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Passenger Dies After Horrific Southwest Airlines In-Flight Incident

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In a disturbing incident aboard a Southwest Airlines flight, Jennifer Riordan, a passenger flying from New York City, New York, to Dallas, Texas, died on Tuesday, April 17 when a jet engine failed in midflight. Debris from the engine failure caused damage to the fuselage and broke a window. Riordan was rescued from the broken window by other passengers after she was partially sucked out of it in the course of the incident.

A well-known altruist and leader in her New Mexico community, Riordan died of her injuries in a hospital on Tuesday after the plane made an emergency landing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 43-year-old Riordan was traveling back home to Albuquerque when the engine malfunctioned, just 20 minutes after the plane took off from New York’s LaGuardia Airport. Other passengers onboard rushed to pull her back into the plane when Riordan was sucked out of a window that was shattered as a result of the engine failure and flying debris. Her death marks the first in Southwest’s history to result from an in-flight incident.

Passenger Dies as a Result of Injuries in Horrific Southwest Airlines In-Flight Incident

Photo: Facebook/NBC Bay Area

Riordan was known as a philanthropist in her community circle and amongst colleagues. She dedicated her life to altruism, helping and giving to others in the Southwestern United States and the Albuquerque area specifically. As vice president of community relations at Wells Fargo’s Albuquerque offices, she oversaw a volunteer service of over 1,000 employees since 2008. In a statement, her employers referred to her as “a well-known leader who was loved and respected.” New Mexico government officials have issued comments on Riordan’s passing noting, “This is a tremendous and tragic loss for Jennifer’s family and many others throughout our city. Her leadership and philanthropic efforts made this a better place every day and she will be terribly missed. We are holding Jennifer and her family in our thoughts.” Riordan is survived by her husband and two children.