These were the chilling moments of panic that 149 people lived at more than 32,000 feet of altitude and traveling at 500 miles per hour when one of the engines of Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 exploded after taking off from LaGuardia Airport.
The detached pieces became projectiles that perforated the fuselage and turned Jennifer Riordan into the first fatal victim of a plane crash in the country since 2009.
The crew had to make an emergency landing at the Philadelphia airport. Seven others received care for minor injuries.
The news toured the social networks and caused mixed reactions in those who traveled later: “I always get very scared every time I go to travel and with this type of news if it gives one more ‘miedito’ take a flight.” Someone else added: “I do not feel any fear for the accident, things like that happen.”
The President and CEO of the airline posted a video of condolences for the victim’s family and assured, at a press conference, that the affected aircraft had no mechanical problems until its last inspection on Sunday.
Now the investigation of the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration will focus on why the ring surrounding the engine did not contain its parts during the explosion.
A significant number of passengers maintained their confidence in the airline and its staff: “I trust that security is good when it comes to travel.” Someone else said: “I have to have confidence that they are doing what they can do to make sure we are all safe.”
The forced landing on Tuesday also marks the first death of a passenger aboard a Southwest flight.