On Tuesday, April 17th, a Dallas-bound Southwest Airlines flight turned tragic when an engine blew, sending shrapnel through a shattered window and killing one. The woman, Jennifer Riordan from New Mexico, was sitting on the left side of the plane when a part of the engine broke, sucking her partially through the window. Passengers report the woman was hanging in the hole for several minutes as others tried to pull her back into the plane. Eventually two men were able to get her back into the plane, but unfortunately, it was too late. Riordan reportedly went into cardiac arrest after getting hit by shrapnel that smashed the window she was sitting by and died at a Philadelphia hospital.
According to investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board, one of 24 blades was missing from the engine that failed. They also indicated there were signs of wear and metal fatigue where the blade attached to the hub of the engine. In an effort to prevent anything like this from happening again, Southwest has said they are speeding up inspections of engines similar to the one that failed and sent debris into the plane window. The airline said they expect to finish inspections of the CFM56 engines over the next 30 days and they are only doing so as a precautionary measure. In addition to the death of Riordan, a bank executive and mother of two, seven others were treated for injuries after the plane made an emergency landing in Philadelphia.
Why You May Need a Plane Accident Attorney
Southwest CEO Gary Kelly has said the family of the victim is the airline’s first concern right now, offering their condolences and support in this difficult time.
Other passengers reported experiencing “terror in the cabin” as the plane plummeted 30,000 feet in a matter of minutes. The plane’s pilot, Tammie Jo Shults, was one of the first female Navy fighter pilots and is being hailed as a hero for landing the plane safely, albeit a little rough.
Aviation accidents of any kind are absolutely devastating and terrifying for everyone involved. When we set foot onto a plane, we assume we will get to our destination safely. Unfortunately, aviation accidents do happen from time to time and often result in fatalities as well as life-changing injuries. Because of what is at stake, plane accidents typically result in seven-figure recoveries. Proving liability and fault following a plane accident can be extremely difficult, especially when there were fatalities. It can be difficult to know what happened and what went wrong, whether it was pilot error or mechanical failure as is the case with Southwest flight 1380.
When you pursue an aviation accident claim, the first step is identifying the cause. However, many plane crashes can be linked to multiple causes. While the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is responsible for investigating all aviation accidents that take place in the United States, outside help may be necessary in order to either support or dispute their findings.
If you or a loved one was involved in an aviation accident and would like to consult a lawyer, please contact Shamieh Law today. We understand the difficult and traumatic circumstances surrounding these types of cases and will do everything we can to fight for your rights.