FLL-bound plane diverted to Tampa after cabin pressure issue; no injuries

FORT LAUDERDALE-HOLLYWOOD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, FLA. (WSVN) - A Delta Airlines flight from Atlanta to Fort Lauderdale was diverted to Tampa after, airline officials said, the plane suffered a cabin pressurization irregularity during flight, causing its oxygen masks to automatically deploy.

The aircraft landed safely at Tampa International Airport, Wednesday night.

Airline officials said customers deplaned normally once the plane arrived at the airport.

A Delta Airlines spokesperson released a statement that read, “We apologize to our customers on flight 2353 from Atlanta to Fort Lauderdale, which diverted to Tampa out of an abundance of caution and landed without incident following a cabin pressurization irregularity en route.”

Various social media posts showed the deployed oxygen masks inside of the plane.

“Out of nowhere, it felt like sort of a rapid descent.” said Harris DeWoskin, a passenger on the diverted flight. “It started dropping in altitude. The oxygen masks dropped from the top of the plane, and chaos sort of ensued among the passengers.”

“Initially, it was sort of a panic. There wasn’t really any forewarning,” DeWoskin added. “The oxygen masks dropped down, and then one of the flight attendants, I believe, grabbed the intercom and was just repeatedly over the intercom, ‘Do not panic! Do not panic!’ But obviously, it’s a hectic moment, so the passengers around me were kind of ventilating, breathing really hard.”

The airline described the issue as a cabin pressurization irregularity.

“Eventually the captain came over the intercom and sort of explained there was a cabin pressure issue, a pressurization issue, so they began quickly descending, obviously, to get some air that was more breathable, but they weren’t able to get low enough quick enough to keep the oxygen masks from falling down,” said DeWoskin.

Airline officials said the aircraft was grounded and evaluated by maintenance technicians.

No injuries were reported.

Delta said the customers were bused to Fort Lauderdale from Tampa, although some rebooked flights.

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