1. One person killed and a woman partially “drawn out” of plane after an exploding engine shattered a passenger seat window in mid-air.
A plane flying from New York to Dallas was forced to to make an emergency landing after an engine blew up and a woman was reportedly almost sucked from the plane.
According to CNN, National Transportation Safety Board chairman Robert Sumwalt has confirmed one passenger has died following the incident, which investigators are classifying as “engine failure”.
It’s not yet been announced if the person who died is the same woman who was almost sucked from the aircraft.
The engine on a Southwest Airlines plane exploded mid-air at 32,000ft around 11.30am on Tuesday, The Sun reports.
Accounts from passengers say shrapnel from the burst engine shattered a passenger’s window and a woman was ripped from her seat and almost sucked out of the plane.
The pilot was forced to land near Philadelphia, where 143 passengers and five crew members were disembarked.
According to The Sun, one person was taken to a nearby hospital and nine others were injured in the incident.
— Joe Marcus (@joeasaprap) April 17, 2018
Terrifying images posted to social media show passengers holding oxygen masks to their face during the plane’s rapid descent, as well as the exploded engine and blown-out passenger window.
“Something is wrong with our plane! It appears we are going down! Emergency landing!! Southwest flight from NYC to Dallas!!” Marty Martinez posted to Facebook alongside a Live Video.
“Engine exploded in the air and blew open window three seats away from me,” Martinez added upon reaching the ground.
“Explosion fatally (critically, not sure her status) injured woman sitting in the seat next to the window.”
According to NBC10, which spoke to a relative of a passenger, the woman was partially “drawn out” of the plane before being “pulled back in by other passengers” and is now being treated in hospital.
The pilot’s call to ground control was also released by NBC10, in which the pilot is recorded saying:
“We have a part of the aircraft missing. It’s not on fire but part of it’s missing. They said there is a hole and someone went out.”
The Boeing 737-700 descended by more than 3,000 feet per minute, NBC10 reports.
In a brief statement to the network, Southwest Airlines said: “Safety is always our top priority at Southwest Airlines, and we are working diligently to support our customers and crews at this time.”
2. “Like a bomb:” There was the smell of gasoline and cries for help before a suspicious explosion killed three in a Brisbane home.
Neighbours have reported smelling fuel and hearing a woman's cries for help as an explosion and fire tore through a Brisbane home, killing three people.
The Everton Hills house was engulfed in flames about 5.30am Tuesday, sparking a dramatic rescue attempt by two men, AAP reports.
But the ferocity of the blaze - which sent flames four storeys into the air - beat them back and firefighters took almost an hour to bring it under control.
When they searched the two-storey brick property in Pavonia Street, they found the bodies of two women and a man.
Police are yet to identify the dead and say the damage to the house has slowed down their investigation.
It is unclear if the explosion sparked the fire, or if it was the other way round.
"There's been one or two signs that have indicated and aroused our suspicions," Detective Acting Inspector Joe Zitny said.
Vehicles had been heard speeding away from the property around the time of the incident, he added.
WATCH: Police investigating what appears to be a triple murder in Everton Hills, from Seven News.
"There were explosions reported by neighbours, the smell of fuel, things like that," Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Superintendent Bevan Moore told The Courier-Mail.
Neighbour Luke Demner and another man desperately tried to get into the burning house to save the occupants.
"There were flames meeting me at the door," Mr Demner said.
"We tried kicking in the front door, but no luck, so we went around the back. The glass door was already open, but we called out and didn't hear anything back."
Another neighbour Lindsay Ostrofski said he heard an explosion that was "like a bomb".
Rowena Ostrofski said she heard a woman crying "help, help".
Nicola Bigarelli lives five doors away and was up before dawn, feeding her baby, when a succession of loud bangs rang out.
"At about 4.45am I heard a bang, and then I heard more bangs every 10 to 15 minutes after and they were slowly getting louder. It sounded like construction, like wood snapping or metal being hit," she told AAP.
3. Car crash leads police to an Australian paedophile who's been on the run for 22 years, and adopted three kids in the process.
An Australian paedophile on the run from police made a new life in Brazil, fathering three foster children until his fake identity unravelled after a serious car crash.
As Christopher John Gott, 63, lies in a coma in a Rio hospital with severe head injuries, his foster children are dealing with shock at learning his secret past, AAP reports.
"Who's not upset about this kind of accusation?" his foster son, Daniel, told Brazil's Rede Globo TV program, Fantastico this week.
"That's why it's a very difficult thing for us - it's complicated."
Gott, a former school teacher, left the Northern Territory in 1996 after being convicted of child sex crimes in Darwin.
After being released from jail he left the NT as part of his parole conditions and was due to arrive in Victoria by bus, but fled during a stop in Adelaide.
He is also sought for questioning by Victoria Police over an indecent assault at a Fitzroy Primary school in Melbourne in 1983.
