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A Delta passenger plane headed to New York was forced to divert its course after taking damage from hail shortly after takeoff.
Flight DL185 took off from Milan but soon found itself flying through a dangerous hailstorm that damaged both its nose and the fuselage near the wings, according to Italian media.
Due to land at JFK, the flight was diverted to Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport instead. Passengers took to Twitter to share their experience of the flight and show the damage taken by the aircraft.
@delta flight #185 from MXP to JFK gets pummeled by hail on take off and makes emergency landing in Rome. Safety 1st, but then @delta leaves passenger hanging by telling us via text that they don’t have options to rebook us, just offer us ecredits? Poor service, scary incident! pic.twitter.com/Zw9sCXRKUO
— Jeffrey Saunders (@egodisturbance) July 24, 2023
“The flight landed safely and passengers deplaned normally. The aircraft sustained some damage during the bad weather which is being reviewed by our local maintenance team,″ a statement from Delta said.
The airline has not made it clear how many passengers were aboard or whether they were booked on to a later flight upon their arrival to Rome.
Milan has been victim to severe storms and winds over the last few days. According to news sources in the region, hail the size of tennis balls has been falling. On Monday, a woman was killed by a falling tree whilst walking to work.
One weather expert said: “These hailstones can reach weights of 200g and hit speeds of 150kph, which will have a devastating impact on anything it hits.”
Milan’s storms are just one of the many cases of extreme weather hitting the European continent. With heatwaves gripping much of southern Europe and wildfires beginning to spread, the region is struggling under the immense pressure of this current volatile weather.