Southwest Airline makes emergency landing

Zach Kreiner, Staff Writer

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On the morning of April 17, a Southwest Airline plane headed for Dallas, made an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport, just 20 minutes after take off out of York’s LaGuardia Airport. Just as the Flight 1380 was flying over southeastern Pennsylvania, the fan blade under the aircrafts left wing broke loose and went through the turbine engine and then plummeted to ground five miles below. Within seconds, a piece from the engine had been launched towards the aircrafts body where it hit a window. The window then popped out of the fuselage, sucking Jennifer Ridordan, a 43-year-old woman, partially out of the aircraft. Ms. Riordan later passed away due to the injuries she sustained.

“Her arms and her body were sucked…in that direction, from my vantage point,” Marty Martinez, a passenger on flight 1380, reported to a news outlet. “So you see people, from the back of the seat, holding onto her, trying to keep her contained,” said Mr. Martinez.

Oxygen masks fell from the ceiling, and the cabin was filled with panic according to many passengers. Some passengers went to the aid of Ms. Ridordan, and others sat praying and trying to send their final goodbyes to their loved ones. For the next 22 minutes, the passengers and flight crew aboard flight 1380 were left wondering if the terror would ever end. The pilot made a ‘Relatively smooth’ landing (according to news outlets), at Philadelphia International Airport.

In response to the deadly engine failure, Southwest airlines sent a $5,000 check to its passengers and also a $1,000 travel voucher. In a letter to their passengers, they expressed their prayers and sorries for everyone involved, they also asked passengers to give them another chance and that they value their customers.

Just days before the plane’s engine had exploded, it had passed a visual inspection, southwest airlines reported. The Nation Transportation Safety Board has investigated the incident and still many questions remain unanswered. The NTSB admits that it’s still unclear why the engine malfunctioned midway through the flight. In a search for answers, officials have interviewed pilots, examined the damage, watched video footage taken from passengers, and reviewed voice recording  from the plane’s cockpit.

Now on the table for airline companies and congress is, what can be done to make flights safer and prevent future incidents like this. Officials are looking at ways that they can make requirements for pilots stricter, and they are also looking at how planes are built and maintained. For now, flights will continue to fly all around the world until regulations and inspections can be but inplace to make travel safer.