Southwest Airlines explosion results in inspection of B737 engines by other carriers
19 April 2018
Several airlines around the globe have started inspecting the engines of their Boeing 737 aircraft following an explosion on a Southwest Airlines flight in the US that resulted in the death of a passenger.
The aircraft had to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia on Tuesday after the mid-air explosion, which shattered a window and almost sucked out a passenger.
A team of accident investigators from France left for the US to help the National Transportation Safety Board in conducting investigations into the explosion. The engine was developed by CFM International, a joint venture between France’s Safran and America’s General Electric.
About 8,000 CFM56-7B engines are in operation on Boeing 737 jets, and airlines with these aircraft have logged in more than 350 million hours of safe travel, said the company.
However, in 2016 there was a similar accident again involving a Southwest aircraft that had to make an emergency landing in Pensacola, Florida. A fan blade separated from the engine apparently because of metal fatigue.
Regulators in Europe had a few days ago ordered checks as a follow-up to the 2016 incident.
Robert Sumwalt, chairman, US National Transportation Safety Board, told the media that preliminary evidence revealed that Tuesday’s accident happened because of metal fatigue as a fan blade had broken.