A cracked window on a Southwest Airlines plane forced a plane heading from Chicago to New Jersey to land in Cleveland Wednesday, just two weeks after a jet engine blew apart and broke a window in a deadly accident aboard another Southwest flight.
There were no reports of injuries after Flight 957 landed safely.
Some of the 76 passengers told The Associated Press that they heard popping and those sitting near the window moved quickly away. After landing on another plane in Newark, passengers said the plane’s crew handled the situation smoothly.
Dallas-based Southwest didn’t immediately release details on how the window was damaged, but said that the plane diverted for a maintenance review after the damage to one of the three layers of window pane.
Southwest Airlines spokeswoman Brandy King said the plane never lost cabin pressure — that would have triggered oxygen masks to drop down for passengers — and that the pilots did not declare an emergency before landing.
King said there were no other mechanical problems with the plane, which was taken out of service.
The timing of the incident could hardly be worse for Dallas-based Southwest, the nation’s fourth-biggest airline. Airline executives said last week they have seen ticket sales slow since the April 17 engine failure that sent debris flying into a plane, breaking a window and killing a passenger, 43-year-old Jennifer Riordan of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Southwest estimates the drop in sales will cost it between $50 million and $100 million.
After the Philadelphia emergency landing, the Federal Aviation Administration ordered inspections of more jet engines like the one that blew apart at 32,000 feet on that Boeing 737 jet. The National Transportation Safety Board believes one of the blades snapped on the Southwest flight, hurling debris that broke a window.
Riordan died of injuries suffered after she was partially sucked out of a window that had been broken by shrapnel. The jet, which was headed from New York to Dallas, made an emergency landing in Philadelphia.
Updated Wednesday, May 2, 2018 at 2:34 pm