RENO — Five passengers suffered minor injuries Wednesday when a Delta Air Lines flight headed from Southern California to Seattle encountered severe turbulence in a winter storm and was forced to make an emergency landing in Reno.
Three of the passengers were transported to a local hospital, where their conditions were not immediately known, Reno-Tahoe International Airport spokesman Brian Kulpin said.
The other two didn’t require additional medical attention. Emergency crews said all the injuries were minor.
A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed Compass Flight 5763 flying under the Delta banner out of John Wayne Airport in Orange County was diverted to Reno and landed without further incident about 1 p.m. after the crew reported the turbulence at about 34,000 feet.
One passenger tweeted the plane did two nose dives in “crazy turbulence” but the Delta crew “handled it perfectly.”
Video taken by a passenger shows a toppled snack cart and snacks littering the cabin floor.
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning through 11 p.m. Thursday for most of the Sierra Nevada, including Lake Tahoe, where 2 to 5 feet (61 centimeters to 1.5 meters) of snow is possible in the highest elevations.
The service reported earlier Wednesday that overnight winds gusted over Sierra ridgetops near Reno in excess of 130 mph (209 kilometers per hour).
There were 59 passengers and four crew members on board, Compass Airlines said.