El Pasoans on Southwest Plane Forced to Make Emergency Landing

El Paso News

At least five El Pasoans were on board a Southwest Airlines passenger jet that lost an engine and made an emergency landing in Philadelphia Tuesday.

Among the passengers, East Montana Middle School Assistant Principal Kristopher Johnson.  He told KTSM he was traveling with four people from UTEP.

“I heard a loud crash coming from my side, from the left side of the plane,” said Johnson. “It got really cold and I could see my breath. The oxygen masks deployed, we did what we’ve trained for and put them on. I could feel the pressure when we dropped about 5 thousand feet.” 

Johnson tells KTSM the flight crew was very poised during the incident and that there was no chaos on the plane while it was descending. 

“It was relatively smooth, it was loud, it was bumpy but the crew did a phenomenal job,” said Johnson. 

NBC news reports the engine blew in mid-air with 144 passengers on board.  Passengers were forced to breath through oxygen masks.  The 737 was traveling from New York to Dallas.

The NTSB is reporting a passenger died in the accident.  One passenger is listed in critical condition.  Seven passengers were treated for minor injuries.

According to KTSM’s sister station KRQE, the woman who was died was Jennifer Riordan from Albuquerque. 

Riordan was a prominent community member with ties to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, the University of New Mexico, and Albuquerque city government, according to KRQE. 

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