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First picture of mum killed after being 'sucked out of Southwest plane' during mid-air engine explosion

Mirror logo Mirror 18/04/2018 Steve Robson

Video provided by Wochit News

This is the mum-of-two tragically killed after being sucked out of a plane window during a mid-flight explosion.

Jennifer Riordan, a banking executive with Wells Fargo, suffered fatal injuries as a result of the bizarre incident on Southwest flight 1380.

a person posing for the camera: Credits: Jennifer Riordan / Facebook © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Jennifer Riordan / Facebook

The left engine exploded during the flight from New York to Dallas and it is believed debris smashed the window where Mrs Riordan was sitting.

She suffered serious head injuries and was partially sucked out of the window before passengers pulled her back in, it is understood.

Mrs Riordan was on her way home to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she lived with her husband Michael and their two young children.

Annunciation Catholic School, where the children attend, confirmed her sad death in an email to parents telling them the family "needs all the prayers we can offer".

Less than 24 hours ago, Mrs Riordan had tweeted an excited picture from her New York hotel room.

Credits: Twitter/Joe Marcus © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Twitter/Joe Marcus

"Great business stay (@ DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Metropolitan - New York City," she wrote.

Seven other people suffered minor injuries in the incident.

Pilot Tammie Jo Shults is being hailed a hero for safely landing the plane with 143 passengers and five crew on board at Philadelphia.

Audio later emerged of an extraordinary exchange between Ms Shults and Air Traffic Control in which she confirmed there were "injured passengers".

a car in front of a mirror: Credits: Facebook/ Marty Martinez © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Facebook/ Marty Martinez

In response, air traffic control asked: "Injured passengers okay… and is your plane physically on fire?

Pilot: "Not fire, not fire but part of its missing. They said there’s a hole and uh… someone went out.”

Air traffic control: "Um, I’m sorry, you said there was a hole and somebody went out? Southwest 1380, it doesn’t matter we will work it out there."

The death is the first on a US airline since 2009.

Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel said seven others aboard the aircraft were treated for minor injuries.

Television images showed most of the outer casing around the left engine of the Boeing Co 737-700 had ripped away and a window near the engine on the plane's left side was missing.

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In a phone interview with CNN, passenger Marty Martinez said a window exploded mid-flight, causing a woman serious injuries.

Mr Martinez said: "The injured woman's arms and body were sucked toward the opening in the plane.

a screenshot of a video game: Credits: Twitter/@flightradar24 © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Twitter/@flightradar24

"Objects flew out the hole where the window had been, and passengers right next to her were holding onto her.

"And meanwhile, there was blood all over this man's hands. He was tending to her.

"We could feel the air from the outside coming in, and then we had smoke kind of coming in the window.

"Meanwhile, you have passengers that were in that aisle, trying to attend to the woman that was bleeding from the window explosion.

"That was just chaos all around."

a woman smiling for the camera © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc

Mr Martinez streamed a brief Facebook Live video with the caption "Something is wrong with our plane! It appears we are going down! Emergency landing!! Southwest flight from NYC to Dallas!!"

He said he was sitting two rows behind the window that was broken mid-flight.

"Her [the woman's] arms and her body were sucked, like sucked in that direction, from my vantage point," he said.

"So you see people, from the back of the seat, holding onto her, you know, trying to keep her contained."

He said other passengers were trying to patch the hole in the plane.

"People in the other rows are - just trying to plug the hole, which sounds ridiculous, because you know people are using jackets and things, and it's just being sucked right out," he told CNN.

The Fire Commissioner of Philadelphia, when asked by reporters if SW Airlines 1380 was in a "free fall" as described by some passengers on social media, referred the question to the NSTB but added during an emergency landing descent "happens in a fairly rapid manner".

a man holding a sign: Credits: CBS Philly © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: CBS Philly

Flight information provided by FlightRadar24 showed the plane went from approximately 30,000 feet to 13,000 feet in five minutes.

The entire descent took approximately 15 minutes.

Depressurisation is believed to have caused the woman to be sucked through the broken window.

"One passenger, a woman, was partially drawn out towards the outside of the plane and was pulled back in by other passengers," Todd Baur, the father of one passenger said.

Southwest Airlines said: "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."

a woman smiling for the camera: Credits: MidAmerica Nazarene University © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: MidAmerica Nazarene University

America's National Transportation Safety Board has launched an investigation.

The aircraft's maker, Boeing, said on Twitter it was aware of the incident and was "gathering more information".

The plane's engines are made by CFM International, a French-US venture co-owned by Safran and General Electric, which was not immediately available for comment.

Today's fatality marks the first fatal accident involving a commercial US passenger airline flight in nine years.

The last deadly accident on a US passenger plane was in February 2009, when Colgan Air 3407 crashed in wintery conditions while on approach in Buffalo, killing 49 aboard and one person on the ground.


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