5 injured after turbulence forces Seattle-bound flight to land in Reno

RENO, Nev. — Five passengers suffered minor injuries Wednesday when a Delta Air Lines flight headed from Southern California to Seattle encountered severe turbulence in a winter storm and was forced to make an emergency landing in Reno.

Three of the passengers were transported to a local hospital, where their conditions were not immediately known, Reno-Tahoe International Airport spokesman Brian Kulpin said.

The other two didn't require additional medical attention. Emergency crews said all the injuries were minor.

A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed Compass Flight 5763 flying under the Delta banner out of John Wayne Airport in Orange County was diverted to Reno and landed without further incident about 1 p.m. after the crew reported the turbulence at about 34,000 feet.

Video posted to Twitter by passenger Joe Justice shows an overturned drink cart and other items spilled into the plane's aisle.

Justice, who is from Seattle, shot the video mid-air just after the snack service started.

"The flight attendant that was doing the service went to the ceiling with the cart," he said. "Then the plane was bucking side to side and people were bouncing around like a car crash."

Justice says most people opted not to go to the hospital, but he was sitting near one of the three people who were taken for evaluation.

"A lady two rows behind me was bleeding from her head," he said. "We passed napkins back to her and water."

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning through 11 p.m. Thursday for most of the Sierra Nevada, including Lake Tahoe, where 2 to 5 feet (61 centimeters to 1.5 meters) of snow is possible in the highest elevations.

The service reported earlier Wednesday that overnight winds gusted over Sierra ridgetops near Reno in excess of 130 mph (209 kilometers per hour).

There were 59 passengers and four crew members on board, Compass Airlines said.

Passengers were delayed in Reno but were expected to arrive Wednesday night.

The Associated Press contributed to this report