A Delta flight from Milan to New York was forced to make an emergency landing shortly after takeoff as the plane was pummeled by hail during “severe turbulence.”
The passenger jet was rerouted to Rome after it suffered damage to its nose and its fuselage near the wings, according to Italian news media.
Photos posted online by passengers show large holes in the nose cone and wings following the hail store.
One traveler onboard told ABC News that the plane hit turbulence that felt like a roller coaster ride just 15 minutes after takeoff.
“We take off, it’s a normal takeoff, we get into the air a few minutes later, we encounter severe turbulence and we all hear noise we’ve never heard before,” Steven Coury said. “And that was hail pounding on the roof of the plane.”
He said the intense storm made passengers worry for their safety.
“One passenger looked out the window and saw the wing shaking violently like it was gonna break off,” Coury told the station. “Look, I saw flashes of light like lightning hitting the plane. And the turbulence was like being on a roller coaster ride dropping significantly.”
Delta said the flight was diverted due to the extreme weather.
“Delta flight 185 from Milan to New York-JFK diverted to Rome after experiencing an apparent weather-related maintenance issue shortly after departure,” a Delta spokesperson told The Post. “The flight landed safely in Rome where passengers deplaned normally.”
There were no reported injuries among the 215 passengers, eight flight attendants and three pilots onboard.
The spokesperson added that maintenance personnel were “conducting a thorough evaluation of the aircraft” in Rome.
The airline did not specify the extent of the damage the plane suffered but Coury said that the tip of the nose was caved in and that both engines and both wings also appeared to be battered.