Delta Air Lines’ flight from Orange County to Seattle was rattled into a nose-dive two times by severe turbulence. The jolts sent snack trays flying into the aisle and several passengers were injured before pilots managed to pull off an emergency landing.
The Seattle-bound Delta Airlines flight was being operated by Compass Airlines and had about 60 people on board when it was shaken by severe storms ravaging the California skies on Wednesday.
According to witness Joe Justice, the turbulence was so strong it put the plane into a nosedive twice, flipping a snack cart through the aisle before pilots decided to make an emergency landing at Nevada’s Reno-Tahoe airport.
Photos taken after the shake-up showcase the chaos that took place, the cart still flipped completely onto its side with food and drink strewn across the cabin floor.
One passenger described the situation as “chaotic and scary” but added that people nonetheless “showed up as their best selves.”
Upon landing, three people were hospitalized with minor injuries, said Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority (REMSA). Five people were injured in total, Reno-Tahoe International Airport spokesman Brian Kulpin said.
“Delta is making resources available to take care of and support our customers. We apologize for this experience as we work to get customers to Seattle,” the company said in a statement following the incident, also offering passengers some compensatory pizza and soda while they waited for another flight.