A female passenger aboard Southwest flight 1380 was confirmed dead and several others injured, after one of the airline's Boeing 737's suffered an engine explosion in mid-air, Fox News reported. The Tuesday incident occurred during a flight from New York to Dallas.

Flight 1380 was carrying 144 passengers and five crew members when one of the plane's engines blew up. The aircraft's pilots managed to make an emergency landing at Philadelphia's International Airport at around 11.30 am. This was after they had reported damage to one of the plane's engines, its fuselage, and a window.

Confirming the incident during a press conference on Tuesday, NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said one passenger died, making it the first onboard death on an American flight since 2009.

The horrific ordeal

According to passengers aboard the flight, trouble began after one of the plane's engine exploded, sending shrapnel which smashed one window open. Speaking to WCAU, one of the passengers' Father-in-law, Todd Bauer, said passengers were forced to rescue a fellow female passenger from being sucked out of the plane after the window was smashed. It is still not clear whether she was the female passenger reported dead.

Another passenger on the flight, Marty Martinez, posted a chilling video on his Facebook page saying he was recording his final moments.

Later, he told CBS that the flight went down for approximately ten to fifteen minutes non-stop, after the engine blew up, and that there was blood everywhere, while other passengers screamed and cried out hysterically.

Official statements

Southwest Airlines released a statement immediately, saying the company was deeply saddened and devastated by the death of the female passenger, and extended their sympathy and condolences to the bereaved family.

The company further added that an emergency response team had been activated to support the affected passengers aboard the flight and their family's. A press briefing from the company's headquarters in Dallas will follow shortly.

The Federal Aviation Administration released a statement saying the incident was currently under investigation and the National Transportation Board had been updated.

According to Philadelphia's Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel, in addition to the one fatality, seven other passengers were treated for minor injuries.

Southwest Airlines operates a fleet of 700 Boeing 737's, making it the world's largest operator of the aircraft.