Passengers on a Delta flight this week were terrified when their plane plunged mid-air, dropping nearly 30,000 feet.
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.
The plane landed safely there, the airline said.
“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.”
One of the flight attendants repeatedly told passengers over the intercom not to panic, he said.
But that didn’t work.
“Obviously it’s 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 didn’t really know what was going on. At 15,000 feet in the air, it’s a scary moment for sure,” Dewoskin said.
The aircraft was being evaluated by maintenance technicians Thursday, the airline said.