A woman was partially sucked out of an airplane window and hit by shrapnel after its engine exploded.
Eyewitnesses have said the freak incident happened on a Southwest Airlines 737 which was flying from La Guardia in New York to Dallas on Tuesday morning.
They said the blast happened not long after take-off, and that a piece of shrapnel flew off the engine before it pierced the cabin window.
— Joe Marcus (@joeasaprap) April 17, 2018
The jet was forced to make an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport at 11.20am.
The shrapnel pierced the window, and resulted in a female passenger being sucked out through the hole by a sudden and violent depressurisation, with other passengers ‘scrambling’ to get her back inside.
One passenger, Todd Baur, told NBC 10:
One passenger, a woman, was partially… was drawn out towards the out of the plane… was pulled back in by other passengers.
Todd said the woman was rushed off the plane as soon as it landed for medical attention.
Another passenger, Marty Martinez, took to Facebook during the incident, and posted a Facebook Live with the caption ‘Something is wrong with our plane! It appears we are going down! Emergency landing!! Southwest flight from NYC to Dallas!’
Mr Martinez told CBS after the incident that he thought he was recording his ‘last moments’ – saying there was ‘blood everywhere’.
A handful of passengers filmed themselves breathing through oxygen masks after the explosion, which occurred with the airliner at its cruising altitude of 32,500 ft.
TERRIFYING: Video from inside a Southwest Airlines plane shows passengers securing oxygen masks after an engine cover smashed through a windowMORE: http://www.fox5ny.com/news/southwest-plane-makes-emergency-landing-at-philly-airport(Video courtesy of Marty Martinez)
Posted by FOX 5 / Fox5NY.com on Tuesday, 17 April 2018
A spokesman for Philadelphia International Airport said:
Southwest Airlines flight 1380, which departed LaGuardia for Dallas Love Field (DAL), diverted to PHL because of an operational event.
The plane landed safely.
No slides were deployed. At this time, passengers are coming down a mobile stairway and are being bussed to the terminal.
A spokesman for Southwest Airlines said:
Safety is always our top priority at Southwest Airlines, and we are working diligently to support our customers and crews at this time.
— Jon Ostrower (@jonostrower) August 27, 2016
Two years ago, we reported on another Southwest Airlines flight which was damaged, with passengers taking pictures of the jet with parts missing.
The Southwest Airlines flight travelling from New Orleans to Orlando had to make an emergency landing after experiencing a major problem with one of its engines.
Passengers took to Twitter to post pictures of the engine, revealing part of the jet had completely torn away, causing the cabin pressure to drop significantly.
It also emerged that the plane’s fuselage, front edge of the wing, horizontal tail stabiliser and winglet were also damaged.
Miraculously, none of the passengers or five crew members on-board were injured, with the plane managing to touch down in Pensacola, Florida.
People on-board cheered the skill of the pilot who managed to land the aircraft safely.
— Stephanie (@smillerddd3) August 27, 2016
Stephanie Miller, who was on her first ever flight, told ABC News at the time:
We heard a loud boom at about 10,000 feet. Sounded like an 18 wheeler tire blowing and we started smelling smoke.
The condition of the woman in today’s incident is currently unknown.