Around 11:10 am on Tuesday, April 17, Southwest flight 1380, New York to Dallas, made an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport due to engine failure, resulting in one fatality. The plane had 143 passengers and 5 crew members on board.

Reportedly, about 30 minutes into the flight, the left engine of the Boeing 737 failed, resulting in grave damage to the body of the plane. Shrapnel broke one of the left-hand side windows, injuring several passengers and causing severe panic onboard. Despite the fact that most passengers braced for their death, the plane was able to land safely in a remote area of the runway at Philadelphia International Airport where passengers were allowed to get off the plane.

While most injuries were treated on scene by firefighters, one woman was taken to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center in critical condition. Hours later, she was pronounced dead at the hospital. One of the passengers, Kristopher Johnson, tweeted his appreciation for the pilot and his crew's brave efforts:

The official word

Southwest Airlines issued a statement via their website confirming the situation and expressing their deepest sympathy for all those involved in this tragedy that resulted in the loss of a life. Boeing Airplanes also issued a statement via Twitter that they were providing technical assistance in the investigation that is being conducted by The National Transportation Safety Board.

Some speculate that the engine failure was most likely caused by engine fatigue or an oversight in maintenance. It remains to be seen if this is merely an unavoidable, unfortunate event or the result of negligence.

The FAA had initially issued a ground stop for flights at other airports departing to Philadelphia but it has since been lifted. Passengers should still expect delays and are advised to check their flight status with their airline.

This is not the first time

This incident is alarmingly similar to the 2016 Southwest flight #3472, New Orleans to Orlando, that was diverted to Pensacola --also due to engine failure mid-flight. The engine failure left a hole just above the wing of the plane, ultimately causing an Emergency Landing as well. The plane was also able to land safely and there were no reported injuries to the 99 passengers onboard. While these emergency landings are rare, they are always concerning and should be investigated thoroughly to prevent future occurrences.