Seven passengers on a Lufthansa flight that experienced “significant turbulence” were sent to nearby hospitals after the aeroplane was diverted to Washington Dulles International Airport, according to officials. According to Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority spokesman Michael Cabbage, flight 469 from Austin, Texas, intended to land in Frankfurt, Germany but made a safe landing in Virginia on Wednesday night instead.
Seven people were sent to hospitals with injuries that were thought to be minor when crews responded to the flight, according to Reports. The Airbus A330 reported severe turbulence at an altitude of 37,000 feet (about 11,300 meters) while flying over Tennessee, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement. The agency is investigating.
“It was shocking,” passenger Susan Zimmerman told ABC News. “It was kind of like you’re in slow motion, that you just see everything, like in a movie, where you just see everything lift, and all of a sudden, it just comes right back down.”
Turbulence continues to be a major cause of accidents and injuries during flight, according to a 2021 NTSB report. Turbulence accounted for 37.6 percent of all accidents on larger commercial airlines between 2009 and 2018.
Turbulence is essentially unstable air that moves in an unpredictable fashion. Most people associate it with heavy storms. But the most dangerous type is clear-air turbulence, which can be hard to predict, often with no visible warning in the sky ahead.
Storms moved across areas of Tennessee on Wednesday night, creating strong winds in the upper atmosphere, said Scott Unger, a senior forecaster with the National Weather Service in Nashville. “It was very windy aloft, which could easily lead to the possibility of turbulence with any flight,” he said.
With PTI Inputs