Woman Who Died After Southwest Airline Explosion Identified as Mom of 2 and Bank Executive

The passenger who died after an engine explosion during a Southwest Airlines flight en route to Dallas from New York City has been identified as Jennifer Riordan

The passenger who died after an engine explosion about 20 minutes into a Southwest Airlines flight en route to Dallas from New York City has been identified.

Jennifer Riordan was a bank executive and mother of two, according to the Associated Press. She died after her plane’s engine exploded and shrapnel broke a window, the wire reported.

It is understood that Riordan was critically injured as she was sucked out the window. While other passengers were able to pull her back into the aircraft, witnesses reported that she was in cardiac arrest as passengers attempted to revive her for about 20 minutes until the plane made an emergency landing.

An assistant principal at her children’s school, Albuquerque Catholic School, was the first to share the news of her death in an email to parents, the outlet reported.

Her family released a statement provided to PEOPLE writing, “Jennifer Riordan has passed away as a result of previously reported events on Southwest Airlines flight #1380.”


“Jennifer’s vibrancy, passion and love infused our community and reached across our country. Her impact on everything and everyone she touched can never be fully measured,” the statement continued. “But foremost, she is the bedrock of our family. She and Mike wrote a love story unlike any other. Her beauty and love is evident through her children.”

Courtesy Riordan Family

“We are so appreciative of the outpouring of support from family, friends and our community. We do ask that those who seek to express their condolences and prayers, as well as media outlets, respect our privacy at this time. Our family and friends need this time to both grieve and celebrate Jennifer’s impact on us all. In her memory — please remember to always be kind, loving, caring, and sharing.”

Courtesy Riordan Family
Courtesy Riordan Family

According to her LinkedIn account, Riordan was the Vice President of Community Relations for Wells Fargo for almost 10 years.

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller shared his condolences in a statement on Twitter, writing, “Today, Albuquerque lost a thoughtful leader who has long been part of the fabric of our community. We are asking that everyone respect the privacy of the family at this time. This is a tremendous and tragic loss for Jennifer’s family and many others throughout our city. Her leadership and philanthropic efforts made this a better place every day and she will be terribly missed. We are holding Jennifer and her family in our thoughts and prayers.”

Richard Berry, former mayor of Albuquerque, tweeted his condolences, writing, “No words can express the depth of our sadness at the passing of Jennifer Riordan. Maria and I send our deepest condolences to the Riordan family. Today our community lost a great leader and a beautiful person.”

In a video message on Tuesday, Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly shares his condolences with the family and friends of Riordan.

“On behalf of the Southwest family, I want to extend my deepest sympathies for the family and the loved ones of our deceased customer,” Kelly said. “They are our immediate and primary concern and we Weill do all that we can to support them during this difficult time.”

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