Southwest passengers thought they'd be next after engine explosion killed mother of two

As other Southwest passengers witnessed the horrific final moments of a New Mexico mother who was killed after a jet engine explosion, some of them believed they'd be next.

The horrific events unfolded on Tuesday shortly after flight 1380 en route to Dallas lost an engine shortly after take-off at around 32,500 feet up.

Jennifer Riordan, a mother of two and bank executive, was blown out up to her waste through a smashed window before someone was able to pull her back in.

As they watched, some of Riordan's fellow flyers prepared to die.

"I made a lot of my time trying to articulate what I wanted my final words to be," passenger Matt Tranchin said.

Photos from the incident:

Another passenger said he used what time he believed he had left to buy in-flight Wi-Fi in order to tell his loved ones goodbye.

"I wanted to be able to reach the people I loved...thinking these were my final moments on earth," Marty Martinez wrote on social media about his decision to broadcast from inside the plane on Facebook Live.

Other passenger accounts focused on Riordan, who was pulled inside and given CPR, but it was too late.

"Jennifer Riordan has passed away as a result of previously reported events on Southwest Airlines flight No. 1380," her family said in a statement. "Jennifer’s vibrancy, passion and love infused our community and reached across our country. Her impact on everything and everyone she touched can never be fully measured."

Amid the tragedy for Riordan's family, come stories of heroism from inside the plane.

Among this story's heroes is former Navy fighter pilot, Tammie Jo Shults, who the Washington Post reports averted catastrophe when she calmly made an emergency landing at the Philadelphia International Airport.

Passenger Diana McBride Self would later post about Schults on Facebook.

"The pilot came back to speak to each of us personally. This is a true American Hero," Shults wrote. "A huge thank you for her knowledge, guidance and bravery in a traumatic situation. God bless her and all the crew."

Dallas-bound Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 out of New York had 144 passengers and a crew of five onboard, Southwest said in a statement.

"We are deeply saddened to confirm that there is one fatality resulting from this accident. The entire Southwest Airlines Family is devastated and extends its deepest, heartfelt sympathy to the Customers, Employees, Family Members, and loved ones affected by this tragic event," a spokesperson said in a video statement.

The airline said officials are in direct contact with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to support an immediate, coordinated response to this accident.


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