While his passport named him Daniel Marcos Philips, from Melbourne, Gott's true identity became known in January when he was seriously injured in the Rio crash, police officer Claudio Otero Ascoli told Fantastico.
Gott was one of 18 people hit by a car on the Copacabana sidewalk, in a crash that killed an eight-month-baby. Fingerprints led Australian authorities to properly identify him.
Foster son Daniel told the program he lived with Gott for six years and considered him a father who helped raise him and two other young men and paid for his education. None were formally adopted.
"He was a fundamental person in my development, he helped me a lot, until I turned 21. I learned perfect English with him, Daniel (Gott), who was always a nice person," he said.
Gott served two years in jail after pleading guilty in Darwin to 17 abuse charges involving five boys. He was described by the sentencing judge as a "mature, well educated man.. in a fantasy world and in love with a 14-year-old".
He was released on parole conditions banning him having unsupervised contact with boys under 16.
4. Australia's first all-girl robotics team from Blacktown Girls High School is about to take on the world.
Australia's first all-girl robotics team is about to take on the world after scoring a spot to compete on the global stage.
The schoolgirls leave for Houston in the United States on Tuesday to compete at an international science and technology championship.
Hailing from Blacktown Girls High School in Sydney's west the team previously blitzed their regional championships, in a field where typically only 15 per cent of participants are female.
"It's very male-dominated and even teams that have females in their teams, the ratios aren't always even," team co-captain Dipshika Lal, 15, told AAP.
The upcoming Houston competition will bring together 60,000 students from more than 62 countries, tasked with tackling technological challenges, including designing and building a robot.
It's a task the Blacktown girls have previously excelled at, having designed their own robot, affectionately known as 'Gus', capable of picking up objects and climbing.
But they promise they've still got a few tricks up their sleeve for Houston.
The team members have dedicated their lives to the project, giving up school holidays, afternoons and weekends.
"It's a lot of commitment, but it definitely pays off in the experiences and the things we learn," co-captain Ridham Walia, 15.
In 2017 Australian girls had one of the lowest rates of participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics - STEM - subjects in the Western world.
Dipshika and Ridham are well aware of these numbers but say they only push them harder to succeed.
"People have said not only are you representing Australia but you're also representing women in STEM, so going to Houston is a really big deal for us," Dipshika said.
5. Umm, what? Russia hacked more than 400 Australian companies in 2017.
Australia has admonished Russian hackers believed responsible for cyber attacks on hundreds of companies, AAP reports.
Defence Minister Marise Payne said about 400 Australian companies were targeted in the 2017 attacks, but there was no "exploitation of significance".
"The points which this reinforces for us as a government, and should reinforce for all Australians, is that vigilance is absolutely imperative in terms of cyber security," Senator Payne told reporters in Adelaide on Tuesday.
Cyber Security Minister Angus Taylor said despite the significant number of organisations affected, there was no indication Australian information had been compromised.
"Commercially available routers were used as a point of entry, demonstrating that every connected device is vulnerable to malicious activity," Mr Taylor said.
"This attempt by Russia is a sharp reminder that Australian businesses and individuals are constantly targeted by malicious state and non-state actors, and we must maintain rigorous cyber security practices."
Mr Taylor, who is in the United States meeting government officials to discuss cyber security, said it was crucial Canberra worked with Washington to build defences against attacks.
Neither minister went as far as US and UK authorities who said the attack was the work of "Russian state-sponsored cyber actors".
The Kremlin has previously denied any involvement in directing cyber attacks.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said Australia needed to redouble efforts to make sure government institutions and big and small businesses were protected from the scourge of hacking.
"We cannot take our cyber security for granted," he told reporters in Cairns.
6. Happy news: Five little penguins released back into the ocean after spending two months in a Sydney wildlife hospital.
After spending two months at Taronga Zoo wildlife hospital, five little penguins are back in the ocean after being released from a Sydney beach.
Footsie, Margaret, Collin, Bondi and Nigel said goodbye to their Taronga handlers and swam away at Manly's Shelly Beach on Tuesday morning after being treated for conditions including dehydration, a fishing hook injury and a broken foot.
Wildlife hospital manager Libby Hall says the penguins had been in intensive care and underwent various procedures such as radiographs, ultrasounds and surgery before swimming in rehabilitation pools prior to their release.
It's not known where the penguins will head but they could travel hundreds of kilometres up and down the coast in search of food.
"Penguins we've released here have been recorded down in Victoria," Ms Hall told AAP on Tuesday.
"It really depends where the schooling fish are."
The flightless birds were delivered to the zoo from as far as Newcastle, Maroubra and Bondi, and are part of 1000 native animals cared for by Taronga veterinarians each year.
Little penguins, also known as fairy penguins, are the smallest of the 17 penguin species and are "doing quite well" in the wild, Ms Hall added.
Taronga Wildlife Hospital is concerned, however, about an endangered colony at Manly which is the last remaining group on mainland NSW.