Woman Killed in Southwest Engine Explosion Identified

She was reportedly a New Mexico mom of two
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 17, 2018 6:38 PM CDT
The engine on a Southwest Airlines plane is inspected as it sits on the runway at the Philadelphia International Airport after it made an emergency landing in Philadelphia, Tuesday, April 17, 2018.   (Amanda Bourman via AP)

(Newser) – A bank executive and mother of two from New Mexico has been identified as the woman who died after a Southwest Airlines jet plane blew an engine and got hit by shrapnel that smashed a window. News of Jennifer Riordan's death was first shared by the assistant principal of the Albuquerque Catholic school attended by her two children, the AP reports. In an email to parents, assistant principal Amy McCarty wrote that "the family needs all the prayers we can offer." Riordan was a vice president of community relations for Wells Fargo bank. She was the wife of Michael Riordan, who served until recently as the chief operating officer for the city of Albuquerque. The New Mexico Broadcasters Association on social media said Riordan was a graduate of the University of New Mexico and former board member.

National Transportation Safety Board chairman Robert Sumwalt gave no details on the person who died, but passengers earlier reported a woman nearly got sucked out of the broken window; the AP reports she was the only one seriously injured and was taken off the plane by emergency workers. One passenger said a man in a cowboy hat rushed forward a few rows "to grab that lady to pull her back in. She was out of the plane. He couldn't do it by himself so another gentleman came over and helped to get her back in the plane and they got her." Another passenger said: "From her waist above, she was outside of the plane." Passengers struggled to plug the hole somehow while giving the badly injured woman CPR. Seven others were treated for minor injuries. Tuesday's death was the first passenger fatality in an accident involving a US airline since 2009.

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