TTU faculty members aboard Southwest Airlines flight during engine explosion

TTU faculty members aboard Southwest Airlines flight during engine explosion
1 dead after Southwest Airlines jetliner apparently blows an engine in flight (Source: NBC)

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Officials with Texas Tech University issued a statement on Tuesday, confirming that the faculty members and their families who were aboard a Southwest Airlines flight that blew an engine are safe.

The National Transportation Safety Board says the jet blew an engine and got hit by shrapnel at about 30,000 feet. The shrapnel smashed a window and damaged the fuselage Tuesday morning, killing one passenger and injuring seven others.

The faculty are from the College of Education at TTU.

The statement from Chris Cook, Managing Director of the Office of Communications & Marketing says, "We are thankful our faculty members and their families are safe and we extend our thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of the deceased passenger and all those affected."

The plane, a 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 prayed and braced for impact.

National Transportation Safety Board chairman Robert Sumwalt said one person was killed. This is the first passenger fatality in a U.S. airline accident since 2009, Sumwalt said.

Seven other people were treated for minor injuries, Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel said. He said there was a fuel leak in one of the engines when firefighters arrived and a small fire was quickly brought under control.

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