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1 dead after Southwest engine fails in midair, forcing emergency landing

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One person has died after Southwest plane engine failed in midair, forcing an emergency landing at the Philadelphia International Airport this morning, said the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

The plane was en route from New York City’s LaGuardia International Airport to Dallas Love Field when passenger Matt Tranchin said he saw a “huge explosion and glass shattering three rows ahead of me.”

“Flight attendants rushed up. There was momentary chaos. Everyone kind of descended on where this hole was. As passengers, we weren’t sure if they were trying to cover up the hole, but the plane smelled like smoke. There was ash coming through the ventilation system. We started dropping,” Tranchin told ABC station WPVI in Philadelphia. “Some of the crew couldn’t hold back their horror. And some were crying as they looked out through the open window onto the engine.”

The plane landed safely in Philadelphia as passengers posted photos from inside Flight 1380 showing their midair oxygen masks, a blown-out window and the remains of an engine.

PHOTO: Passengers aboard a Southwest Airlines flight that made an emergency landing at the Philadelphia airport, April 17, 2018.Marty Martinez/Facebook
Passengers aboard a Southwest Airlines flight that made an emergency landing at the Philadelphia airport, April 17, 2018.
PHOTO: The engine of a Southwest Airlines plane after an emergency landing at the Philadelphia airport, April 17, 2018. Joe Marcus/Twitter
The engine of a Southwest Airlines plane after an emergency landing at the Philadelphia airport, April 17, 2018.
PHOTO: A blown out window taken from inside the Southwest Airlines plane that made an emergency landing at the Philadelphia airport, April 17, 2018.Marty Martinez
A blown out window taken from inside the Southwest Airlines plane that made an emergency landing at the Philadelphia airport, April 17, 2018.
PHOTO: Oxygen masks and a blown out window are seen from inside a Southwest Airlines plane after an emergency landing at the Philadelphia airport, April 17, 2018.Marty Martinez
Oxygen masks and a blown out window are seen from inside a Southwest Airlines plane after an emergency landing at the Philadelphia airport, April 17, 2018.

Seven people were minorly injured but not taken to hospitals, said Thiel.

NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt described the emergency as engine failure. The crew had reported damage to the main body of the plane, an engine and a window, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said.

PHOTO: A Southwest Airlines plane sits on the runway at the Philadelphia International Airport after it made an emergency landing in Philadelphia, April 17, 2018.David Maialetti /The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP
A Southwest Airlines plane sits on the runway at the Philadelphia International Airport after it made an emergency landing in Philadelphia, April 17, 2018.
PHOTO: A view out the Southwest Airlines plane that made an emergency landing in Philadelphia taken by a passenger, April. 17. 2018.@EMMS_MrJohnson/Twitter
A view out the Southwest Airlines plane that made an emergency landing in Philadelphia taken by a passenger, April. 17. 2018.

Southwest said in a statement, “The aircraft, a Boeing 737-700, has 143 customers and five crewmembers onboard. We are in the process of gathering more information. Safety is always our top priority at Southwest Airlines, and we are working diligently to support our customers and crews at this time.”

The runway was closed for over two hours but has since reopened.

PHOTO: A Southwest Airlines plane on the tarmac at the airport in Philadelphia after making an emergency landing, April 17, 2018. WPVI
A Southwest Airlines plane on the tarmac at the airport in Philadelphia after making an emergency landing, April 17, 2018.

The NTSB and the FAA are investigating. Boeing said it is providing technical help to the investigation.

ABC News’ Amanda Maile and Daniel Steinberger contributed to this report.

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