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tv   Nightline  ABC  April 26, 2018 12:37am-1:07am PDT

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this is "nightline." >> tonight, fateful flight. >> i love you, travel safe. so i'll always have that. >> the man whose life was killed after being sucked out of a southwest plane window opening up about his family's heartbreak. >> i said, mommy's not going to come home, guys. >> inside those harrowing midair moments from her seatmate. >> i wish that i had been strong enough to pull her in. >> why she says it could have been her. plus, infinity wars. the new "avengers" adventure so packed with stars, they can't fit into one universe. earth's mightiest heros on their super powered saga. >> if i could tell you about any
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of our arts, you'd barely believe it. and he does it. kanye west signaling a stronger bromance with president trump than fans expected. tweeting about their dragon energy. calling him a brother. so does the president feel the same way? but first the "nightline 5." with roomba from i-robot, clean floors can be part of your family's everyday routine. roomba's two unique multi-surface brushes grab and remove everything from fine dust to large debris and pet hair. roomba uses a patented dirt detect system that detects dirt in high-traffic areas of your home. come home to clean floors every day. you and roomba from i-robot. better together. >> number one in just 60 seconds.
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good evening. thanks for joining us. tonight the terrifying description of a woman being sucked out of an airplane window. from the first passenger who tried to pull her back in. the story is heart-pounding. the ending tragic. as we hear now from the victim's loving husband. here's abc's martha raddatz. >> what's peace to feel me is that morning at 8:00 in the morning, i'd just gotten the kids off to school, she gave me a call. we went through what the evening was when she was going to get home that night. then it was "i love you, travel safe." and -- and -- and love was in our heart. and my final words to her, "i love you, travel safe." >> reporter: in that moment, what michael reardon couldn't pope possibly know is that would be the last conversation he would have with his wife jennifer. >> i just fell in love at first sight. jennifer 15, i was 15. >> you really did grow up
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together. >> we were just babies. >> reporter: their nearly 30-year love story came to a devastating end last week. when jennifer was killed during a midair disaster on a southwest airlines flight. jennifer was an albuquerque banking executive, seen here in this video for wells fargo. >> we all should strive to reach that type of behavior always. the legacy that i want to leave in our community are four things. i want to be remembered for being kind, loving, caring, and sharing. ethical behavior is absolutely critical for new mexico. >> reporter: she was on her way home from new york to her husband and their kids, 12-year-old daughter avery, and 10-year-old son josh. jennifer was one of 144 passengers and five crew members on board southwest flight 1380. >> long flights, i always sit in the window. >> reporter: holly mackay boarded the plane early. >> i had initially taken the window seat. then i'd had a really large cup of coffee and thought, i'm going
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to be inconveniencing everybody because i'm going to need to get out multiple types. >> reporter: southwest doesn't assign seats, so passengers can choose. mackay moved to the aisle. 14c. a 12-year-old girl sat in the middle. and in that window seat, 14a -- >> that's the seat where jennifer riordan ended up sitting? >> yeah. she had a very warm smile. i wish i had talked with her more. >> reporter: flight 1380 left new york's laguardia at 10:43 a.m. at 11:04, the plane hit cruising altitude, 32,000 feet. four minutes later, the left engine exploded. >> the number one engine failure. >> reporter: radar shows the track as the plane is diverted to philadelphia. >> we've got injured passengers. >> injured passengers, okay. >> they said there's a hole and someone went out. >> i'm sorry, you said there was a hole and somebody went out? >> yeah. >> everybody breathe, relax! >> reporter: the window where
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reardon was sitting shattered. the air pressure sucked the 43-year-old mother of two partway out the window. >> from about her ribcage was out the window. her seat belt was fastened, thankfully, very tight and low. and it was holding her. >> reporter: mackay says she and the 12-year-old girl tried to pull jennifer back in. even as they could feel the air suction pulling them toward the busted window. but they weren't strong enough. >> i did think that we were probably next. to get pulled out of the plane. so i wrapped around the girl and i pulled her over to me so she was farther from the window. and i put my hand on jennifer's back. so then if she was conscious or could feel anything, she would at least know that we were there. which i thought -- if i ever -- if i ever have a conversation
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with her family, i would want to be able to tell them that she wasn't alone. >> somebody screamed. we realized what had happened when the window went out. >> reporter: as the plane descended, two other passengers, tim mcginty and firefighter andrew needham, managed to pull jennifer inside and start cpr. >> i'm no different than any other firefighter in this country. for some reason, whatever reason that is, it was me that day. >> reporter: the plane landed just before 11:30 in philadelphia. reardon was pronounced dead at the hospital. >> god put us all on that plane for a reason. don't know why. >> reporter: back in albuquerque, michael reardon was at lunch with a friend when his phone rang. >> the chaplain at the hospital called and said, are you married to jennifer riordan? and i said yes. i need to have the doctor talk to you. before the doctor could call, i was able to click on a news site and saw one passenger was brought to the hospital. like, okay. if the whole plane didn't crash, she can't be injured that bad,
