Passengers Describe Panic As Delta Airlines Plane Plunges Nearly 30,000 Feet: 'Life Is Fragile'

Passengers aboard a Delta Airlines flight that rapidly descended nearly 30,000 feet have spoken of their terrifying ordeal.

Flight 2353 was midway through its journey from Atlanta to Fort Lauderdale when the plane descended from an altitude of 39,000 feet to 10,000 feet in under seven minutes, WSB-TV reported.

"Out of nowhere, I felt what felt like a sort of a rapid descent," Harris DeWoskin, one of the passengers on the plane, said. "We started dropping in altitude and then the oxygen masks dropped from the top of the plane, chaos sort of ensued amongst the passengers."

"Initially, it was sort of a panic there wasn't really any forewarning. The oxygen masks dropped down then one of the flight attendants, I believe, grabbed the intercom and was just repeating 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," he said.

DeWoskin said the experience was so scary he contacted his girlfriend and family to let them know what was happening and that he loved them, WFTS reported.

"In hindsight, we turned out alright. Just my intuition, reach out to my family and to the people I know what's going on I love them," DeWoskin said.

"Life is fragile. 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," he said.

One of the other passengers echoed DeWoskin's thoughts, saying he was in so much fear that he also messaged family members to tell them he loved them.

"Flight 2353 God Bless the Captain and crew," a passenger identified as "J.T." posted on Twitter after the incident. "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."

According to a Delta Airlines spokesperson, the aircraft experienced a problem with its cabin pressure, forcing the pilots to make a rapid controlled descent to a safer altitude.

"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," a Delta statement read. "The plane is grounded at Tampa International Airport and is getting evaluated by maintenance technicians."

In order to reach Fort Lauderdale, some of the passengers, including DeWoskin, paid for flights with other airlines. He said that Delta had agreed to reimburse him for this extra cost.

Delta Airlines
A Boeing 757-2Q8 operated by Delta Airlines takes off from JFK Airport on August 24, 2019 in the Queens borough of New York City. Bruce Bennett/Getty Images