Bank Executive and Mother of 2 Killed After Southwest Jet Blows Engine

Philadelphia International Airport
Philadelphia International Airport

A bank executive and mother of two was killed by flying shrapnel after a Southwest Airlines jet engine exploded and slammed debris through a window, authorities said.

Jennifer Riordan of New Mexico was the vice president of community relations for Wells Fargo bank. She was married to Michael Riordan, who recently served as the chief operating officer for the city of Albuquerque, The Associated Press reported.

The Boeing 737-700’s left engine blew shortly after takeoff and a piece of shrapnel from the explosion flew into a window, causing the glass to break.

The father-in-law of a woman who was aboard said a woman was partially sucked out the window and passengers helped her. It was not clear whether Riordan was the woman who was nearly sucked out of the window. 

“One passenger, a woman, was partially — was drawn out towards the out of the plane — was pulled back in by other passengers," Todd Baur told NBC10.

She was severely injured, according to reports.

The Dallas-bound plane was flying at about 32,500 feet when the incident happened, reports said. The plane descended by more than 3,000 feet per minute until the pilots leveled out at around 10,000 feet, NBC reported.

The plane then made an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport. Passengers walked off the plane on the tarmac at the airport. 

A passenger on the fight, Marty Martinez, recorded what he thought were his last moments on a Facebook live.

“Something is wrong with our plane! It appears we are going down! Emergency landing!! Southwest flight from NYC to Dallas!!" He said.

One passenger was in critical condition with head trauma and nine others were injured, Fox News reported.

"We are in the process of gathering more information," Southwest Airlines said in a statement. "Safety is always our top priority at Southwest Airlines, and we are working diligently to support our customers and crews at this time."

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