The mum of two was partially sucked out of the plane

A US airline says its thoughts are with the relatives of a woman who died after getting partially sucked out of one of its planes.

It's understood mum-of-two Jennifer Riordan was forced out of the plane when one of the jet's engines exploded and broke the window next to her.

She was a vice president of community relations for Wells Fargo bank and had been on a business trip.

Image: Facebook/Jennifer Riordan

Passenger Alfred Tumlinson said a man in a cowboy hat had rushed forward a few rows "to grab that lady to pull her back in".

He added that the passenger "couldn't do it by himself, so another gentleman came over and helped to get her back in the plane, and they got her".

Another passenger had said that, from her waist up, Mrs Riordan was out of the plane.

The flight from New York to Dallas made an emergency landing in Philadelphia.

Gary Kelly is the chief executive of Southwest Airlines.

"I want to extend my deepest sympathies for the family annd the loved ones of the deceased customer.

"They are our immediate and primary concern, and we will do all we can to support them".

Mrs Riordan had been seriously injured and died later. Seven other people suffered minor injuries.

She is the first passenger to die in an accident involving a US airline since 2009.