At least one passenger was killed and seven others injured after the engine of a Southwest Airlines plane exploded in mid-air Tuesday morning, April 17. According to officials Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 departed from LaGuardia Airport in New York en route to Dallas’ Love Field when it radioed in for an emergency landing in Philadelphia shortly before 11:30 am. The plane had over 140 passengers and 5 crewmembers on board. Federal regulators from the NTSB report that the passenger fatality is the first death on a U.S. airline since 2009.
In what has been described as a harrowing and chaotic experience, the engine explosion caused damage to one of the plane’s engines, the fuselage, and a section of the plane nearby. According to reports from passengers, crew members, and media, one passenger may have been partially “sucked out” of the Boeing 737 aircraft after shrapnel from the exploding engine broke a window and tore open a hole in the plane. Sources report that the passenger was pulled back in by others on the flight, but there has been no confirmation as to whether they were the victim who was fatally injured or not.
Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which oversees investigations into large-scale transportation accidents, is currently looking into what caused the engine to explode. Their investigations will also involve cooperation from Boeing Airplanes, which manufactured the airliner, and Southwest Airlines, the world’s largest operator of 737s.
Although investigations are still in their early stages, such a traumatic and rare event is certainly alarming – for consumers and regulators alike. Commercial airlines, and especially those which operate out of the U.S., have a better safety record in terms of fatal in-flight accidents than many other transportation providers, including those who operate by ground. An unexpected explosion, therefore, poses serious questions as to whether the catastrophic failure stems from errors or negligence on the part of the airline manufacturer, the airline operator (Southwest), or potentially other parties involved in maintenance, inspections, and other safety protocol.
As the investigation unfolds, our team of Dallas personal injury lawyers at The Daspit Law Firm is immediately available to help victims and families affected by this recent tragedy learn more about their legal rights after an aviation accident. Such accidents of this magnitude are commonly shown to have been preventable, and ensuring accountability and seeking compensation for one’s losses begins with enlisting the support of proven Texas trial lawyers.
To speak personally with a member of our team during a free consultation, call (888) 568-7176 or contact us online. The Daspit Law Firm is available 24/7 to help.
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