One person has died after a Southwest Airlines flight from New York's La Guardia Airport to Dallas made an emergency landing at Philadelphia's airport Tuesday with part of the covering from its left engine ripped off - and what appeared to be at least one blown-out window, the NTSB says. The plane was met on the tarmac by a phalanx of emergency vehicles that quickly sprayed the area with safety foam and aided the injured.
The last time a passenger died in an accident on a United States airliner was in 2009 when 49 people on board and one on the ground were killed when a Continental Express plane crashed on a house near Buffalo, New York.
Secretary Elaine Chao said her department is working with the National Transportation Safety Board to determine the cause and ensure the safety of the traveling public.
One of the passengers on the flight, Marty Martinez, told CBS News about the incident while still on the aircraft. He posted, "Something is wrong with our plane!"
"I didn't know if we were going to be running into a building".
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"Southwest Airlines flight 1380, which departed LaGuardia for Dallas Love Field (DAL), diverted to PHL because of an operational event".
A Southwest Airlines plane has made an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport with what appears to be a damaged engine. She said the plane was fairly quiet because everyone was wearing an oxygen mask, while some passengers were in tears and others shouted words of encouragement.
Thiel said a small fire was found in one engine and fuel was leaking.
The impact was so powerful that it nearly sucked the passenger out of the window, he said.
He said passengers held on to her while nonstationary objects flew out the hole. "Meanwhile, you have passengers that were in that aisle, trying to attend to the woman that was bleeding from the window explosion", he said.
As the plane came in for a landing, everyone started yelling to brace for impact, then clapped after the aircraft touched down safely, Bourman said. "Absolutely terrifying, but we are okay", Martinez said.
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"Thankfully they had just an incredible crew - the pilot and co-pilot were incredible".
Other passengers were reportedly led off with crutches by firefighters. Flights will continue to leave the Philadelphia airport, but the FAA has ordered a ground stop for all flights headed to the city, according to the airport.
The NTSB was sending a go-team to the airport in Philadelphia to investigate and planned a 3 p.m. news conference.
Bourman said she was asleep near the back when she heard a loud noise and oxygen masks dropped.
The emergency landing came less than 24 hours after a United Airlines flight made an emergency landing at Dover Air Force Base to fix a mechanical problem.
The flight-tracking site, Flightaware, confirms the Boeing 737 was over southeast Pennsylania when it made a dramatic turn back to Philadelphia.
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