Passengers say they were thrown around cabin in ‘atrocious’ turbulence on flight from Doha to Dublin

Shaken passengers describe ‘atrocious scenes’ during extreme turbulence

Maryam Zakir-Hussain
Monday 27 May 2024 13:21 BST
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Passenger on Qatar Airways hit by turbulence describes how his clothes were ripped off

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Passengers who were injured in severe turbulence on a Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Dublin have said their clothes were ripped and flight attendants were scratched during the terrifying ordeal.

Twelve passengers were injured as turbulence caused some people on board to hit the cabin ceiling on the flight on Sunday.

All passengers were assessed for injury before disembarking the aircraft once the plane landed safely as scheduled shortly before 1pm, with eight passengers subsequently taken to hospital, airport officials said.

One traveller named Cathal said his shorts had ripped apart as he was flung around the cabin during the turbulence.

Showing Irish broadcaster RTE, he said: “It was just atrocious... never again.”

He added: “Dinner came off my lap. Food all over the ceiling, everywhere.”

Emma Rose Power described panicked scenes as flight attendants with scratches to their faces tended to themselves with ice packs, while one flight attendant had to put her arm in a sling.

A statement from Dublin Airport said: “Upon landing, the aircraft was met by emergency services, including Airport Police and our Fire and Rescue department, due to 6 passengers and 6 crew [12 total] on board reporting injuries after the aircraft experienced turbulence while airborne over Turkey,” a statement on the airport’s official X account said.

“The Dublin Airport team continues to provide full assistance on the ground to passengers and airline staff.”

The latest incident comes days after a British man was killed on a violently turbulent flight from Heathrow to Singapore.

Geoffrey Kitchen, a father-of-two and theatre director taking a “last big holiday” with his wife, died from a suspected heart attack. Fifty other people were injured after unbuckled passengers hit the cabin ceiling while the plane dropped 6,000ft in a matter of minutes.Singapore Airlines said that flight encountered “sudden extreme turbulence” around 10 hours after departure while flying over Myanmar’s Irrawaddy Basin at 37,000 feet, with the ensuing chaos causing the pilot to declare a medical emergency and landing in Bankok some 90 minutes short of its intended destination.

Tracking website Flightradar24 said data sent from the aircraft showed a “rapid change in vertical rate, consistent with a sudden turbulence event”, adding that there were “some severe” thunderstorms in the area at the time.

It is rare for turbulence to cause injuries on flights – and even rarer for passengers to lose their lives as a result. One study suggests aircraft encounter severe clear air turbulence at least 790 times a year, which equates to around once every 11 hours.

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