Southwest Airlines said it canceled about 40 flights Sunday as it inspects engine fan blades in the wake of an engine failure last week that led to one passenger’s death.
That’s about 1 percent of Dallas-based Southwest’s daily schedule of nearly 4,000 flights. The airline encouraged passengers to check their flight status. “We anticipate minimal delays or cancellations each day due to the inspections,” Southwest said in a written statement.
Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines has the same type of engines on the Boeing 737s in its fleet and is also adding ultrasonic inspections of the engines, but said it doesn’t expect any operational impact to customers.
Both airlines last week, in advance of the Federal Aviation Administration’s official release of an emergency airworthiness directive, said they would accelerate the inspections.
The FAA on Friday issued the anticipated directive requiring airlines to inspect fan blades on certain engines within 20 days. The directive draws from information gathered in the investigation of Southwest’s engine failure last Tuesday. The FAA said the inspection requirement is estimated to affect 352 engines in the United States and 681 engines worldwide.
The CFM56-7B engine that blew on the Southwest flight showed evidence of “metal fatigue,” according to the National Transportation Safety Board. That engine model is on all of Southwest’s 737-700s and 737-800s, which make up the vast majority of Southwest’s fleet.
Two 911 calls show that a Cincinnati teenager pleaded for help as he was crushed to death by the seat in his van Tuesday afternoon in a parking lot near his school.
Kyle Jacob Plush, 16, was found dead by his father about six hours after he made the first 911 call, according to WCPO in Cincinnati. A preliminary autopsy report indicated that he died of asphyxia due to compression of his chest.
His death was ruled accidental.
“At this time, there is no indication of foul play or evidence of a drug overdose,” Hamilton County Coroner Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco said in a written statement. “Our deepest sympathies are with the family and friends of Kyle.”
Sammarco’s statement did not offer details of how Plush was crushed, but Honda in November recalled 800,000 Odyssey minivans because the vehicle’s second row seats can tip forward if not properly latched. The recall was for vans from 2011 to 2017.
Plush’s van was a Honda Odyssey, though the year was not immediately known.
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters confirmed to WCPO in Cincinnati that Plush died of positional asphyxiation when he became trapped in a seat, but Deters said it was the van’s third-row bench seat.
His office is investigating the incident to determine exactly how Plush’s death occurred.
“We are actively trying to identify experts to assist us in this investigation,” Deters told the news station.
Officials with the city of Cincinnati and the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office are also investigating why dispatchers, police officers and deputies were unable to find Plush in time to save his life.
Audio of Plush’s 911 calls, which have not been released by the media due to their graphic nature, indicated that he became increasingly desperate as his condition deteriorated. In the first call, placed shortly after 3 p.m., the teen was gasping for air as he screamed repeatedly for help, saying he was stuck inside his van “at Seven Hills.”
Plush was a sophomore at Seven Hills School, a private academy for grades pre-K through 12. He died in a parking lot near the school’s Hillsdale campus.
“I can’t hear you,” Plush told the dispatcher, according to WCPO. “I need help. I’m gonna die here.”
The dispatcher either could not hear him clearly or did not understand what he was trying to say. She asked, over and over, “Where are you? What is the address?”
“I probably don’t have much time left, so tell my mom that I love her if I die,” the teen said.
A timeline established by the news station indicates that Plush got disconnected about six or seven minutes after he placed his first call. Officers who were dispatched when that call ended tried calling him back, but the call went to voicemail.
When they did not get a response, the officers marked their assignment complete, the WCPO timeline said.
In his second call, Plush again made it clear that he knew he was dying.
“This is not a joke. I’m trapped inside my gold Honda Odyssey van in the parking lot of Seven Hills Hillsdale.”
“Send officers immediately. I’m almost dead.”
As the second call ended, Plush appeared to struggle to breathe.
Throughout the second call, Plush could be asking, “Hey, Siri?” It appeared that he used the iPhone voice command to call 911.
Investigators did not say where in the van they found the teen’s phone.
It was also unclear when Plush’s second call, which lasted about three minutes, was placed.
A Hamilton County sheriff’s deputy working a traffic detail at Seven Hills responded to the calls about 10 minutes after city officers marked their assignment complete and 32 minutes after Plush’s first call for help, WCPO reported.
The deputy was also unable to find Plush’s van, and though he continued searching, he questioned whether the calls had been a prank.
The dispatcher pointed out that she put in the 911 system that the caller could be in a thrift store parking lot across the street from the school, Fox19 in Cincinnati reported.
“I was in there. I just looked in a van over there. I didn’t see anybody in it,” the deputy said, according to the news station.
It was not clear if the van the deputy found was Plush’s minivan.
Plush’s mother, identified by his elementary school as Jill Plush, also called 911 Tuesday evening after she and his father, Ron, determined he was missing.
