A New Mexico serviceman who was on board the Southwest Airlines flight when one of the jet’s engines exploded Tuesday mid-air is recounting his experience
A well-known Albuquerque woman was killed in the incident.
Julian Lujan is from Deming, New Mexico, he says what stands out the most about his flight is the heroism he witnessed.
The Southwest Airlines flight was going from New York to Dallas Tuesday morning.
Lujan was just recently discharged from the Marines and was returning home from a celebratory trip to New York.
He says he was just settling in and dozing off on the flight when he heard a loud boom and says the oxygen masks dropped.
“All we could hear was rumbling, people were screaming, panicking,” Lujan said. “My initial thoughts were that this wasn’t happening.”
The explosion broke a window and sent shrapnel into the aircraft injuring several people and killing Albuquerque’s Jennifer Riordan.
Lujan says he was sitting toward the back of the plane and saw people around Riordan immediately help.
“The amount of heroes on that flight was just remarkable, as soon as everything started unfolding, it was passengers near her seat that sprang into action,” he said.
Lujan says he’s amazed by everyone on the flight, from the passengers to the pilot, Tammie Jo Shults, who was able to safely land the plane.
He says he thanked Shults, another New Mexico native, personally after they landed.
Lujan says he feels lucky to be alive and is driving the rest of the way to New Mexico.