Florida-bound Southwest flight diverted by engine problem

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Southwest Airlines flight bound for Orlando, Florida, made an emergency landing Saturday morning due to a major problem with one of its two engines.

Flight 3472 from New Orleans diverted the airplane to Pensacola, Florida, after the pilot detected something had gone wrong with an engine, according to a Southwest statement.

The jet, a Boeing 737-700, landed in Pensacola around 9:40 a.m. CDT with no apparent injuries to the 99 passengers or five crew members on board, according to Southwest.

Pictures taken from the plane and posted online made it appear that part of the engine had blown apart, but Southwest spokesman Chris Mainz said there was no explosion. He said Southwest will work with investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board to determine the cause.

It’s rare for Southwest or any other major airline to have such serious engine trouble, said Michael Boyd, president of airline consulting firm Boyd International.

“It’s a one-off, almost unheard of,” Boyd said Saturday. “Southwest has an outstanding safety record because it spends a lot of money on maintenance.”

After making the emergency landing, the plane was taken of service. Southwest said it was trying to find alternative way to get the passengers aboard the flight to their destinations.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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