UPDATE | 1 dead after jetliner apparently blows an engine in flight


PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Southwest Airlines jet apparently blew an engine about 30,000 feet and got hit by shrapnel that smashed a window and damaged the fuselage today, killing a passenger and injuring seven others, authorities said.

The plane, a twin-engine Boeing 737 bound from New York to Dallas with 149 people aboard, made an emergency landing in Philadelphia just before noon as passengers breathing through oxygen masks that dropped from the ceiling said their prayers and braced for impact.

"I just remember holding my husband's hand, and we just prayed and prayed and prayed," said passenger Amanda Bourman, of New York. "And 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."

Robert Sumwalt, chairman, National Transportation Safety Board, said one person died, but he gave no details. It was the first passenger fatality in an accident involving a U.S. airline since 2009.

The NTSB sent a team of investigators to Philadelphia. Sumwalt said the engine will be taken apart and examined to understand what caused the failure.

Photos of the plane on the tarmac showed damage to at least one window and a chunk missing from the left engine, including part of the engine cover.

Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel said there was a fuel leak in the engine when firefighters arrived and a small fire was quickly brought under control.

12:32 p.m.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Southwest Airlines plane made an emergency landing at Philadelphia's airport with what appears to be a damaged engine today.

Passengers walked off the plane on the tarmac at the airport. It wasn't immediately known if anyone on board was injured.

News helicopter footage showed damage to the left engine of the plane and the tarmac covered on foam from fire crews.

Passengers on board posted on social media that the plane was en route from New York City to Dallas when something happened.

Passenger Marty Martinez did a brief Facebook Live posting with the caption "Something is wrong with our plane! It appears we are going down! Emergency landing!! Southwest flight from NYC to Dallas!!"

Messages seeking comment from the Federal Aviation Administration and Southwest Airlines weren't immediately returned.

Firefighters were on the scene but a spokeswoman couldn't immediately provide any details.

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