Passenger sucked through plane window was wearing airline seatbelt

The passenger who was pulled through a Southwest Airlines window at 32,000ft was following safety procedure and wearing a seatbelt, ABC has reported.

Bank executive and mother-of-two Jennifer Riordan, 43, was killed on Tuesday when the window next to her was broken by flying debris from the plane's exploded engine.

The airline is investigating the cause of the explosion, which occurred on a New York to Dallas flight.

It is focusing on the possibility of wear and tear having created 'metal fatigue' - microscopic fractures that can splinter under stress - in the engine's fan blades.

Despite medical intervention from crew and fellow passengers, Riordan died of blunt trauma to her head, neck and torso.

Her death is the first fatality involving a US airliner in eight years.

The airline, Southwest, is now inspecting all similar engines in its fleet.