A Delta Airlines flight was forced to perform an emergency landing after plunging nearly 30,000 feet in a short span of time, leaving passengers in fear for their lives.
Chaos ensued on a Delta flight this Wednesday when one of the company’s planes quickly plunged from an altitude of 39,000 feet to 10,000 feet in just eight minutes. While the cabin crew attempted to manage the panic and get passengers to calm down, many on board the flight from Atlanta to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, reached out to their loved ones as they believed the aircraft would crash after the oxygen masks were deployed.
According to CBS News, flight 2353 ended up making an emergency landing in Tampa in the afternoon, with Delta claiming the plane diverted mid-route “out of an abundance of caution.” The aircraft landed without incident, with the airline explaining the rapid descent had been caused by a “cabin pressurization irregularity en route.”
However, the terrifying experience had passengers saying goodbye to their loved ones, while flight attendants tried to calm everyone down. According to Daily Mail, passenger Harris DeWoskin said he felt “a sort of a rapid descent” that came “out of nowhere,” prompting him to text both his girlfriend and his family to tell them “some scary stuff” was taking place aboard the Boeing 767-300. He explained that once the aircraft started dropping in altitude, the oxygen masks were released from the overhead compartment and that was when the real chaos began.
“One of the flight attendants, I believe, grabbed the intercom and was just repeating over the intercom stating: ‘Do not panic! Do not panic!’ But, obviously, it’s a hectic moment so, the passengers around me were kind of hyperventilating,” DeWoskin described the frightening situation.
“Life is fragile. There was a scary 60 to 90 seconds where we really didn’t know what was going on. You are 15,000 feet in the air — it’s a scary moment for sure,” DeWoskin added.
Several other passengers took to social media to document the scary event, with some describing the experience and how they dealt with it, while others praised the crew for helping control the crisis. Preliminary data shows that the plane reportedly changed trajectory while flying over the Gulf of Mexico, going from 39,000 feet at 4:34 p.m. to 9,975 feet at 4:42 p.m.
After the aircraft landed in Tampa, passengers were taken to Fort Lauderdale via bus. Delta confirmed that the plane was assessed by mechanics at Tampa International Airport to determine exactly what the cause of the emergency was.
U.S. airlines have been in the spotlight lately. As reported by The Inquisitr, an American Airlines employee who allegedly meddled with an aircraft’s system on purpose was found to have ties to ISIS.