The US Department of Transportation said Thursday it is investigating why passengers on a Delta Air Lines flight were left to swelter for hours in triple-digit temperatures while the plane waited on the tarmac at the Las Vegas airport on Monday.
Flight DL555, bound for Atlanta, was scheduled to take off from Harry Reid International Airport on Monday, according to reports posted on social media by those aboard the plane, but sat on the tarmac, where passengers became ill due to the extreme heat, causing some of them to faint.
The ordeal lasted nearly three hours, with paramedics boarding the plane to evacuate three people who fell ill, Krista Garvin, a passenger and Fox News producer, wrote on twitter,
“They said to press your call button if you need medical help,” she said. “The children are crying and crying. They are giving sandwiches to diabetics.
He later said, “I am in shock.”
In a clip posted by Ms Garvin, the captain is seen making an announcement apologizing to those on board for the extreme heat. Ultimately, the passengers got off because “a lot of people were sick and they wanted to try to cool down the plane,” Ms Garvin said, noting that the passengers were then told that the crew had fallen ill.
another passenger said on Instagram That she had run out of food and diapers for her baby, but despite the heat, she managed to stay calm. Other informed of Delta did not provide them with water and the bathrooms were closed.
Delta Air Lines did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday night, but told ABC News It was investigating the incident.
“We apologize for the experience our customers experienced on flight 555 from Las Vegas to Atlanta on July 17, which resulted in the cancellation of the flight,” the company said in a statement. “Delta teams are investigating the circumstances that led to the uncomfortable temperatures inside the cabin, and we appreciate the efforts of our people and first responders at Harry Reid International.”
Temperatures soared to 114 degrees in Las Vegas on Monday as much of the country grappled with a heatwave that has broken temperature records in several cities, prompting extreme heat warnings for millions of people.
According to the Department of Transportation, airlines are required to provide comfortable cabin temperatures during tarmac delay,
Pete Buttigieg, the secretary of transportation, said, “I want to know how it was possible for passengers to be left in triple-digit heat on a plane for so long.” told Reuters on Thursday, noting that the episode ran for several hours.
“Even at normal temperatures, tarmac delays shouldn’t be that long, and we have regulations about that, which we are actively enforcing now,” he added.
mark walker Contributed reporting.