Passengers on a Delta Air Lines flight were terrified as an unknown issue caused the plane to drop almost 30,000 feet and oxygen masks to deploy.
According to The Associated Press, Delta Flight 2353 departed from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Wednesday, but the pilots called for an emergency landing at Tampa International Airport.
During the flight, the plane descended from 39,000 feet to 10,000 in less than seven minutes, resulting in oxygen masks dropping from the ceiling and passengers panicking. One of the people onboard shared images from inside the cabin via Twitter:
@Delta Flight 2353 God Bless the Captain and crew. Had an emergency midair from Atlanta to Fort Lauderdale. Oxygen masks deployed and we descended quickly and we’re diverted to Tampa. I texted my wife and dad I loved them. Told my mom I love her and hugged my son. @wsvn @cbs12 pic.twitter.com/C9QcU9DbYV
— J.T. (@BrutusOsceola) September 18, 2019
“Air masks, the oxygen masks dropped from the top of the plane. Chaos sort of ensued amongst the passengers,” passenger Harris Dewoskin told WSBTV.com. “One of the flight attendants, I believe, grabbed the intercom and was just repeatedly over the intercom stating, ‘Do not panic. Do not panic,’ but obviously it’s a hectic moment so the passengers around me a lot of people were kind of hyperventilating, breathing really hard.”
Other passengers on the flight reportedly called loved ones and hugged family members during the incident. As a result of the elevation drop, Delta officials apologized to passengers and said the plane diverted “out of an abundance of caution.”
When the plane landed safely in Tampa, passengers were booked onto other flights while mechanics worked to figure out what went wrong.