Travelers on at least four planes were stranded on the tarmac of an airport in Connecticut for more than seven hours Saturday leaving some without food, water or working toilets.
At least three JetBlue and one American Airlines planes were diverted to Bradley International Airport in Hartford, Conn., after severe winter weather left the planes unable to land in the New York-area airports.
One JetBlue plane with at least 100 people on board departed from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., but was unable to land in Newark, N.J. The plane landed at the Connecticut airport at about 2 p.m. Saturday, but passengers were not allowed off the plane until 9 p.m., according to reports.
"There's been no real explanation as to why we've been sitting here for seven hours,'' Andrew Carter, a passenger on the flight, told the Hartford Courant.
It is unclear why the planes were kept on the tarmac for seven hours.
The planes ran out of snacks and bottled water midway through the long delay, according to reports. There also was no running water for the bathrooms, rendering them unusable.
"It was a nightmare.” Carter told ABC News. “Nobody wants to be stuck onboard a plane without ... water, eventually, and without access to a bathroom. The bathrooms were getting nasty."
A spokesman for JetBlue said power outages at the airport made refueling and deplaning difficult, according to AP.
Many passengers had to stay in the airport overnight before being able to catch a new flight to their original destination.
The federal government is investigating the incident and can leverage fines of up to $27,500 per passenger if it determines a carrier violated the tarmac delay rule. The rule requires airlines to give passengers a chance to deplane if a flight is left on the tarmac for more than three hours.
The United State Department of Transportation adopted the rule in 2010, but has yet to issue a fine stemming from a lengthy delay on the tarmac.
JetBlue maintains the delay was a result of so many planes being diverted to a small airport as a result of inclement weather.
"The airport infrastructure was just overwhelmed," JetBlue spokeswoman Jenny Dervin told ABC News.