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she's just in the hospital, i can get out there and hold her hand and love on her. it can't be bad, it just can't be bad. two minutes later i got a call from the doctor saying, we're sorry, we tried everything we could, but she couldn't make it. how you tell your kid kids, you mom's gone. >> tell me how you dealt with that, no parent is ever prepared for that. >> i held their hands, we took a knee. i said, mommy's not going to come home, guys. but we're going to live out the rest of our life with mommy in our hearts. and in the way that she wanted us to be. >> reporter: investigators now saying a broken fan blade caused the engine to rip apart in midair. >> so think about a piece of metal or a piece of plastic where if you bend it back and forth enough, it eventually cracks. that's what's happening to these blades. they're being used so much that, for some reason, which engineers are going to have to find out,
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they're cracking in ways that they should never crack. >> reporter: within days, the faa ordered emergency inspections of fan blades on similar engines. >> this is a real science to be able to look at as metal gets older, as machines get older, to be able to predict where fatigue will next cause a problem. >> reporter: to get inspections done, southwest airlines has been canceling dozens of flights every day this week, the airline saying, we will continue our work to minimize flight disruptions by performing necks overnight while aircraft are not flying and utilizing spare aircraft when available. southwest airlines said it began proactively performing ultrasonic inspection of all fan blades last november and voluntarily started inspecting their entire 737 fleet before the faa's order. the ntsb investigation into flight 1380 will take months. >> everybody breathe, relax! >> reporter: for now, michael
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reardon says he's just thankful to the people who were there with his wife in her final moments. >> i received the names of the people that were sitting nearest to her. knowing they were showing the kindness and care that they were. it's going to be a difficult conversation and i'm not ready have to have it, but i just want them to know that. >> reporter: on sunday, thousands gathered with the family, not to mourn, but to celebrate jennifer's life. >> why's everybody so quiet? this is a celebration. >> the only time in the last week that i've had that -- that i felt that peace. it was just uplifting. and i just really embodied her so much. at the end of the night it was so perfect for jennifer. like she was looking over us with a check box saying, yes, that's what i wanted to check. >> reporter: michael says it's the couple's children, avery and josh, who keep him going every day. and you had the kids up there, that was important to you. >> absolutely. they were hesitant but it meant the world to me. i told them they are my rocks now. when i look at those two sets of eyes, that's what gets me through the next minute, the
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next hour, and the days ahead. >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm martha raddatz. >> our hearts go out to michael and his family. you should know that some 60 airlines worldwide are now racing to check older engines for signs of metal fatigue over the next few weeks. up next, the star-studded cast of "avengers: infinity war" takes us inside their biggest battle yet.
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turns out defeating an
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intergalactic tyrant doesn't just take super power, it takes star power. the cast of "avengers: infinity war" is loaded with hollywood heavyweights and tonight they tell abc's chris connelly about the simple joys of saving the world. ♪ ♪ >> the story's like a freight train. that's what kind of blew me away. >> i saw it and i'm covered in goose bumps right now, i'm not even joking. >> reporter: brimming with battles and story-telling ambition, with marvel superheroes of every make and model slugging it out. >> as much as i complain about it, about getting the crap kicked out of me, i also love it. i love the grit and the grunt of it. i like a dirty fight. i like it, i like to watch it, i like to participate in it. >> we don't want to kill you,
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but we will. >> reporter: marvel's "avengers: infinity war" spans a multi verse with 19 names on the poster, more than 30 marvel men and women in the mix, the 19th film in that cinematic universe. >> we're going to show our conduct to the rest of the world, not what i imagined. >> reporter: from black panther to a new york city school bus. from the expanse of outer space to inside robert downey jr.'s iron man outfit. >> you're rocking a new suit as well? >> you're damn straight, come on. what good am i if i don't? >> reporter: "infinity war" marks the culmination of a movie-making plan hatched 10 years ago on the shoulders of a lesser-known tony stark. >> go team, yeah! >> reporter: downey helped inaugurate the marvel cinematic universe of interlaced films and characters. 2008's "iron man."
