“Heard a Loud Pop”: Passenger Recounts Experience on Southwest Flight 1380
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Andrew Needum, a passenger on board Southwest 1380, recounted his experience on board Tuesday’s flight during a live interview on Thursday. In the emotional interview, Needum described his experience performing CPR on Jennifer Riordan, the passenger who ultimately died from her injuries after partially being sucked through a broken window, as well pulling her back into the aircraft.
Needum, a member of the Celina City Fire Department in Celina, Texas, said he was traveling home with his wife, their two kids and his parents after a family vacation in New York City. The family of six was visiting family, as well as celebrating the 39th wedding anniversary of Needum’s parents.
“Hectic” was the way Needum described the morning of the flight, as the family traveled with two kids on an early morning flight. After getting to LaGuardia (LGA) and through TSA security, “it was a close call” making it to the gate for Flight 1380.
Needum described the flight’s takeoff as smooth. “Somewhere around 32,000 feet, [we] heard a loud pop,” Needum said. He said flight attendants were in the aisle, beginning to take drink orders when the sound of the engine exploding occured. Immediately after the pop, oxygen masks were deployed, Needum said.
The family were quick to securely put on their oxygen masks. However, Needum said he heard a commotion toward the rear of the aircraft, which is where Riordan was sitting.
Needum removed his oxygen mask, and with an approving look from his wife, headed toward Riordan’s seat to pull her back in the aircraft, as well as perform CPR.
Being a firefighter, Needum said he is trained for emergency situations. “That’s what it was,” he said.
Out of respect for Riordan’s family, Needum declined to give any further detail about what happened in the following moments.
Needum did describe the moments after the pop as relatively calm. Passengers were helping other passengers where needed, such as Needum’s wife who helped a solo female traveler put the oxygen mask on herself and her young child.
“I felt calm,” Needum said. “I knew Tammie Jo had it under control. I never really feared for my personal kids.”
Upon landing at Philadelphia (PHL), Needum described Tammie Jo Shults, the pilot who safely landed the flight, as personally greeting every passenger. “She made it a point to stop and talk to every passenger to see if they were OK,” he said.
Shults stopped to talk to Needum’s 5-year-old daughter to tell her that in Shults’ 32 years of flying, her oxygen masks had never come down. “She tried to make it a positive,” Needum’s wife said.
Needum said that the family is still in contact with other passengers who were on board Flight 1380. He expressed his deep condolences to Riordan’s family.
Since the incident on Tuesday, the National Transportation Safety Board has been conducting its investigation, revealing that the cause of the failure was a metal fatigue fracture. The FAA has since required that all airlines using the same CFM56-7B engine undergo inspection.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees