A Southwest Airlines flight from New Orleans to Orlando was forced to make an emergency landing when one of the engines failed.
A woman who was on the plane with her husband and three children told KOCO that the engine was right outside her window.
“It was just a big explosion. There was some smoke and then nothing,” she said. “I saw parts flapping in the wind.”
“(The crew) stayed professional. They were amazing, I mean, we couldn’t have had a better crew, and it was thanks to that pilot that we’re all alive.”
The woman said that once the plane seemed to stabilize, one of the pilots came into the cabin and told the passengers that the engine was lost.”
Southwest’s Initial Statement:
Today, the Captain of Flight #3472 from New Orleans to Orlando made the decision to divert to Pensacola due to a mechanical issue with the number one engine. The flight landed safely without incident at Pensacola International Airport at 9:40 a.m. central time. Initial reports indicate there were no injuries among the 99 passengers and five crew members onboard. We have notified the NTSB, and when authorized, we will be inspecting the aircraft to assess the damage. The aircraft is out of service, and we will work to accommodate the passengers to Orlando or their final destination as soon as possible.
Southwest Airlines issued a followup statement this afternoon, stating:
“When we have an operational event that results in aircraft damage and/or passenger or crew injuries, that can trigger a review or investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). When the NTSB decides to launch an investigation, we give the Board our immediate cooperation so that we are able to properly streamline information and avoid speculation (especially this early).
“If you do not see an update from us, that is because we are working behind-the-scenes with the NTSB to follow this process.”
The NTSB referred to the event as “uncontained engine failure.”