Two days ago, under the skies of Philadelphia, Southwest 1380’s 1st engine suffered an uncontained engine explosion, causing thrust to be lost. The engine cover failed to contain shrapnel, causing a piece to hit a window, and the passenger, Jennifer Riordan, sitting in seat 14A. The open window caused a heavy decompression in the cabin. Masks dropped and everyone in the cabin was instructed to put them on.
Riordan, who was a banker from Albuquerque, NM, died instantly from the immense head trauma, but was partially sucked out of the window. Nearby firefighter from Celina, TX, Andrew Needum was the first to rush to her aid. He was able to pull her body back into the plane, and he began CPR immediately. Sadly, he was not able to save Riordan, who left two children and a husband in New Mexico behind, but his efforts will always be remembered.
The pilot of the Boeing 737-700, Tammie Jo Shults, calmly vectored the plane to KPHL where she landed on runway 17L. Shults was in the navy as a pilot, and has been deemed a hero for her calm and collected acts this past Wednesday.
All told, this horrible tragedy will likely spark a large investigation over prevention for engine explosions, and will hopefully keep something like this from ever happening again.
I pray for the family of Riordan, and thank all of the heroes of board the flight that did they best they could when faced with such a traumatizing event.
In memory of Riordan, and Southwest 1380.