Memorial service set for woman killed in Southwest flight

Memorial service set for woman killed in Southwest flight

Friday's announcement came shortly after the engine manufacturer, CFM International, issued a service bulletin recommending the CFM56-7B engine be inspected more frequently.

Other passengers were able to pull Riordan into the plane, where passenger Peggy Phillips, a retired nurse, rushed to her aide after hearing a call for anyone who knew CPR, reports ABC-6.

Southwest's existing engine maintenance programme "meets or exceeds" all requirements in the new directive, the airline said on Friday. Investigators found that the blade had suffered metal fatigue at the point of the break. It was also first passenger fatality since 2009 for a US commercial airline.

Passengers described scenes of panic as a piece of shrapnel from the engine shattered a plane window, nearly sucking Riordan out.

The pilot took the Dallas-bound twin-engined Boeing 737 with 149 people aboard into a steep descent as passengers using oxygen masks that dropped from the ceiling said their prayers and braced for impact.

It wasn't. Riordan, a bank executive from Albuquerque, New Mexico, died from her injuries.

A preliminary examination of the blown jet engine showed evidence of "metal fatigue", said U.S. transport officials.

The National Transportation Safety Board believes one of the engine fan blades snapped on the Southwest jet Tuesday, hurling debris that broke a window and led to the death of a passenger who was sucked partway out of the 737.

The FAA had proposed inspections last August and was going through the complicated rule-making process to get an order in place. The directive stipulates that these inspections must be completed within the next 20 days.

Jim Hall, NTSB chairman during the Clinton administration, said all CFM engines on 737s should be inspected.

The manufacturer had issued two service bulletins a year ago calling for additional inspections of fan blades on the CFM56-7B engines following a similar episode in 2016 on another Southwest plane.

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