The flight experienced a “cabin pressurization irregularity” during the journey, the airline said in a statement. It was going from Atlanta to Fort Lauderdale but was diverted to Tampa out of caution.
Video: Panic in the sky: Delta flight from Atlanta plunges nearly 30000 feetc
“Air masks, the oxygen masks dropped from the top of the plane,” passenger Harris Dewoskin told CNN affiliate WSB. “Chaos sort of ensued amongst the passengers.”
“Obviously its a hectic moment so the passengers around me, a lot of people were kind of hyperventilating, breathing really hard,” Dewoskin said.
One passenger was so scared he began hugging his son and telling his family he loves them, the affiliate reported.
“There was a scary 60 to 90 seconds where we didnt really know what was going on. At 15,000 feet in the air, its a scary moment for sure,” Dewoskin said.
Air pressure issue causes Delta to divert flight to Florida
FORT LAUDERDALE-HOLLYWOOD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, FLA. (WSVN) – A passenger on board a Delta Airlines flight that suffered a cabin pressure issue during a flight to Fort Lauderdale is recalling the moment the aircraft was diverted to Tampa.
Leslie, who asked her face not be shown on camera, was on board Delta Airlines Flight 2353, Wednesday night.
Video: Delta flight drops nearly 30000 feet in minutes due to air pressure problem
The flight took off from Atlanta and was scheduled to land at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The flight was then diverted to Tampa International Airport after, airline officials said, the Boeing 767-300 suffered a cabin pressure irregularity during flight.
Delta Flight Plunges 30000 Ft in 7 Minutes During Emergency Landing
Various social media posts showed the oxygen masks, which were deployed automatically, inside of the aircraft. Leslie said she felt like the flight was descending.
“We were going very fast,” she said. “I could feel like we were descending really fast.”
Delta flight plunges 30,000 feet in mins, flyers panic
Leslie said she was also terrified because her own oxygen mask and the one from the passenger next to her would not deploy.
Cellphone video from inside the aircraft showed the dangling mask meant for the passenger seated in front of Leslie.
Delta flight descends nearly 30000 feet in minutes following cabin pressurization irregularity
“He was trying to pry open the overhead compartment to try and trigger the mask to come down, but that wasn’t working,” she said.
Eventually, Leslie said, other passengers — not the flight attendants — grabbed them extra masks to wear.
Initially, it was sort of a panic. There wasnt really any forewarning, Harris DeWoskin, another passenger on the diverted flight, said. The oxygen masks dropped down, and then 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, its a hectic moment.”
Once the plane landed safely in Tampa, airline officials said the customers deplaned normally, and the aircraft was grounded and evaluated by maintenance technicians.
Some of the passengers waited for a bus to transport them to Fort Lauderdale while others rebooked flights.
Delta flight diverted to Tampa after cabin pressure irregularity
For Leslie, who made it to South Florida safely in the middle of the night, she said she is thankful for the passengers who helped her in a tense moment.
“We kinda had to problem solve,” she said. “I’m really thankful for the gentleman that was next to me and the people that were behind me, the woman that was across the aisle. They were great.”
7News reached out to Delta Airlines and asked why Leslie’s oxygen mask did not deploy and why she did not receive help from the flight attendants. Airline officials said they were unaware of the situation, and they will look into it.