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Pilot: “There’s a hole and someone went out”

An engine blows in mid-air on Southwest Airlines flight, killing one female passenger.

A mid-air explosion in one of the engines of a Southwest Airlines flight has killed one passenger after she was partially sucked out of a window.

Seven other passengers were injured in the accident before Flight 1380 made an emergency landing in Philadelphia. Besides the window, the wings and fuselage were also damaged.

An initial investigation has found that an engine fan blade was missing.

The Boeing 737-700 with CFM56 engines was flying from New York La Guardia to Dallas with 143 passengers and five crew on board.

An engine on the plane’s left side suddenly exploded, smashing a window and causing cabin depressurisation. The victim was named as Jennifer Riordan, a mother-of-two and bank vice-president at Wells Fargo in Albuquerque, reports say.

She was pulled back in by other passengers. It is the first passenger death on a US commercial flight since 2009.

Full investigation
In a recording, one of the pilots can be heard saying, “There is a hole and someone went out”. The pilot adds: “We have a part of the aircraft missing, so we’re going to need to slow down a bit.”

The engine’s covering was later found on the ground near Philadelphia. A full investigation could take 12 to 15 months.

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