An audio recording obtained by NBC contains an exchange in which the flight's pilot says she was told a passenger "went out" of
the aircraft while it was in the air. (Mark Makela / Reuters)
The passenger killed Tuesday in the engine accident on Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 had been partially sucked out of the plane's broken window, The New York Times reported.
The flight from New York to Dallas had to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia after its left engine exploded in midair. Southwest said one passenger died and seven others were injured. The Associated Press identified the passenger who was killed as Jennifer Riordan, 43.
Passengers interviewed by The Times described a frightening scene after the explosion.
"The top half of her torso was out the window," a passenger identified as Max Kraidelman told The Times of the woman who was killed. "There was a lot of blood because she was hit by some of the shrapnel coming off the engine after it exploded."
Kraidelman said that other passengers and flight attendants were able to pull the woman back into the aircraft but that she was unconscious and had significant injuries.
He said CPR was performed on the woman and a defibrillator was also used on her as the plane made its emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport.
Another passenger, identified as Matt Tranchin, said a fellow passenger positioned his back against the opening in the cabin for 20 minutes and reported feeling severe pressure.
An audio recording obtained by NBC contained an exchange between the flight's pilot and air traffic control in which the pilot said she was told a passenger "went out" of the aircraft while it was in the air.
The National Transportation Safety Board's chairman, Robert Sumwalt, said the death on the flight was the first in a US passenger airline accident in over nine years. Before Tuesday, the most recent fatal accident came in February 2009 near Buffalo, New York, when an aircraft operated by the now-defunct regional airline Colgan Air crashed. Fifty people were killed in that crash, including one person on the ground.
The NTSB sent a team to Philadelphia to investigate the crash on Tuesday. The agency said a full investigation would take 12 to 15 months.