A Southwest Airlines flight from New York to Dallas was forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia Tuesday after one of the plane’s engine exploded in flight, leaving one person dead.
Here is what passengers and family members are saying about what happened on the 18-year-old Boeing 737:
‘We were kind of out of control for a while’
Timothy Bourman, a 37-year-old pastor from Queens, N.Y., was in the back of the plane when he heard a loud boom.
“All the sudden, it felt like we dropped 100 feet,” Bourman told the Inquirer and Daily News. “Everybody knew something’s going on — ‘This is bad, like really bad.’ A lot of people started panicking and yelling, just real scared.
“We were kind of out of control for a while. It seemed like the pilot was having a hard time controlling the plane. Honestly I think we just all thought we were going down.”
‘Smoke, confusion, chaos’
Matt Tranchin, 34, was on his way home to Dallas to see his pregnant wife when he heard a “loud explosion” ahead of him on the plane.
Tranchin told reporters at Philadelphia International Airport that the cabin was filled with the “smell of smoke, confusion, chaos” following the explosion.
“The next 15 to 20 minutes I spent was texting my wife, my family that I love them, saying goodbye,” Tranchin said. “I spent a lot of my time trying to articulate what my final words would be to our unborn child, to my wife, to my parents.”
Asked what he would do following the ordeal, Tranchin said he wants to, “Treat every day like it’s going to be my last.”
— Matt Tranchin (@mtranchin) April 17, 2018
‘A woman … was almost taken out of the airplane and was pulled back in’
Todd Baur, whose daughter was seated on the left side of the plane, told NBC10 one passenger was nearly sucked out of a hole in the fuselage created by the explosion.
“The left engine blew, and it apparently threw shrapnel into one of the windows and depressurized the plane immediately,” Baur said. “A woman seated close to that window and was almost taken out of the airplane and was pulled back in.”
Baur said passengers around her jumped into action and secured her back into the airplane, but the woman needed immediate medical attention.
‘I thought I was cataloging the last moment of my existence’
Marty Martinez, who was seated just rows away from the shattered window, jumped on Facebook Live and broadcast a video as the plane made its descent.
“Something is wrong with our plane! It appears we are going down! A Window is open!” Martinez wrote in the comments of his Facebook video, which was drowned out by cabin noise. “Flight attendants ran over calling for passengers to help cover the hole as they broke down and began uncontrollably crying and looking horrified as they looked outside.”
Something is wrong with our plane! It appears we are going down! Emergency landing!! Southwest flight from NYC to Dallas!!
Posted by Marty Martinez on Tuesday, April 17, 2018
After the plane safely landed, Martinez described the experience to CBSN.
“I had wi-fi and I knew I couldn’t get any text message through, so I jumped onto Facebook Live,” Martinez said. “There was blood everywhere… I thought I was cataloging the last moment of my existence the whole way because I had wifi. It was absolutely terrifying.”
Martinez also shared photos of the damaged engine and the shattered window as he was evacuated off the aircraft.
Flight 1380 From NYC to Dallas crash landed in Philly. Engine exploded in the air and blew open window 3 seats away from…
‘I love you and the kids’
Jim Demetros, of Stamford, Conn., was talking to a stewardess about beverages when he heard a “loud boom.” A window about three rows back on the other side of him blew out, and oxygen masks came down. A woman sitting next to that window was injured, he said.
Demetros had been heading to a software conference in San Antonio but will now return home instead.
His wife, Cindy Demetros, drove to Philadelphia International Airport to pick him up Tuesday afternoon. They embraced upon seeing each other.
Cindy Demetros had received text messages from her husband, an avid flyer, saying, “there was an emergency, problems with the plane and I love you and the kids.” They have two children.
Pilot was ‘very confident and calm’
Kathy Farnan, 77, of Santa Fe, N.M., described the incident as a “freak accident.” She had just nodded off in Row 3 when she said there was a large thud, the plane fell rapidly and the air masks dropped down.
The flight leveled off and the crew ran to the back of the plane, she said.
“They were fast on their feet,” she said, adding that the crew still kept everyone calm. Some people had problems with their ears from pressure changes, she said.
Despite the troubles, Farnan said, “it was a beautiful landing.” The pilot came out to talk to passengers afterward.
“She just made people feel good,” Farnan said. “She was very confident and calm.”