“My son never came home from school,” Jill Plush said, according to Fox19. “We thought he was at a tennis match, and he never came home from school.”
“He had been on the practice squad of the tennis team and was due to play in his first match yesterday,” Jackie Taggart-Boyd wrote. “He didn’t show up. Hours later, they discovered him.”
Taggart-Boyd indicated that Plush had a physical disability, but did not specify what that disability was. She said it never stopped the teen from trying everything.
She said her son, Spencer, described his friend as the “most positive person he ever met.”
“I can tell you that Spencer spoke of Kyle often,” the distraught parent wrote. “I only met him a couple of times, but every time Spencer told me a Kyle story, he ended it with, ‘I LOVE Kyle!’”
A Seven Hills School spokesperson said in a statement that Plush started attending the school in the sixth grade.
“He was a young man of keen intelligence, good humor and great courage, and this whole community feels this loss very deeply,” the statement read.
A classmate, Preston Luniewski, told WLWT-TV that Plush was a “spectacular” person.
“He just lit up the classroom,” Luniewski said. “He would always be in class, paying attention, really productive in that environment.”
Counselors were called in to help students and staff cope with the loss.
The teen’s elementary school, Mercy Montessori, is hosting a community prayer gathering in his memory Thursday night.
“Some of our older children have siblings who are currently in high school and have been contacting me throughout the day looking for a place to gather,” Patty Normile, principal of the school, wrote on the school website. “We will use the strength of prayer, compassion and empathy to help our Mercy students, alumni family and friends.”
Normile wrote that besides his parents, Plush also has a sister in the seventh grade.
A nude man reportedly assaulted two Metro passengers in Washington, D.C., early Thursday, police said.
According to WRC-TV, nobody suffered serious injuries in the incident, which occurred about 6 a.m. at the Dupont Circle station.
Police reportedly have arrested the man, whom a Metro spokesperson described as "naked and disorderly."
A bystander recorded video of the man attacking a passenger, WTTG reported.
A "couple of riders say they jumped in, held the man down until police arrived!" tweeted WTTG reporter Annie Yu.
Update Apr 5, 2018 3:45 PM EDT: In addition to Delta Airlines, Sears Holdings announced that customer data from Sears and Kmart stores, including names, addresses and credit card numbers, may have been exposed during a security breach last fall.
Sears Holdings uses the same online chat service as Delta, 7.ai, and said in a statement posted on its website that it believes fewer than 100,000 customers were affected by the breach.
“As soon as 7.ai informed us in mid-March 2018, we immediately notified the credit card companies to prevent potential fraud, and launched a thorough investigation with federal law enforcement authorities, our banking partners, and IT security firms,” company officials said.
Sears Holdings said the credit card information of customers making purchases online between Sept. 27, 2017 and Oct. 12, 2017, may have been compromised, but that anyone using a Sears credit card was not affected.
The company said there’s no evidence its stores were compromised or that Sears’ internal data bases were compromised.
Sears Holdings is establishing a hotline for customers to find out more about the breach by Friday.
Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines is the latest victim of a cyber incident.
Delta announced Wednesday that a "small subset" of customers may have had their payment information compromised online.
"(I’m) a little uneasy. I think they'll take care of it, so it will be OK, but the first gut reaction is a little nerve-racking," traveler Nicole Ladin told WSB-TV's Carl Willis at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Delta's main hub.
According to Delta, 7.ai, an online chat service they use, was hacked from Sept. 26 to Oct. 12 of last year, and payment information may have been compromised.
Delta said the airline was notified about the breach last Wednesday.
"It's just ... I think they have to make it 100 percent, to make it work 100 percent," traveler Marquise Bishop said.
The airline also will start directly contacting customers who may have been impacted and ensure that customers are not responsible for any fraudulent payment card activity that may have happened.
Ladin told Willis that her mind will still be on her wallet as she flies home.
"Especially when you're a frequent flier. It gets a little nervous that that information has been leaked," Ladin said.
Here's is Delta's full statement about the cyber incident:
"Last week, on March 28, Delta was notified by 7.ai, a company that provides online chat services for Delta and many other companies, that 7.ai had been involved in a cyber incident. It is our understanding that the incident occurred at 7.ai from Sept. 26 to Oct. 12, 2017, and that during this time certain customer payment information for 7.ai clients, including Delta, may have been accessed – but no other customer personal information, such as passport, government ID, security or SkyMiles information was impacted.
"Upon being notified of 7.ai's incident, Delta immediately began working with 7.ai to understand any potential impact the incident had on Delta customers, delta.com, or any Delta computer system. We also engaged federal law enforcement and forensic teams, and have confirmed that the incident was resolved by 7.ai last October. At this point, even though only a small subset of our customers would have been exposed, we cannot say definitively whether any of our customers' information was actually accessed or subsequently compromised.
