Accident and Safety Awareness Blog - Lexton Personal Injury Lawyers
A boeing plane flown by southwest airlines experience engine failure midair and shrapnel spews out of the engine and smashed a window, killed woman and injured 7
Philadelphia: Jennifer Riordan Killed when Southwest Plane Experiences Engine Failure

PHILADELPHIA (April 17, 2018)– A Southwest plane, carrying 144 passengers and 5 crew members, experienced engine failure after reaching about 30,000 feet into the sky; the plane was hit by shrapnel that smashed a window, damaged fuselage, injured seven people, and killed one woman, who was identified as Jennifer Riordan.(map)

At 11:30 a.m., the twin-engine Boeing 737 aircraft, with 21,000 pounds of fuel and traveling at 500 mph, was en route from Agaurdia Airport in New York to Dallas’ Love Field, when it suffered an apparent flight engine failure in the aircraft’s left engine and was subsequently diverted to Philadelphia. Passengers reported that they initially heard an explosion before one of the windows shattered. Chaos ensued as oxygen masks dropped from the ceiling and passengers began to pray, cry, and brace themselves for the seemingly inevitable impact. Ash started circulating through the ventilation system and filled the plane with smoke. Passengers aboard the falling plane reported that one of the passenger’s, Jennifer Riordan, injured arms and body were sucked towards the window hole opening while other passengers held onto her. The passengers aboard the plane were able to pull Riordan back in the plane and attempted to perform CPR on her for 20 minutes. The aircraft dropped from 30,000 feet to 25,000 feet before the pilot, Tammie Jo Shults, regained control and brought it down safely to Philadelphia.

Jennifer Riordan succumbed to the grave injuries and tragically died. She was a bank executive and mother of two from New Mexico. Her children attend Albuquerque Catholic School and their assistant principal was the first to share the news of this terrible death. A count of seven passengers aboard the plane sustained minor injuries and were treated.

“Uncontained engine” failure connotes that there were engine parts coming out of the engine. The engine of this Boeing 737 aircraft was designed to not have uncontained engine failure. There are protection rings around the engine to keep shrapnel from coming out of the engine; however, the NTSB has confirmed that there were in fact parts coming out of the engine. It is unclear at the time whether these parts came from this section of the specific region of the engine which would qualify this incident as an “uncontained engine failure.”

It is unclear whether this incident is tied to a similar event that happened in 2016 over the Gulf of Mexico, where a Southwest Airlines flight diverted its course and conducted an emergency landing due to “uncontained engine failure.” Riordan was the first passenger killed in an accident involving a U.S. airline since 2009.

The National Transportation Safety Board is conducting a thorough investigation to determine the cause of this tragic accident. A large portion of the aircraft’s engine was missing after the plane safely reached the ground. The plane’s engine and fuselage will be examined further to understand what led to its failure.

“The NTSB investigates every aviation accident in the country. We subscribe to their service and are aware of every accident, and have an intimate knowledge of the many causes of aircraft crashes. We are experts in this area,” said the attorneys from Lexton Law. Lexton Law handles aviation cases all over the country, and is a leading expert in aviation crashes.,” said the attorneys from Lexton Law Firm. Call us today at (877) 541-2111. We are here to help you.

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