Southwest flight suffers jet engine failure

National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt briefs reporters at National Airport in in Arlington, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2018, on the Southwest Airlines plane incident in Philadelphia.

NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said investigators are currently classifying the event as an “engine failure.”

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He said it could ultimately be classified as an uncontained engine failure, though that is a technical term which depends on where, precisely, the parts that left the engine originated from.

He added that as a former Boeing 737 pilot, he has never experienced anything like it himself, though the NTSB sees about “three or four” uncontained engine failures a year, though not all of those involve US carriers.

He gave the example of Air France Flight 66, which made an emergency landing in Canada last fall after one of its engines failed during an Atlantic crossing.

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Sarah Eamigh, a passenger on the flight, told CNN partner CTV News that passengers sensed something was wrong during that 2017 flight.

“We heard a loud pop, and we had a quick descent along with some vibration. It definitely was not turbulence so we knew something was wrong,” she told the Canadian broadcaster.

“The captain was able to recover the plane quite fast, however, we were definitely nervous because the vibrating was probably occurring a good five to eight minutes. And then the captain basically 10 to 15 minutes after provided an announcement stating that we had a small engine explosion.”

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