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Emergency Escape Slides ‘Explodes’ Inside Delta Air Jet Injuring Flight Attendant Shortly After Technical Hitch Forces Diversion

Emergency Escape Slides ‘Explodes’ Inside Delta Air Jet Injuring Flight Attendant Shortly After Technical Hitch Forces Diversion

an airplane on the ground

A Delta Air Lines flight attendant was reportedly injured on Saturday after an emergency slide accidentally inflated inside the aircraft as the crew went to arm the doors for departure.

The incident occurred after the 26-year-old Boeing 767 had already been forced to divert off its original course so that an unrelated technical hitch could be fixed, according to the New York Post.

The injured flight attendant was allegedly hit in the head by the inflatable slide and had to be transported to the hospital, although sources have confirmed that the crew member wasn’t seriously injured and was discharged the same day.

Delta Air flight DL520 departed New York JFK at around 7:50 am on Saturday for the transcontinental flight to Los Angeles International Airport, but while en route, the Captain told passengers that the plane would have to make an unscheduled stop in Salt Lake City due to an issue with the plane’s temperature instruments.

The aircraft landed in Salt Lake City without incident and the passengers were deplaned while the issue was fixed and then allowed back on board for a new departure time of 1 pm.

With the aircraft now ready to pushback, the Captain told the flight attendants to arm the doors for departure, at which point one of the inflatable evacuation slides at the back of the aircraft activated and inflated inside the aircraft.

The process of ‘arming’ a door for departure puts the emergency slide in a ready state to automatically deploy if the door is opened. Some emergency slides are built into the fuselage of the aircraft, but many are housed in a plastic container inside the aircraft.

Due to the force and speed with which evacuation slides are designed to deploy, an accidental internal slide inflation can be incredibly dangerous and could lead to serious injury and even death.

A spokesperson for Delta confirmed that a slide was accidentally deployed on Saturday’s flight, saying: “Delta flight 520, operating from New York-JFK to Los Angeles, diverted to Salt Lake City due to a maintenance issue.”

“While on the ground, the same aircraft’s slide was deployed by accident,” the spokesperson added.

“In an effort to get our customers to their final destination as quickly and safely as possible, they have been re-accommodated on a new aircraft. We apologize for the delay to their traveling plans. Nothing is more important than the safety of our customers and people.” 

The aircraft remains on the ground in Salt Lake City nearly 24-hours after the incident.

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