What's wrong with this picture? Southwest plane selfie sparks concerns

A selfie posted to Twitter from a passenger on board the Southwest Airline plane involved in a fatal incident has attracted public scrutiny relating to the application of the oxygen masks.

A photo taken by Southwest Airline passenger Marty Martinez, from flight 1380 which suffered a major engine failure, has sparked scrutiny relating to how an oxygen mask is properly worn.

The flight from Dallas to New York was forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia after an explosion in the left engine sent shrapnel flying through a window, killing 43-year-old bank executive Jennifer Riordan.

Mr Martinez livestreamed the moments after the incident and posted a photo to Twitter, which has been widely circulated, of himself and others wearing the oxygen masks.

The masks become available to passengers when cabin pressure changed, which was most likely a result of the air rushing outside the plane when the window shattered.

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Source: Twitter

But former flight attendant and US TV show host, Bobby Laurie, reposted the photo to Twitter with a reminder to cover your nose and mouth with the oxygen mask during an emergency.

"PEOPLE: Listen to your flight attendants! ALMOST EVERYONE in this photo from @SouthwestAir today is wearing their mask WRONG. Put down the phone, stop with the selfies.. and LISTEN. **Cover your NOSE & MOUTH," he wrote.

A photo believed to be of a damaged window of the Southwest Airline flight.
Source: Twitter: @mtranchin

The post prompted a debate on social media over whether panic had taken over and the passengers had forgotten the flight attendant's instructions prior to taking off.

Masks are commonly used during plane emergencies when there is less oxygen in the cabin, due to the lower levels of oxygen in the air above 10,000 to 15,000 feet. 

Without oxygen, the human body is susceptible to hypoxia, a condition which can cause unconsciousness within minutes.

The symptoms of hypoxia include headaches, dizziness, tunnel vision and nausea.

The airline has not issued a statement on whether anyone suffered from hypoxia.

Seven people were treated for minor injuries following the emergency landing, while one woman died as she was nearly sucked out of the broken window.


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Published 20 April 2018 at 7:54am, updated 20 April 2018 at 8:37am
By Riley Morgan