RENO (CBSLA/AP) — Five people suffered unspecified injuries when a Delta Airlines flight headed from Southern California to Seattle encountered severe turbulence and was forced to make an emergency landing in Reno.
Reno-Tahoe International Airport spokesman Brian Kulpin said three of the passengers were transported to a local hospital Wednesday where their conditions were not immediately known.
Passenger Joe Justice shot video of the scary turbulence and said the plane nose-dived twice during the episode. He posted the video on Twitter.
There were 59 passengers and four crew members aboard.
Passenger Barbara Belcher tweeted, “Chaotic. And scary but people showed up as their best selves.”
A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed Compass Flight 5763 out of John Wayne Airport in Orange County was diverted to Reno and landed without further incident at about 1 p.m. after the crew reported the turbulence at about 34,000 feet.
The National Weather Service had warned earlier Wednesday that a strong winter storm moving into the region could create dangerous flying conditions with extreme turbulence. A winter storm warning is in effect for the Lake Tahoe area through 11 p.m. Thursday.
On Wednesday evening, KCAL9’s Tom Wait spoke by phone to one of the passengers who was on board
Dave Macias of Orange County told him the turbulence came out of nowhere.
“It literally just happened,” Macias says, “I mean, a flight attendant was in the aisle, doing drink service, you know, when it started. We just saw the drink cart go up in the air. The flight attendant was tossed around like a rag doll. It was wild.”
He said two of the injured were a mother and daughter who were in the bathroom at the time the turbulence hit.
“I looked back toward the back and she was walking out of the bathroom with blood all over her face,” Macias says.
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