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Turbulence: Twelve injured on Doha-Dublin flight – BBC News


Image caption, The plane was met by emergency services at Dublin Airport on Sunday

  • Author, Matt Fox
  • Role, BBC News NI

Twelve people have been injured due to turbulence on a flight from Doha to Dublin.

The Boeing 787-9 dreamliner experienced turbulence while airborne over Turkey, Dublin Airport’s operator DAA said.

Upon landing shortly before 13:00 local time, Qatar Airways flight QR017 was met by emergency services including airport police, ambulance and fire officers.

Six passengers and six crew members reported injuries – of these, eight people have been taken to hospital.

Ireland’s National Ambulance Service said it received a pre-alert to attend the airport and was “on site facilitating and supporting the disembarkment of passengers”.

A DAA spokesperson said: “The Dublin Airport team continues to provide full assistance on the ground to passengers and airline staff.”

‘Panic on everyone’s faces’

Image caption, Emma Rose Power and Conor Buckley saw a flight attendant being lifted into the air

Passengers described the incident as frightening.

They said the plane seemed to drop out of the air for about 20 seconds during food-and-drinks service.

One passenger, named Cathal, who was travelling home to Ireland from Doha, told Irish broadcaster RTÉ that the seatbelt signs were off during the incident and that his dinner had come off his lap.

“Just food all over the plane, on the ceiling, everywhere,” he said.

Another, Paul Mocc, said he saw people hitting the roof of the aircraft.

“I had my seatbelt on at the time, but they were serving food at the time so a lot of the crew were injured.”

Mr Mocc added that he saw crew members limping after the incident, some with bandages on, but said that they continued to serve passengers.

He also described seeing one passenger on oxygen with suspected back injuries who had been placed lying down across a number of seats.

Emma Rose Power and Conor Buckley were travelling back to Dublin from Thailand when they were caught up in the incident.

Mr Buckley said he felt the plane drop and a flight attendant went “up in the air”.

Ms Power said she was asleep when the plane hit turbulence but described seeing a “look of panic on everyone’s faces” when she was woken.

She added that flight attendants had scratches on their faces and one had their arm in a sling afterwards.

‘Worst experience flying’

Image caption, Passenger Tony and his partner Eileen spoke of their relief at Dublin Airport

Another passenger, Eileen, said it was the “worst experience” she ever had on a plane.

Her partner Tony said he had had to hold her down as she had not been wearing her seatbelt and she had been asleep when the aircraft hit turbulence.

“I am not in a hurry to get back on a plane I can tell you,” Eileen said.

Qatar Airways told BBC News NI in a statement that “a small number of passengers and crew sustained minor injuries in flight and are now receiving medical attention”.

It added: “The matter is now subject to an internal investigation.”

Image caption, The aircraft landed in Dublin Airport on Sunday afternoon

Overall operations at Dublin Airport were unaffected, DAA said. It said the return flight to Doha was scheduled to operate as normal on Sunday afternoon, “albeit with a delay”.

More than 100 people were injured, 20 of whom are in intensive care with spinal injuries.

Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong apologised, offering his “deepest apologies to everyone affected” by the “sudden extreme turbulence”.

Singapore’s government has promised a thorough investigation.

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