Severe turbulence on Emirates flight injures 14 passengers

Passenger said they ‘genuinely felt that it was the end’ during mid-air panic

Benjamin Parker
Wednesday 06 December 2023 12:27 GMT

Plane shakes violently as broken engine blade prompts emergency landing

Severe turbulence on an international flight this week has left at least 14 people with injuries.

An Emirates flight from Perth, in Western Australia, to Dubai was affected by the extreme weather as the aircraft approached the Persian Gulf.

The plane began shaking violently, reports The West Australian. One post on social media shows a crack on the ceiling of the cabin.

Posting on X, formerly Twitter, one person who was onboard wrote that it was the “worst flight” between the two cities.

“Genuinely felt that was the end as we hit the ceiling to ground twice and smashed the ceiling in. Glad to be home,” wrote @MattRPD.

Read more: What is turbulence and can it cause your plane to crash?

Turbulence is caused by eddies of “rough air”. The Federal Aviation Administration defines clear-air turbulence as “sudden severe turbulence occurring in cloudless regions that causes violent buffeting of aircraft”.

“We can confirm that flight EK421 from Perth to Dubai on 4 December briefly encountered unexpected turbulence mid-flight,” a spokesperson for the airline told The Independent.

“This unfortunately resulted in a small number of crew members and passengers on the flight sustaining injuries. The flight continued to Dubai and landed at 4.45am local time.

“While onboard, those injured were assessed and assisted by our crew and medically trained volunteers, with additional medical support provided via satellite link. The flight was met by medical services on landing, and Emirates has also deployed its care team to ensure the injured passengers and crew are provided all possible support.”

The incident comes two weeks after a flight in the Australian state of Queensland was caught in a similar weather event.

The turbulence, which affected an aircraft operated by low-cost airline Bonza, led to crew members on board being taken to hospital and the cancellation of a subsequent flight.

In June, a British Airways flight from Singapore to London Heathrow hit such severe turbulence over the Bay of Bengal that the plane had to return to its starting point to check for possible damage. A mother-of-two described her terror after the plane was hit by the worst turbulence “in years” as it was flying at 30,000ft. She said it felt like she “fell out of the sky”.

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