A Dallas-bound Southwest flight took off from New York and made an emergency landing in Philadelphia on Tuesday after an engine malfunction shattered a window, leaving a hole in the plane.
A woman sitting in the seat beside the shattered window was sucked into the hole. Her upper body hung out of the plane for several minutes while passengers tried to pull her back in. Eventually, two men were able to pull her back through the window and a nurse-passenger on the flight tried to resuscitate the woman, but she was unable. The woman died. She was identified as Jennifer Riordan, 43, who worked for Wells Fargo in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Seven additional passengers were injured in the incident. Investigators discovered that a fan-blade flew out of the engine and into the window, which shattered the glass and set the tragic events in motion. Once the plane landed (calmly and heroically by Pilot, Tammi Jo Shults), further inspection revealed evidence of metal fatigue where the blade was formerly attached.
In a statement, Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said that the family and loved ones of Ms. Riordan were of primary concern.
“This is a sad day and our hearts go out to the family and loved ones of the deceased customer,” Kelly said. “We will do all that we can to support them during this very difficult time.”
Southwest also said that this is the first death from an in-flight incident in company history. It is also the first U.S. commercial airline fatality in nine years.
Messa & Associates attorneys are prepared to handle defective airplane cases, including defecting in-flight equipment, plane crashes, and other in-flight incidents that result in injury or death. Southwest is fully responsible for the events that transpired on Tuesday, having failed to effectively inspect the equipment before sending it into the air. The metal fatigue at the end of the fan blade, where it connected to the hub, should have been a red flag for an inspector who made sure this plane would not transport anyone before the issue was repaired. Without the calm, quick thinking and expert handling by Captain Shults, this tragedy could have been so much worse.
Philadelphia personal injury attorneys and staff of Messa & Associates express our deepest condolences to all those who suffered loss after this great tragedy. If you believe you are need of legal assistance as a result of transportation incident or crash, do not hesitate to contact our extremely skilled team of personal injury attorneys and medical experts who are dedicated to ensuring you receive proper compensation for your personal injuries. If you have been injured in a train crash, plane crash, or motor vehicle crash, or have endured any other type of personal injury, contact the personal injury attorneys of Messa & Associates for a free consultation. Chat representatives are standing by to answer any questions you might have regarding compensation for your injuries. If you are interested in seeking out legal representation as a victim of this horrible accident, do not hesitate to contact the Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at Messa & Associates. Call toll free at 1-877-MessaLaw, or submit a free online inquiry.
Joseph L. Messa, Jr. is the founding partner of Messa & Associates, P.C. He is an AV-rated attorney (highest rating available), listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. Read More