Southwest Airlines Engine Failure Results in First Fatality on U.S. Airline in 9 Years

April 17, 2018, 8:00 PM UTC

An engine failure that forced Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 to make an emergency landing has left one person dead, making it the first fatality on a U.S. airline in nine years.

The Southwest Airlines jetliner, a Boeing 737-700, was en route from LaGuardia Airport in New York to Dallas when it suffered an apparent in-flight engine failure of the left engine, National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt said during a briefing Tuesday. Sumwalt did not provide further information about the fatality or the person’s identity.

The flight, which was carrying 144 passengers and five crew members, was forced to make an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport. The plane landed safely at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. Photos posted on Twitter show the front of the left engine on the Boeing Co. 737-700 was ripped open.

The NTSB is sending a team with expertise in power plants, airworthiness, and operations to investigate the Southwest Airlines jetliner, Sumwalt said, adding that specialists from NTSB’s office of Transportation Disaster Assistance will help those affected by the event.

Flight recorders have been secured, Sumwalt said. The engine will eventually be shipped for a detailed examination.

The Federal Aviation Administration halted some arrivals and departures at the Philadelphia airport but reopened it shortly before 2 p.m., according to an agency website.

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