Delta Airlines passengers say lucky to be alive after hail damages plane

Over 130 people onboard a Delta Airlines flight had a lucky escape when the planes's windshields and nose cone got severely damaged midair as hail pelted the Airbus as it flew through a powerful thunderstorm, forcing the pilots to make an emergency landing.

Boston: Over 130 people onboard a Delta Airlines flight had a lucky escape when the planes's windshields and nose cone got severely damaged midair as hail pelted the Airbus as it flew through a powerful thunderstorm, forcing the pilots to make an emergency landing.

The Delta Flight 1889 from Boston, Massachusetts, to Salt Lake City in Utah hit bad weather at the Nebraska-Colorado border on Friday night.

Hail pelted the Airbus A320 as it flew through an intense thunderstorm, damaging part of the aircraft and forcing the pilots to make an emergency landing in Denver, officials said.

The plane dropped 14,000 feet in altitude over a two- minute time span, Denver Post reported.

After they climbed off the plane, some 130 passengers stood near the window in amazement at how much damage was done to the front of the plane, he said. They and flight attendants took pictures of the cone.

One attendant said it was her worst flight in 30 years of working as a flight attendant.

Many terrified passengers said they were lucky to be alive after relatively normal turbulence became a 'roller coaster' up in the air.

Robb Wessman, of Belmont, a passenger said, "It felt very out-of-control."

"The pilot banked the plane and then descended fairly rapidly. Looking at the graph later, it was about 12,000 feet (drop) in just a minute or a minute-and-a-half," he was quoted as saying by CBS Bosoton.

"I fly constantly, and this was the scariest 10 minutes of my life," another passenger, Robin Jones told CNN affiliate KSTU.

The flight departed Boston and was scheduled to land in Salt Lake City, Utah, but the weather prompted the pilots to land in Denver, the nearest suitable airport once the storm hit, Delta spokeswoman Liz Savadelis said.

One person was taken to a hospital after the plane landed, Denver International Airport spokeswoman Laura Coale said. Coale did not provide a reason, but did say the plane went through "severe turbulence."

Savadelis said plane had cracked windshields and damage to the radome -- the nose cone area that houses weather radar and navigational equipment. Details on whether that equipment was damaged were not immediately available.

Delta said it put Flight 1889 passengers on other flights so that they could continue their trips.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it would investigate the incident.

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New Delhi: Naga peace pact is only a "formula" for a final accord, Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang today asserted while seeking to allay apprehensions of other northeastern states, and said that he other members of Assembly were even ready to step down to make a new beginning.

Voicing confidence that other rebels groups would also come on board after the signing of agreement between NSCN-IM and the Centre, he said a 16-member Naga delegation will visit Myanmar to meet S S Khaplang, the chief of the other Naga rebel group NSCN-K which had abrogated the ceasefire agreement and?attacked security personnel, including a convoy of army killing 18 soldiers in Manipur in June.

"I along with all members of the Nagaland Assembly are ready to step down, if an acceptable and honourable solution is found to the Naga people, in order to make a new beginning," the Chief Minister, whose Naga People's Front is an NDA ally, said.

His remarks are significant as the region has a history of rebels groups joining political mainstream and even assuming power after signing of peace accords.

Asserting that the agreement will not affect non-Nagas and will resolve the problems of North-East, Zeliang said that he speak to other chief ministers of the region.

Chief Ministers of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh have said they will not cede an inch of their land. They have protested for being consulted before signing of the pact with NSCN-IM on Monday.

"The pact signed?by Centre and NSCN-IM will help bring peace to the North-East. I will speak personally to my counterparts of neighbouring states to allay their apprehensions?over the agreement," Zeliang said at a press conference here, a day after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"Solving the Naga problem is solving the problems of the North-East. Non-Nagas of the North-East should not have any negative thinking about the pact with NSCN-IM," he said.

Zeliang said the peace pact was only a formula for a final agreement and what he understood after meeting Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh was that the Naga political problem will?be resolved through sharing of power between the government of India and the Naga people.

"Today we have trust and confidence in Prime Minister Modi," Zeliang said.

Highlighting the key aspects of the formula, he said Naga customary system and land holding system will be respected by the Centre based on the "unique history of Nagas" and it will be applied across the Naga inhabited areas of the Northe East, including Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.

"This Naga issue does not pertain to only Nagaland. Naga problem is covering the entire Naga?contiguous region.

"So, respecting the traditional land holding system, customary system, it covers the entire Naga (community) wherever they are...," he said. 


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