A Southwest Airlines flight was forced to make an unscheduled landing in Cleveland on Wednesday after a passenger reported that part of an emergency exit window cracked while the plane was in the air.
The flight was Chicago’s Midway Airport to Newark was diverted to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.
Southwest Airlines said the flight, with 76 passengers, was diverted to the Cleveland airport “for a maintenance review of one of the multiple layers of a window pane.” The airline did not specifically say that a window had broken, however. Southwest officials said there was no loss of pressurization in the plane’s cabin, noting that windows on the aircraft have “multiple panes.”
“The flight landed uneventfully in Cleveland,” Southwest said in a statement. “The aircraft has been taken out of service for maintenance review, and our local Cleveland employees are working diligently to accommodate the 76 Customers on a new aircraft to Newark.”
Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration said they are investigating the incident.
Images tweeted by one passenger show cracks in a window.
A spokeswoman at Cleveland International said the Southwest Airlines jet made an emergency landing at the airport around 11 a.m., but could not say whether the plane was damaged. She said no passengers were hospitalized and that several had been transferred to other aircraft. She referred additional questions to Southwest.
According to an account on the website, DansDeals, an unidentified passenger aboard the plane tweeted the above image. The traveler said he heard a loud crack after something apparently hit the window and shattered it. He said passengers in seated in the row “ran away” and others on the flight were “crying hysterically.”
The incident comes just a few weeks after a Southwest Airlines jet was forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia after one of the aircraft’s engines failed sending shrapnel into the plane and shattering a window. One passenger, Jennifer Riordan of Albuquerque was partially pulled out of the window. She was pulled back into the aircraft by other passengers, but later died. It was the first passenger fatality on a U.S. carrier since 2009 and the first in Southwest’s 51-year history.
On Tuesday, crew members and passengers from the Philadelphia flight visited President Trump at the White House.