatality resulting from this accident,” the airline said. “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. We have activated our emergency response team and are deploying every resource to support those affected by this tragedy.

“We extend our heartfelt appreciation to the Southwest Pilots and Flight Attendants who acted professionally and swiftly to take care of our Customers during the emergency diversion and landing.”

Southwest CEO Gary Kelly responded to the incident in a video on YouTube.

“This is a sad day, and on behalf of the entire Southwest family, I want to extend my deepest sympathies for the family and the loved ones of our deceased customer,” he said.

On Tuesday, Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 from New York to Dallas made an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport after one of its engines failed and caused an explosion that sent shrapnel into the cabin.One passenger died as a result of the accident and seven people received minor injuries, the airline said. The Associated Press reported that the deceased passenger was 43-year-old Jennifer Riordan.

According to an audio recording obtained by NBC10, the flight’s pilot was told a passenger “went out” of the aircraft while it was in the air.

“They said there is a hole and someone went out,” the pilot told air traffic control.

Earlier, a family member of a passenger told NBC 10 that a woman was partially “drawn out” of the aircraft before she was “pulled back in by other passengers.”

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 said on Twitter that it would send a team to investigate Tuesday’s crash.

You can read Southwest’s full statement below:

Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) confirms an accident involving Southwest Airlines Flight 1380. The flight made an emergency diversion to Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) earlier today after the Crew reported issues with the number one engine which resulted in damage to the fuselage.

“We are deeply saddened to confirm that there is one fatality resulting from this accident. 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. We have activated our emergency response team and are deploying every resource to support those affected by this tragedy. For a message from Gary Kelly, Southwest Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, please click here.

“The aircraft involved today was a Boeing 737-700 (N772SW) and was en route from New York LaGuardia (LGA) to Dallas Love Field (DAL). In total, the flight had 144 Customers and five Southwest Crewmembers onboard. We extend our heartfelt appreciation to the Southwest Pilots and Flight Attendants who acted professionally and swiftly to take care of our Customers during the emergency diversion and landing.

“Finally, Southwest Airlines officials are in direct contact with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to support an immediate, coordinated response to this accident. Southwest is in the process of gathering additional information regarding flight 1380 and will fully cooperate in an investigative process.

“Please join the Southwest Family in keeping all of those affected by today’s tragedy in your thoughts.”

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