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>> oh, yeah, whoo! >> reporter: getting cast as a superhero was a game changer as the rest of this avengers core four shared with us. how much did his involvement affect your willingness, desire, to be in these movies? >> 100%. >> 100%. >> yeah. >> he created a space in a world where actors like us generally weren't invited. >> when he was cast as iron man, when robert downey jr., the indie genius, was cast as the lead, there was now a space for us in the studio system. and he opened that up for us. >> it's been a -- i think a gift that i never could have anticipated when i first signed on to do "iron man 2" with robert 10 years ago. it's i think an experience that -- >> i still remember the camera test. i remember everything. >> i remember everything too, robert. >> reporter: the opening weekend of "infinity war" figured to be remembered as one of the biggest in movie history.
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further vindication of marvel's long-standing approach to put its passionate fans first. >> like okay, what's true to the comics, what do the fans love, didn't love, how can we evolve, how can we make this better, how can we make it unexpected? to have that following of fans stick with us through all of this is unlike any experience any of us will ever have again. >> reporter: without serving up spoilers on plots or fates of the mighty, safe to say the avengers mix with the guardians of the galaxy. chris pratt's star lord tending to hemsworth's battered thor. >> this is a man. a handsome, muscular man. muscular. >> reporter: and it's josh brolin's epically evil thanos looking to lay waste to much of human existence. >> does put a smile on my face. >> the key word is thanos, for all of us, just as actors, we look at it as a catch drain for
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the nightmare that you hope would never happen. >> what you end up feeling is just a scope of this thing is so far-reaching. >> you going to bow? >> yeah, he's a king. >> it's satisfying to bring these different characters together, then sort of have them resolve these strange little conflicts all throughout. >> what are you doing? >> i -- we -- we don't do that here. >> reporter: for mark ruffalo, that can mean issues within his identities. brainy bruce banner and -- that guy, the timeless symbol of volcanic rage. >> one thing in the universe that hulk is afraid of is banner. and so that's a drama that is playing out. >> can't you guys just get along? >> that's a great line. someone should put that in the movie. >> reporter: "black panther's"
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success struck a blow for inclusion across the butt-kicking board. johanson credits marvel's visionary kevin feige. >> he's been at the forefront of wanting to put women in the driver's seat where they belong and it's happening, it's very exciting. >> reporter: yet amid all the enthusiasm for the new additions to the marvel mix, it remains enguard for the o.g. and his role. i've heard you referred to as head of the acting department. >> yes. >> i never heard that before. that's interesting. >> aptly put. >> tell me what you like. oh, i think i'm good today. no, no, no. show me. >> i'm retiring that self-diagnosed moniker. >> reporter: their good humor a further sign that amid change in their lives, these actors have found their reteaming to be a source of strength. >> almost like you go to a party, you don't know somebody, then you find a familiar face in a crowd and you stick to that person.
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i've become a mother since i've been working for marvel. and it's been really grounding to be able to go back to work when maybe all kinds of crazy stuff was going on and i kind of felt like this job was sort of that familiar face in the crowd. >> this time around i definitely had a sort of nostalgic feeling. many times we look around and go, oh, wow. who knows when are we going to do this again, whether we do this again. it's a great sense of appreciation and love for all these guys and this whole journey. >> i won't even tell you about anyone's art. if i could break the tape and tell you about any one of our arcs, you literally would barely believe it. >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm chris connelly in los angeles. up next, controversy swirling after kanye west tweets support for president trump. so what does his wife kim kardashian have to say about it?
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and finally tonight, it ain't easy being yeezy. ♪ ♪ kanye west proving his power. sending fans into a frenzy by tweeting love for his dragon energy brother, president trump. showing off his make america great again hat. ♪ ♪ the president making their bromance stronger posting, thank you, kanye, very cool. but all the lights shining on kanye attracting some detractors. ♪ ♪ some saying this is not the same rapper who took president bush to task in a benefit for hurricane katrina. >> george bush doesn't care about black people. >> kim kardashian west rushing to her husband's defense writing, he's a free thinker, is that not allowed in america? and kanye clarifying, i don't agree with everything trump
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does, i don't agree 100% with anyone but myself. talk about politics making strange bedfellows. thanks for watching "nightline." and as always we're online at our "nightline" facebook page. good night, everybody. fearcrazy enough to believe it can change the world. fearless is resilient enough to suffer the slings and arrows - and come out stronger. fearless reads the rules, understands the limitations, listens to the naysayers - and then goes ahead and does it anyway. you know what we make.
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