An engine explosion in one Southwest Airlines plane caused a flight from New York to Dallas to end in disaster, with one passenger dead and seven more injured.


The accident occurred about 20 minutes after the plane lifted off. The engine failure caused an explosion that broke a window, partially sucking up a woman, later identified as Jennifer Riordan. Passengers and flight attendants alike both tried to save Riordan, whose bleeding torso was protruding from the plane. She was immediately rushed to the hospital once the plane landed where she was later pronounced dead. Mrs. Riordan, a mother of two, worked at Wells Fargo in community relations. Her family has issued a statement concerning their loss:

“Jennifer Riordan has passed away as a result of previously reported events on Southwest Airlines flight No. 1380. Jennifer’s vibrancy, passion and love infused our community and reached across our country. Her impact on everything and everyone she touched can never be fully measured. But foremost, she is the bedrock of our family. She and Mike wrote a love story unlike any other. Her beauty and love is evident through her children.”

This marks the first time a passenger died aboard a plane owned by a United States airline since 2009, and the National Transportation Safety Board is currently looking into the incident. Robert L. Sumwalt, chairman of the agency, is investigating the crash thoroughly.


Southwest’s chief executive Gary C. Kelly has likewise responded to the crisis, offering condolences on behalf of his company to those affected by the tragedy while thanking everyone who helped. Moreover, in compliance with the National Transportation Safety Board, he will enact “enhanced inspection procedures” on all of Southwest’s aircrafts.

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