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.
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Hong Kong Testing All Arriving Airline Passengers for Coronavirus
Hong Kong announced Tuesday that travelers arriving at the region’s main airport would be screened for coronavirus, making it the first airport in the world to require testing for all incoming passengers.
According to Fortune.com, government officials revealed that every airline passenger who arrives at Hong Kong International Airport will now be tested for coronavirus whether or not they are exhibiting symptoms.
Once the passengers arrive at the Hong Kong airport, they will deplane and board shuttle buses operated by the region’s health department to a temporary “specimen collection center” where they will test saliva from every traveler.
Passengers who complete the testing will then be shown their accommodations at the AsiaWorld-Expo convention center, where they will be forced to stay for 14 days as part of the government-mandated quarantine.
The government said it would enforce the quarantine via tracking wristbands.
“If a sample tests positive, the CHP will notify the person concerned as early as possible and arrange for admission to a public hospital for treatment,” a statement from Hong Kong read. “In general, if no notification is received within three working days after returning a sample, it means the test result is negative and the person concerned is required to continue the compulsory quarantine until the quarantine period ends.”
For passengers arriving from regions deemed high-risk, such as the United Kingdom and areas of China, they will be forced to wait at the collection center until the results of faster tests are revealed. Confirmed cases will immediately be transported to local hospitals, while travelers who test negative will be moved to the quarantine areas.
“As the testing takes time, the people concerned might need to stay at the venue to wait for eight hours or more and those arriving at night might have to wait longer,” the statement continued. “The DH urged for the understanding and patience from inbound travelers on the arrangement.”
Passengers aren’t the only people on planes getting sick, as the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) found that around 100 flight attendants have tested positive for coronavirus.
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