PHILADELPHIA (CBSMiami) – Southwest flight 1380 was 40 minutes into the trip from New York’s LaGuardia Airport to Dallas when passengers heard a loud boom.
The left side engine failed sending shrapnel into the fuselage and blowing out a window.
Jennifer Riordan, a mother of two from Albuquerque, was killed.
“And our hearts go out to the family and the loved ones of the deceased customer,” said Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly.
Seven others were injured as the plane made an emergency landing in Philadelphia.
Passenger Marty Martinez recorded a Facebook live explaining where he said it “felt like it was free falling.” And “everyone is freaking out, everyone is crying.”
Martinez also told CBSN from the plane that a woman was injured and was taken off the plane.
“There was blood everywhere,” Martinez said.
Details on the passenger’s condition weren’t immediately available.
Photos taken from inside the plane show a damaged left engine. The explosion punctured the side of the 737, damaging the fuselage.
“First there was an explosion and then almost immediately the oxygen masks came down and prob within a matter of 10 seconds the engine hit a window and busted it wide open,” said Martinez. “That explosion critically injured a passenger in Row 17.”
The plane was headed from New York’s LaGuardia Airport to Dallas’ Love Field with 143 passengers and 5 crew members on board.
CBS News Aviation and Safety Analst Mark Rosenker says it look like what is called an “uncontained failure.”
“Not only does the aircraft engine stop operating and explode, but parts of the engine itself actually depart the engine potentially into the side of the aircraft,” said Rosenker.
The FAA said that the plane landed after the crew reported damage to one of the plane’s engines, along with the fuselage and at least one window.
Martinez did a brief Facebook Live posting while wearing an oxygen mask. He posted, “Something is wrong with our plane! It appears we are going down! Emergency landing!! Southwest flight from NYC to Dallas!!”
Martinez told CBSN that he thought he was recording his “last moments.”
After the plane landed, he posted photos of a damaged window near the engine.
News helicopter footage showed damage to the left engine and the tarmac covered with firefighting foam, although there were no signs of flames or smoke.
Southwest has about 700 planes, all of them 737s, including more than 500 737-700s like the one involved in Tuesday’s emergency landing.
It is the world’s largest operator of the 737. The Boeing 737 is the best-selling jetliner in the world and has a good safety record.
Investigators are likely to take apart the failed engine from Tuesday’s plane and examine maintenance records as they try to piece together the cause of the explosion.