US college basketball team feared death in plane scare
Oxygen masks were deployed in the cold and darkened plane and it began a rapid descent.
New York: Butler University`s men`s basketball team, ranked 13th among top US college squads, received an in-flight scare Thursday night after its charter plane lost cabin pressure, Bulldogs coach Chris Holtmann told ESPN Friday.
Oxygen masks were deployed in the cold and darkened plane and it began a rapid descent that had tearful players yelling in panic and some staff members so scared they texted family members in fear they might never see them again, according to the website report.
Holtmann and his players were flying from New York`s LaGuardia Airport to Indianapolis after being upset 76-73 at St. John`s on Thursday. The flight made an unscheduled stop in Pittsburgh after experiencing troubles and the team opted to take a bus home Friday rather than wait longer for a new airplane.
Plane lights went out about 25 minutes into the flight, Holtmann said.
"It started to get really cold, and the plane went completely dark," Holtmann said. "Then all the oxygen masks came flying down, and the flight attendant told everyone to put the masks on. She kept repeating it. We had a really rapid descent. In the span of 10 or 12 minutes, we went from 35,000 feet to 10,000 feet.
"As a coach, you are obviously thinking of your family, but you are also thinking about all the young men on the plane. I was shook. It was scary. We had guys crying."