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Retired nurse tried to save dying woman on terrifying Southwest flight

A retired nurse aboard the frightening Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 on Tuesday jumped into action when flight attendants called for medical help for an injured passenger who was almost sucked out of a broken window.

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One of the jet’s engines exploded in midair about 30 minutes after the plane took off from New York’s La Guardia Airport enroute to Dallas, sending metal shrapnel into the plane and fatally injuring passenger Jennifer Riordan.

Peggy Phillips and an EMT on the flight tried to save Riordan, performing CPR for 20 minutes until the jet made an emergency landing in Philadelphia. 

>> Related: Blown Southwest jet engine shows evidence of 'metal fatigue,' NTSB says

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“My training was awesome and I just did what I do. It kicked in and I did what needed to be done, what any registered nurse would do,” Phillips said in an interview with ABC News.

But Phillips later said she knew it was hopeless. “It just wasn’t going to be enough,” she told WCAU-TV.

“It happened so fast,” she told WFAA. “If you can possibly imagine going through the window of an airplane at about 600 mph and hitting either the fuselage or the wing with your body, your face, then I think I can probably tell you there was significant trauma.”

>> Related: Who is Tammie Jo Shults, pilot of Southwest flight that had engine explosion?

And there was. Riordan died from her injuries. The Philadelphia medical examiner ruled Riordan’s death an accident and said she died from blunt force trauma.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident.

This April 17, 2018 photo provided by Marty Martinez shows the window that was shattered after a jet engine of a Southwest Airlines airplane blew out at altitude, resulting in the death of a woman who was nearly sucked from the window during the flight of the Boeing 737 bound from New York to Dallas with 149 people aboard, shown after it made an emergency landing in Philadelphia. (Marty Martinez/AP)

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