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FAA orders fan blade inspections after jet engine explosion

David Koenig and Claudia Lauer
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA – U.S. airline regulators have ordered inspections on engine fan blades like the one that snapped off a Southwest Airlines plane, leading to the death of a woman who was partially blown out a window.

The Federal Aviation Administration’s announcement late Wednesday comes nearly a year after the engine’s manufacturer recommended the additional inspections, and a month after European regulators ordered their airlines to do the work.

Pressure for the FAA to act grew after an engine on a Southwest plane blew apart on Tuesday, showering the aircraft with debris and shattering a window. A woman sitting next to the window was partially blown out and died of her injuries. The plane, which was headed from New York to Dallas, made an emergency landing in Philadelphia.

A National Transportation Safety Board investigator photographs a Southwest Airline engine covering that landed in Penn Township, Berks County field from a plane that made an emergency landing Tuesday after a fatal engine mishap, Wednesday, April 18, 2018, on state game lands. (Bill Uhrich/Reading Eagle via AP)

More: Investigators look at engine wear and tear in jet tragedy