A Southwest Airlines airplane had to make an emergency landing Tuesday after an engine was damaged and a window broke.One passenger died.
The plane was flying from New York City to Dallas, Texas. It made its emergency landing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, just before 12 p.m. Passengers breathed through oxygen masks. They feared the plane would not make a safe landing.
Some of them were saying prayers, like Amanda Bourman of New York. She told the Associated Press, “I just remember holding my husband’s hand and we just prayed and prayed and prayed.”
She added, “The thoughts that were going through my head of course were about my daughters, just wanting to see them again and give them a big hug so they wouldn’t grow up without parents.”
Passenger Marty Martinez had a different idea. He sent out a Facebook live video of himself and others on the plane putting on their oxygen masks. Martinez, who is from Texas, wrote on his Facebook page, “Something is wrong with our plane! It appears we are going down! Emergency landing!! Southwest flight from NYC to Dallas!!”
The answers were immediate.
Soon, thousands of people were watching the frightening event take place live. One Facebook user wrote, “I am praying for you.” Another: “Jesus be the pilot!” Some gave suggestions for what to do: “Stay as compact as possible,brace yourself.”
Bourman told the AP that everyone shouted to brace for impact when the plane started to land. They then praised the pilot after he set the aircraft down.
National Transportation Safety Board chairman Robert Sumwalt said one person was killed. He added that it was the first passenger death in a U.S. airline accident since 2009. Seven other people were treated for minor injuries.
Several news reports say that a woman sitting next to the window that broke was partly sucked out of the plane. Other passengers held onto her and pulled her back in.
Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel said there was a fuel leak in one of the plane engines. He said it was quickly brought under control after the landing. He said the plane’s passengers did “some pretty amazing things under some pretty difficult circumstances.”