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Snowfall Leaves JetBlue Passengers Stranded for 7 Hours Without Food, Water, Working Bathrooms

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"Aren't there rules about how long they can make people sit here?"

Fed-up passengers aboard a JetBlue flight that sat on the tarmac for seven hours. (NBC Connecticut)

NEW YORK (The Blaze/AP) -- Passengers on a JetBlue plane were stranded on the tarmac in Connecticut for more than seven hours Saturday after snowstorms on the East Coast required the flight be diverted.

A passenger on the plane diverted to Bradley International Airport said they had no food, water or working bathrooms for the last few hours of the ordeal.

The plane left Florida at 10 a.m. Saturday and landed in Connecticut around 1:30 p.m., where it sat motionless for hours. Passengers began dialing 911 when they weren't given adequate explanations for why they were stuck.

"At the three-hour mark they told us by law they had to let us off the plane. They were waiting for a tug to take us to a gate. We heard that same message at the four-hour mark, and continuing until state troopers boarded the plane for a medical emergency," Robert, a passenger who did not want to give his last name, told NBC Connecticut.

He added, "I'll never fly JetBlue again, and I'll never fly through Connecticut again."

Fed-up, frustrated passengers took to social media sites, including Twitter, to vent their outrage. One Twitter user, Andrew Carter, kept up a running account as the hours crawled by.

According to the station, a paraplegic on the flight had a medical issue about seven hours after the plane landed, at which point police and firefighters came aboard to provide medical assistance, leading to the passengers disembarking.

A JetBlue spokeswoman, Victoria Lucia, confirmed in an emailed statement that six of its planes, carrying a total of about 700 passengers, were diverted to Hartford as a result of a "confluence of events" including infrastructure issues at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport and Newark International Airport.

She noted that a total of 17 other flights were also diverted to the airport.

Lucia said that intermittent power outages at the airport made refueling and deplaning difficult. She declined to specify how long planes sat on the tarmac, but said passengers would be reimbursed.

Kate Hani, executive editor of consumer advocacy site FlyersRights.org, said she got calls from passengers and family members on at least three stranded flights at Bradley International that were stranded on the tarmac for up to 10 hours.

JetBlue of New York also made headlines in 2007 when snow and ice storms stranded its planes for nearly 11 hours at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.

A regulation that went into effect last year fines airlines for holding domestic flights on the tarmac for more than three hours. This year, the rule was extended to apply to international flights that are held on the tarmac for more than four hours.

Passengers do not get a cut of the fines, however.

Connecticut Gov. Daniel Malloy called Saturday's snowfall a "historic storm" and said cots were mobilized to accommodate passengers forced to sleep in the airport overnight.

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