Plane passengers scrambled to text their loved ones goodbye when their aircraft plummeted almost 30,000ft in just seven minutes.
The petrified travellers were halfway between their flight from Atlanta to Fort Lauderdale when their rapid decent started.
Delta Air Lines said the sudden loss of altitude was the result of a ‘cabin pressurisation irregularity en route’.
One passenger, Harris DeWoskin told WFTS that ‘chaos sort of ensued’ when the oxygen masks dropped.
He described how many started recording the bedlam on their phones, adding: ‘Life is fragile. There was a scary 60 to 90 seconds where we really didn’t know what was going on.’
Mr DeWoskin said he got a message through to his family and girlfriend to tell them ‘some scary stuff’ was going on with the plane.
‘One of the flight attendants, I believe, grabbed the intercom and was just repeating over the intercom saying “Do not panic! Do not panic!”’ he added. ‘But, obviously, it’s a hectic moment so the passengers around me, a lot of people, were kind of hyperventilating.’
The airline said the plane was diverted to Tampa ‘out of an abundance of caution’ where it landed ‘without incident’. Technicians are now examining to aircraft out what went wrong, the MailOnline reports.