"We appreciate and understand that this information is concerning to our customers. The security and confidentiality of our customers' information is of critical importance to us and a responsibility we take extremely seriously. Delta will launch delta.com/response, a dedicated website, noon ET April 5, which we will update regularly to address customer questions and concerns. We will also directly contact customers who may have been impacted by the 7.ai cyber incident. In the event any of our customers' payment cards were used fraudulently as a result of the 7.ai cyber incident, we will ensure our customers are not responsible for that activity."
Delta Air Lines is coming under heat after accidentally flying a puppy to the wrong airport.
Josh Schlaich posted about the incident on Facebook over the weekend when he was trying to figure out where the 8-week-old puppy was. He was supposed to pick up the puppy at the airport in Boise, Idaho. But instead he got a message from a Delta rep at the Detroit airport saying the puppy would be sent to a boarding location because of a flight delay.
After misrouting and confusion, the puppy was eventually delivered safely and “seems happy and healthy,” Schlaich posted later in the weekend.
But the incident has drawn national attention, in the wake of an incident in which a puppy died in an overhead bin on United Airlines.
Delta issued a statement after the incident: “We know pets are important members of the family and apologize for the delayed shipment of a dog, which is now in the hands of its owner, after it was routed to the wrong destination. Delta teams worked quickly to reunite the dog and his owner, while remaining in constant contact with the customer throughout the process to update him on the status of his pet.”
The airline said it refunded the shipping costs and started a review of the incident.
United Airlines is under fire again after a family said the carrier accidentally sent their dog to Japan instead of Kansas City.
According to KCTV, Kara Swindle and her family, who are moving from Oregon to Kansas, took a United flight to Kansas City. Their dog, a 10-year-old German shepherd named Irgo, was supposed to be waiting in a United cargo facility when they arrived.
But that wasn't the case.
When the Swindles went to pick up Irgo, they were greeted by a Great Dane instead, KCTV reported Wednesday. They soon learned that the airline had mixed up the two dogs and mistakenly flew Irgo to Japan, the Great Dane's intended destination.
In a statement, United told KCTV: "An error occurred during connections in Denver for two pets sent to the wrong destinations. We have notified our customers that their pets have arrived safely and will arrange to return the pets to them as soon as possible. We apologize for this mistake and are following up with the vendor kennel where they were kept overnight to understand what happened."
Irgo will be returned to the Swindles "later this week," KCTV reported.
The news comes the same week another family's dog died on a United flight after a flight attendant reportedly said the pet had to travel in an overhead bin.
A passenger plane caught fire, then crashed while landing at Nepal’s Kathmandu airport Monday.
A commercial aircraft carrying 65 people crashed in Iran on Sunday, killing everyone on board, an airline spokesman told state media.
“State employees are and must be held to the highest standard both professionally and personally,” said Ronni Reich, a spokesperson for the New York State Council of the Arts, where Peirez works. “We were notified of this situation and have commenced an investigation. This employee has been removed from the office and placed on leave until further notice and until the inquiry is resolved.”
Mother Marissa Rundell captured the incident on camera, and the video quickly made its rounds on the internet. The footage shows an annoyed Peirez complaining about having to sit next to a “crying baby” on the plane even though it doesn’t appear the child was crying at the time. When a flight attendant informed her that she couldn’t change seats, she threatened to have the employee fired and was soon removed from the flight.
Delta responded in a statement, saying Peirez’s actions and behavior failed to meet the airline’s standards for passengers:
"We ask that customers embrace civility and respect one another when flying Delta," the statement said. "This customer’s behavior toward a fellow customer on a flight from New York to Syracuse was not in keeping with those standards. We appreciate our Endeavor Air flight attendant’s commitment to Delta’s core values and apologize to the other customers on board Flight 4017 who experienced the disturbance."
Passengers aboard what one woman called the "scariest flight of my life" are breathing sighs of relief after making a safe landing following a midair engine problem.
According to CNN, United Flight 1175 from San Francisco lost an engine cover over the Pacific Ocean less than an hour before it was set to land in Honolulu.
"There was a loud bang ... and then the plane really started shaking," passenger Allison Sudiacal told KHNL. "It was like rattling and the plane was kind of shaking like boom, boom, boom."
Passenger Maria Falaschi tweeted several photos along with the caption, "Scariest flight of my life."
The Boeing 777, which was carrying 363 passengers and 10 crew members, "declared an emergency due to a vibration in the right engine" before safely landing about 40 minutes later in Honolulu, the Federal Aviation Administration said, according to KHON. Emergency personnel were "standing by as a precaution," the Hawaii Department of Transportation said.
"Our pilots followed all necessary protocols to safely land the aircraft," United said in a statement, according to KHON. "The aircraft taxied to the gate and passengers deplaned normally.”
The FAA said it is investigating the incident.
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