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Investigators Find Part Of Southwest Airliner Outside Philadelphia

Part of a Southwest Airlines jet came down 70 miles from where the rest of the plane landed after an engine blew Tuesday.
Posted at 11:56 PM, Apr 17, 2018

Investigators say they found a piece of the Southwest Airlines plane that had an engine blow Tuesday 70 miles outside Philadelphia. The National Transportation Safety Board says it found one of the plane's engine cowlings in Bernville, Pennsylvania. That's right near where the pilots first noticed a problem.

The NTSB said there was evidence on the plane's engine of metal fatigue where a fan blade separated from the jet.

One of the pilots initially told air traffic controllers there was a fire in the engine before later clarifying.

"Southwest 1380 has an engine fire — descending," one of the pilots said. Later, she told ATC, "No fire now, but we are single engine."

"There are fire wires that when they are — it's possible and even likely that once this fan blade separated, it activated an engine fire warning in the cockpit. But whether or not there was an actual fire with the engine, I do not believe there was an actual fire," NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said Tuesday.

One of the pilots was getting praise from passengers Tuesday night for how she handled the emergency landing.

When the engine failed, debris hit a window on the jet, breaking it. The woman sitting next to it was pulled partially out of the plane, according to other passengers. She later died.

The airline said Tuesday it was cooperating with the NTSB's investigation.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.