Las Vegas Heat Wave Bakes City, Delta Flight Passengers Pass Out on Runway
Several passengers on a Delta flight waiting for take-off at Las Vegas Harry Reid International Airport on Monday passed out from the intense 110-plus-degree heat that has hit the city.
The incident has highlighted the severity of the heat wave that has gripped the Southwest U.S. over the past week. Temperatures are threatening to break all-time records across various states in the region, including Nevada and Sin City. At Harry Reid International, an all-time joint record temperature of 116 degrees was set on Sunday.
The day after, on Monday, passengers aboard a Delta Airlines flight to Atlanta were delayed on the airport runway for four hours, with limited air conditioning and the heat outside hitting 115 degrees.
Several passengers and crew passed out. Some people even soiled themselves, and four people had to be wheeled off the flight on stretchers.
“We apologize for the experience our customers had on flight 555 from Las Vegas to Atlanta on July 17, which ultimately resulted in a flight cancellation,” Delta Airlines said in a statement, as reported by Fox Business News.
“Delta teams are looking into the circumstances that led to uncomfortable temperatures inside the cabin, and we appreciate the efforts of our people and first responders at Harry Reid International.”
Not Typical Desert Heat
Las Vegas is currently experiencing an intense heat wave, with temperatures threatening to break the city’s all-time record high of 117 degrees Fahrenheit (47.2 degrees Celsius).
The blistering heat wave is forecast to cool off slightly on Wednesday, and then return with a vengeance from Thursday. The city has seen five days in a row of 110-plus-degree heat, with 10 days needed to hit the all-time record.
“This heat wave is NOT typical desert heat due to its long duration, extreme daytime temperatures, and warm nights. Everyone needs to take this heat seriously, including those who live in the desert,” The National Weather Service Las Vegas said in a tweet last week.
Heat Set to Continue
The heat wave has had a significant impact on the city and its residents. The millions of tourists that visit every year have the benefit of being able to stay inside air-conditioned Las Vegas Strip casinos and hotels.
But much of the city’s workforce isn’t so lucky. Employers are being reminded to provide water, shade, and regular breaks for their workers.
The Southern Nevada Health District reported that seven people have died since April 11 from heat-related causes.
The heat wave is also affecting the city’s infrastructure, with local media reporting on a rise in automobile problems and breakdowns as engines struggle to cool off in high heat.
The excessive heat warning has been extended through 8:00 p.m. Saturday, with little relief expected overnight. The heat wave is expected to continue well into next week, as a high-pressure dome moves west from Texas.
The incident on the Delta flight serves as a stark reminder of the dangers of extreme heat. As the heat wave continues to grip Las Vegas, residents and visitors are urged to take precautions to stay cool and safe.
“This weekend there will be some of the most serious and hot conditions we’ve ever seen,” said David Hondula, the city’s chief heat officer. “I think that it’s a time for maximum community vigilance.”