All 148 passengers onboard were safe when the plane touched down in Raleigh
Passengers on a Delta flight heading from Atlanta to Washington D.C. on Monday had the scariest flight of their lives.
One flyer, Logan Webb, shared a video on Twitter of the frightening incident that occurred one hour after take off. The clip shows a visible piece of metal rattling around inside the engine, which was also emitting a bright orange glow.
Passengers heard a loud noise, followed by the horrifying sight of the failing engine out the window, The Washington Post reported. Panic ensued among the 148 people on board, who began sending goodbye texts to their loved ones, fearing the plane was going to crash.
“After we heard the boom, we just saw all this smoke come up into the cabin, and that’s when we really started freaking out,” passenger Avery Porch told WMAR. “It started slowing down a bit. It was getting hot. The air cut off.”
Contemplating an emergency exit, Porch said, “I was about to be the first person to jump off and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. This is a 30-something pound door. I’m going to have to throw it in the seat and jump off and actually help people out.’”
Another passenger, Jose Bahamonde-Gonzalez, recounted to ABC News that passengers were alerted by the captain that they had “lost” an engine, and the plane crew was prepping for an emergency landing.
“I pulled out my phone, and I know I didn’t have service,” said Tyler Kreuger, Porch’s boyfriend who sat beside her. “I just texted my mom ‘I love you’, I texted my dad ‘I love you.'”
The incident occurred on a 32-year-old MD-88 model plane. According to Bloomberg News, it’s the oldest in use by any airline and is slated to retire next year.
Bahamonde-Gonzalez was critical of the age of the aircraft, telling WMAR, “Delta needs to retire those MD-88s, they are too old.”
Despite the panic, the crew landed the plane safely in Raleigh with everyone on board unharmed.
“I had a weird, eerie sense of calm over me, like I almost knew that they were going to take care of it, and they did,” Porch said. “I don’t think I’d be timid getting on a plane again being reassured that they handled it the way they did.”
Webb, who posted the viral video of the engine, wrote of the incident, “Thanks @Delta for the silly smooth emergency landing! #perfect #execution.”
Following the incident, Delta released a statement obtained by PEOPLE.
“The flight crew of Delta flight 1425 from Atlanta to Baltimore elected to divert to Raleigh, N.C. after an issue with one of the aircraft’s engines was observed,” the statement read. “The flight landed without incident and customers were reaccommodated on an alternate aircraft. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience this diversion may have caused.”
Delta also stated that all passengers were offered a gesture of service recovery, which included a travel voucher or Skymiles credited to their account, as well as an apology from the airline.
The flight was initially intended to touch down in Baltimore at 2 p.m. Monday, but passengers did not arrive until 8:30 p.m. that night, according to The Washington Post.