One dead after woman partially sucked out broken plane window

One person is dead after a woman was partially sucked through a broken plane window after its engine exploded mid-flight.

The accident happened on a Southwest Airlines Boeing travelling from New York to Dallas on Tuesday morning (local time).

Eyewitnesses say the motor self-destructed shortly after take-off. Shrapnel from the blast destroyed a window, depressurising the cabin.

The woman was sucked through the hole, however passengers launched a dramatic rescue and pulled her back in. The woman was taken to hospital with critical head injuries. It's not clear if she was the victim or another passenger who might have had a heart attack.

"One passenger, a woman, was partially… drawn out towards the out of the plane… was pulled back in by other passengers," the father of one passenger told NBC 10.

Another passenger, Marty Martinez, recorded the incident on Facebook Live - captioning the video "Something is wrong with our plane! It appears we are going down! Emergency landing!!".

The footage shows passengers trying to put on their oxygen masks.

"Flight attendants ran over calling for passengers to help cover the hole as they broke down and began uncontrollably crying and looking horrified as they looked outside," he wrote in a comment on his Facebook Live post.

"Plane dropped dramatically and it smelled like fire with ash coming down on everyone thru the vents. Absolutely terrifying, but we are okay."

Southwest Airlines says it was working to gather more information.

"Safety is always our top priority at Southwest Airlines, and we are working diligently to support our customers and crews at this time," the statement said.