Panic in the sky: Delta flight from Atlanta plunges nearly 30,000 feet

ATLANTA — A Delta Air Lines pilot had to make a rapid, controlled descent of nearly 30,000 feet after getting an alarm on an Atlanta flight.

Delta told Channel 2 Action News that while flying to Fort Lauderdale Wednesday night, pilots learned of a depressurization issue. The pilots deployed oxygen masks for the passengers and made the "controlled descent."

Flight 2353 diverted to Tampa where it landed safely.

Passengers described panic as they grabbed for oxygen masks.

"Air masks, the oxygen masks dropped from the top of the plane. Chaos sort of ensued amongst the passengers," passenger Harris Dewoskin said.

Dewoskin snapped pictures during what he described as a panic on board.


"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," Dewoskin said.

Another passenger said he was so scared by what was happening, he told his family he loved them and hugged his son.

"Life is fragile like. There was a scary 60 to 90 seconds where we really didn't know what was going on. At 15,000 feet in the air, it's a scary moment for sure," Dewoskin said.

Delta said the aircraft is being evaluated by maintenance technicians.

Buses were used to take customers to Fort Lauderdale from Tampa last night.

Delta Air Lines said it apologized to everyone on that plane and said the plane diverted to Tampa "out of an abundance of caution."

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