Southwest flight with woman 'partially sucked out' marks second horrific trip for carrier this week
Southwest Airline’s week got even worse when a passenger died and seven others were injured Tuesday on a flight that suffered a midair engine explosion, marking the second incident for the airline this week.
During the terrifying incident, one woman was “partially sucked out” of the airplane’s window after a piece of shrapnel reportedly broke through on the flight heading from LaGuardia Airport in New York City to Dallas Love Field. The plane was then forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia.
While it’s unclear who the victim is at this time, one passenger described there being “blood everywhere” on the aircraft and officials confirmed someone was taken to the hospital in critical condition upon landing.
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Prior to arriving at Philadelphia International Airport, the pilot radioed air traffic control to have emergency services on standby, saying “part of [the plane is] missing. They said there is a hole and someone went out."
Marty Martinez, a passenger on the flight, posted a video on his personal Facebook page stating he was "recording his last moments."
"We were probably going down for 10 to 15 minutes," he told CBS News. "And of course everyone is freaking out, everyone is crying. It was the scariest experience."
Southwest Airlines released a statement following the incident: "We are deeply saddened to confirm that there is one fatality resulting from this accident. The entire Southwest Airlines Family is devastated and extends its deepest, heartfelt sympathy to the Customers, employees, family members and loved ones affected by this tragic event. We have activated our emergency response team and are deploying every resource to support those affected by this tragedy.
"Finally, Southwest Airlines officials are in direct contact with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to support an immediate, coordinated response to this accident. Southwest is in the process of gathering additional information regarding flight 1380 and will fully cooperate in an investigative process.
"Please join the Southwest Family in keeping all of those affected by today’s tragedy in your thoughts."
On Saturday, scared passengers experienced another harrowing flight as a Southwest plane coming from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. attempted to land during a storm in New Orleans.
Passengers were screaming, crying and preparing "to die" as the pilot flew the plane through severe thunder and lightning, WWL-TV reports.
“We came through the clouds and the plane was just tilting back and forth. It was going all over the place,” passenger Lauren Bale, who works for WWL-TV, told the station.
“It felt like I was about to lift off. I felt like I was done. I felt like I was about to see baby Jesus and Papa God,” another passenger, Marie Wary, said.
After a failed attempt to land at its destination, the plane rerouted to Panama City, Fla. to wait out the storm. “You couldn’t see anything. No visibility,” passenger Sharon Bikoundou told WWL-TV of one attempted landing. “Right as he was about to land he pulled back up.”
A spokesperson for Southwest Airlines released the following statement to Fox News: “Our top focus is Safety. Flight 3461 from Fort Lauderdale to New Orleans arrived about four hours behind schedule after persistent thunderstorms over New Orleans forced prolonged holding near New Orleans awaiting clearance from air traffic controllers followed by a refueling stop in Panama City before the completion of the journey. The Safety of our Customers and Employees as well as the safe operation of every flight is our highest priority.”
As of 2017, Southwest was rated the most trusted airline in the U.S. according to a survey.
The airline received top marks in terms of customer satisfaction, with the survey pointing out how the low-cost carrier had worked to create a distinct personality “through everything from open passenger seating to flight attendants who sing the safety demonstrations.”
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“Southwest has a fun environment and quirky culture that has proven to be (a) proficient operation in getting its travelers from point A to point B in an efficient, affordable manner,’’ according to survey results, per Airline Ratings.
Fox News’ Kathleen Joyce contributed to this report.