'Felt like we dropped 100 feet': Southwest flight lands in Philly after engine blows apart

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A Southwest Airlines plane made an emergency landing at Philadelphia’s airport with what appears to be a damaged engine on Tuesday. Passengers walked off the plane on the tarmac at the airport. (April 17)
AP

A battered Southwest Airlines jet with a blown engine and smashed window made a perilous emergency landing in Philadelphia on Monday, met by a phalanx of emergency vehicles that blasted the surrounding tarmac in safety foam.

Dallas-bound Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 out of New York had 143 passengers and a crew of five onboard, Southwest said in a statement. At least one person was taken to an area hospital, according to local media outlets including cbslocal.com, but the extent of injuries was not immediately available.

Passenger Marty Martinez posted a brief Facebook Live video showing him donning his oxygen mask. “Something is wrong with our plane!,” he wrote. “It appears we are going down! Emergency landing!! Southwest flight from NYC to Dallas!!”

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Southwest said the Boeing 737-700 left  New York’s LaGuardia Airport shortly after 10:30 a.m. ET, bound for Dallas Love Field. The airport said the plane had landed “safely” and that passengers were being brought into the terminal.

Flights were departing and arriving, but passengers should expect delays, the airport said in its statement. But it added that the FAA had issued “ground stop” for planes on the ground at other airports waiting to depart Philadelphia.

Timothy Bourman, 37, told philly.com he was in the back of the plane when he heard a boom.

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“All the sudden, it felt like we dropped 100 feet,” said Bourman, a pastor in New York. “Everybody knew something’s going on. This is bad, like really bad. A lot of people started panicking and yelling, just real scared.”

Bourman said the pilot appeared to struggle for control of the plane. Passengers were told to brace for impact, but the pilot was able to land.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it was gathering information on the incident. The airline said it, too, was continuing its investigation.

“We are working diligently to support our customers and crews at this time,” the statement said.

The emergency landing came less than 24 hours after a United Airlines flight made an emergency landing at Dover Air Force Base to repair a mechanical problem. The FAA said United Flight 1559, a Boeing 737, made a safe landing at about 7:20 p.m. ET on Monday, the FAA said. 

Contributing: Jerry Smith and Jessica Bies, The (Wilmington, Del.) News Journal

 

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