In Depth

Southwest Airlines plane makes emergency landing after passenger window cracks

Drama on US flight comes two weeks after woman was killed on another Southwest plane

A Southwest Airlines flight had to make an emergency landing yesterday after a window cracked mid-flight.

The incident, on Flight 957 from Chicago to Newark, came just two weeks after an engine on another Southwest plane exploded a shattered a window, resulting in the death of passenger Jennifer Riordan.

Passengers on the flight yesterday described hearing the window crack.

Chris Speros, who was about ten rows from the faulty window, told the New York Post: “There was a loud pop and then the pilot came out and then checked things out and then he announced we had to divert to Cleveland.”

Another passenger, Paul Upshaw, said: “It made you nervous because something like this just happened a little while ago and we didn’t know if it was going to crack open or anything like that.”

Photos of the window posted by passengers on social media showed a large crack in the glass.

Southwest said the cabin did not lose pressure - which would have prompted oxygen bags to drop down - at any point, because there are “multiple layers of panes in each window”.

An airline spokesperson said the plane had “landed uneventfully” at Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport, for a “maintenance review of a potential crack to the outer pane of a window”.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating the incident.

The timing “could hardly be worse for Dallas-based Southwest, the fourth-biggest airline in the United States”, says ABC News.

Airline executives admitted last week that ticket sales have fallen since the fatal 17 April flight.

Southwest estimates the drop in sales will cost the company between $50m and $100m (£37m and £74m).

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