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Yesterday afternoon was a typical day here at Money Map Press' offices in downtown Baltimore - that is, a busy day.
But like a lot of other folks here, when I saw the news out of Philadelphia, that a stricken Southwest Airlines Inc. (NYSE: LUV) Boeing 737-700 had made an emergency landing at the airport there with one fatality, I stopped to watch.
The images to emerge from Flight 1380 were, I'm sure you'll agree, horrifying. So are the stories.
News outlets are still reporting the only thing anyone can tell at this very early juncture: The 737-700's port-side engine had what the experts call an "uncontained engine failure" at cruising altitude, around 20 minutes after takeoff from New York's LaGuardia Airport. Shrapnel or debris from the explosion flew back and punctured the fuselage, shattering a window, which resulted in a female passenger, a 43-year-old banker from Albuquerque, N.M., nearly getting sucked out of the decompressed aircraft.
Her fellow passengers managed to pull her back inside, but tragically, she died - the first fatal accident aboard a U.S.-registered airliner since 2009, and Southwest's first fatal in-air accident.
The loss of life is terrible, and we're all thinking of the woman and her family.
What happens next is for National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators to decide.
My job, right now, is to help you make sense of what this means for your money, so that's what we'll do today.
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About the Author
Before he moved into the investment-research business in 2005, William (Bill) Patalon III spent 22 years as an award-winning financial reporter, columnist, and editor. Today he is the Executive Editor and Senior Research Analyst for Money Morning at Money Map Press.