The airline issued a statement, but didn't say whether anyone had been injured or what caused the window to break in the first place. Neither Southwest nor the FAA, which said it would investigate the incident, identified what caused cracks to form in multiple layers of the window. The pilots did not make an emergency landing, but they did, however, divert the plane to the nearest airport once that window broke. Flight 957 was diverted about two hours after takeoff and landed "uneventfully with no reported injuries", the airline told Newsweek.
A video also showed the 76 travellers being escorted off the plane, with a crew member heard saying: 'We're going to walk you right on to the plane next door and we're going to get you taken care of'.
A large crack can be seen in a picture of the window posted to social media and attached to this story.
This incident comes nearly two weeks to the day after a Southwest plane made an emergency landing when debris from an engine explosion shattered a window.
A Southwest spokesperson told WKYC in Cleveland the plane has been removed from service for maintenance review.
Anthony Roman, a commercial pilot and flight instructor based in NY, says problems with windows should be detected during regular inspections and maintenance. The plane was built in 1998, and King said it has flown about 40,000 "cycles" or flights, "but the damaged window had been previously replaced and continues to receive regular checks as part of our maintenance program".
The Associated Press reports that the timing of Wednesday's incident could hardly be worse for the carrier. The airline estimates the drop in sales will cost it between $50 million (€42 million) and $100 million. That wasn't the case back in the middle of last month, when a woman died after she was partially sucked through a broken window at 30,000 feet. Seventy-six people were on board the flight.