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Donald Trump praises crew and passengers in Southwest flight drama

Pilot Tammie Jo Schults, who successfully landed the stricken plane, was among those to meet the president.

President Donald Trump has praised the actions of the crew and passengers on a damaged Southwest Airlines flight, saying they showed “great character”.

A woman, Jennifer Riordan, died after being almost sucked out of the plane when a window was fractured by debris from an exploding engine.

However, the pilot, Tammie Jo Schults, successfully landed the plane without further loss of life.

The president said they responded with “tremendous bravery” and “everybody’s talking about it”.

Michael Riordan, centre, pictured last week as he was joined by family members at a memorial service for his wife Jennifer Riordan (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/AP)

Mr Trump welcomed the five-person crew and five passengers of Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 to the White House.

The New York-to-Dallas-bound flight was forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia last month after an engine exploded at 30,000 feet.

Ms Riordan died of her injuries despite being pulled back into the cabin by passengers.

Mr Trump hailed the pilot for doing an “incredible job” landing the aircraft and added “our hearts break” for the passenger who was killed.

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