Southwest Makes Emergency Landing At Cleveland, OH Airport

A Southwest Airlines flight bound for Newark made an emergency landing Wednesday due to a broken passenger window as the beleaguered airline downplayed the situation as a “maintenance” issue. Flight No. 957, which took off from Chicago Midway Airport, was diverted to Cleveland, Ohio, just before 11 a.m. two hours after taking off, according to Flight View. It landed safely at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and no one was injured, officials said.

A Southwest spokeswoman said the decision was made to divert the plane “for maintenance review of one of the multiple layers of a window pane.”

“The flight landed uneventfully in Cleveland,” she said. “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.”

In a subsequent statement, the airline said the cabin maintained pressure “as there are multiple layers of panes in each window” and that technically no emergency landing was made. Pictures posted on Twitter show several cracks in one of the Boeing 737-700’s windows. The 76 passengers aboard the flight were calmly directed by a crew member to grab their belongings and hop on another flight.

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A Southwest Airlines plane flying from Chicago to New Jersey has been forced to land in Cleveland after one of its windows cracked. (Twitter)

“We’re going to walk you right onto the plane next door and we’re going to let you [be] taken care of,” the member tells them in a video posted on Twitter. The jet was flying at 26,000 feet over Lake Erie at 514 mph when it was suddenly diverted, Flight Aware shows. Passenger Alejandro Aguina said the crack was located on the outside.”

“On my way to NJ for work and #Southwest957 gets a window crack. Only outside crack so we’re all safe,” he tweeted. “On our way to NJ in new plane. Thanks to the @SouthwestAir crew and pilots for handling it         professionally.”

The FAA said it’s investigating the incident.

“Southwest Airlines Flight 957, a Boeing 737 flying from Chicago Midway Airport to Newark Airport, requested to divert to Cleveland Hopkins Airport due to a broken passenger window,” spokesman Tony Molinaro said. “The aircraft landed without incident at Cleveland.”

The harrowing situation comes two weeks after a woman was nearly sucked out of a Southwest flight when an engine exploded in midair, causing shrapnel to shatter the plane’s window. Mom of two Jennifer Riordan was killed April 17 aboard the flight from New York City to Dallas, which made an emergency landing in Philadelphia.