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Turbulence on Qatar Airways flight injures 12

Qantas Airways turbulence

Source: RTE News

Australians have been caught up in another flight turbulence ordeal in which passengers “hit the roof” as the plane dropped.

The nightmare unfolded on a Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Ireland.

Twelve people were injured, with passengers describing bloodied faces and fears that they were going to die.

A Dublin airport statement said six passengers and six crew had reported injuries after the aircraft hit turbulence over Turkey.

The incident came five days after a Singapore Airlines flight hit severe turbulence, which led to the death of a 73-year-old British man and left 20 others in intensive care.

One Australian passenger told media that the Qatar plane experienced a “severe drop”.

“It was quite scary. The plane just seemed to go – stop, which it didn’t but … it was quite a severe drop,” Cheryl Suker told Seven’s The Morning Show.

“It was a little bit worrying each time we felt turbulence again.

“I was hanging on a bit tight to my husband. But it was really, really scary.”

Another passenger said she feared the plane would crash.

“It was so scary at the time, you don’t know if this is it or not.”

One man said the plane dropped for five seconds when it hit a “pocket” of turbulence.

“You could see people hit the roof, food and things everywhere. A few injuries from that. It was a bit confronting.”

Flight QR017, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, landed shortly before 1pm on Sunday, Dublin time.

“Upon landing, the aircraft was met by emergency services, including airport police and our fire and rescue department,” the airport statement said.

Irish broadcaster RTE, citing passengers arriving at Dublin Airport, said the incident lasted less than 20 seconds and occurred during food and drinks service.

“Just going over Baghdad when we felt the plane dip for about five seconds. And the next thing we saw is the flight attendant just go up in the air and come straight back down,” one passenger told the broadcaster.

Qatar Airways said a “small number” of passengers and crew suffered minor injuries during the flight and were receiving medical attention.

Turbulence-related airline accidents are the most common type, according to a 2021 study by the US National Transportation Safety Board.

From 2009 to 2018, the US agency found that turbulence accounted for more than a third of reported airline accidents and most resulted in one or more serious injuries, but no aircraft damage.

Some meteorologists and aviation analysts note that reports of turbulence encounters have increased, pointing to the potential impacts of climate change on flying conditions.

singapore airlines

Aboard flight SQ321 in the aftermath of the turbulence. Photo: X

Aircraft returns to Singapore

Sunday’s incident came as the Singapore Airlines plane involved in last week’s deadly turbulence flying over Myanmar returned to Singapore.

It followed its diversion to Bangkok for an emergency landing in the aftermath of the flight trauma.

A 73-year-old British man died of a suspected heart attack and Australians were among dozens injured on Tuesday after flight SQ321, flying from London to Singapore, encountered what the airline said was sudden, extreme turbulence while flying over Myanmar.

The flight was carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew.

Fifty two people who were on board remained in Bangkok, including 40 passengers and a crew member being treated in hospital, Singapore Airlines said.

Five of the injured were in intensive care – three Australians, one Briton and one New Zealander, Bangkok’s Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital said on Sunday.

Singapore Airlines said the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft returned to Singapore on Sunday, adding the airline was co-operating fully with the relevant authorities in the investigation into the incident.

“SIA obtained the necessary approvals from the relevant authorities in Singapore and Thailand, the investigators, and the aircraft manufacturer, and the aircraft was cleared by our engineering and flight operations teams, before departure,” the carrier told Channel News Asia.

-with AAP

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