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NTSB confirms what shattered the window on deadly Southwest flight

Federal investigators on Thursday said the engine fan blade that broke apart during a Southwest Airlines flight last month showed signs consistent with metal fatigue, a defect largely suspected by industry experts analyzing the deadly accident.

A jagged chunk of that engine part, called an inboard fan cowl, shattered a window and caused a partial loss of cabin pressure that pushed Jennifer Riordan halfway out the window. The 43-year-old mother died of multiple blunt force trauma — the first passenger fatality on a U.S. airline in nearly a decade.

The findings also uncovered that the Southwest LUV, +0.06% pilots struggled to handle the plane after the engine blew apart at 32,000 feet over Pennsylvania.

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