Hail cracks plane’s windshields, forces emergency landing

Image courtesy Jack Thompson via CNN

(CNN) – The passengers and the photos of cracked windshields and a damaged nose cone tell the same story: Friday evening’s Delta Flight 1889 was intense. Hail pelted the plane as it flew through a thunderstorm, damaging part of the aircraft and forcing the pilots to make an emergency landing in Denver, officials said.

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

The Airbus A320 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 8:42 p.m. MT landing, Denver International Airport spokeswoman Laura Coale said. Coale didn’t provide a reason, but did say the plane went through “severe turbulence.”

Jones took a different flight to Salt Lake after landing in Denver, and spoke to KSTU upon arriving.

“I thought, ‘OK. Have I told everybody that I love that I love them?'” Jones said, recalling the earlier flight. “And as soon as I realized I had done that, I was like, ‘I’m all right. Everything’s going to be OK.’ ”

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 weren’t immediately available.

Passengers posted pictures of the damage to social media.

Passenger Rob Wessman told KSTU about seeing the damage after departing the plane.

“We went around the corner from the window, we could see the shattered windshield,” Wessman said. “… We could see the nose of the plane was missing. It was really intense.”

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.

CNN’s Vivian Kuo contributed to this report.

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