Officials at RNO said that three of the five people injured on the flight were transported to local hospitals upon arrival with unspecified injuries.
Flight 5763, a regional flight operated by Compass Airlines, was en route from Southern California's Orange County to Seattle when the turbulence hit; a storm is now hitting the Lake Tahoe area, and the National Weather Service has warned that "this is a particularly unsafe situation for aviation in the lee of the Sierra over the next few days".
Passenger Dave Macias said: I've been on a lot of flights over the past year and a half and this was by far the wildest flight I've ever been on.
A passenger on board said that the plane nosedived twice and pictures from the cabin show the chaotic aftermath.
That kind of severe turbulence is, "Something you just you just fly into without warning", says Peter Gall, Ph.D. who has logged more than 16,000 hours in the cockpit of US Airways jets, "and you don't see it and you just run into it that is usually a short or small, isolated area".
According to witness Joe Justice, the turbulence was so strong it put the plane into a nosedive twice, flipping a snack cart through the aisle before pilots decided to make an emergency landing at Nevada's Reno-Tahoe airport.
He added: "We did a nose dive, twice".
"Delta is making resources available to take care of and support our customers".
The Compass Airlines flight, operating as Delta, landed safely after encountering the turbulence Wednesday afternoon, said Cartiay McCoy, a spokeswoman for the airline. Passengers waited in a private room at the Reno airport, which partnered with Delta to provide pizza and customer-service representatives, Kulpin said.