Seven people were sent to hospital Sunday night after an American Airlines flight was diverted to the St. John’s, N.L., airport on its way from Miami to Milan.
American Airlines Flight 206 experienced brief but severe turbulence, which left three flight attendants and four passengers with injuries. It landed safely in St. John’s at 9:46 p.m.
“I’m just happy to be alive. It was scary,” said passenger Gustavo Canda, who was travelling to Abu Dhabi.
“I was just praying the whole time because it was scary.”
According to passengers, all the injured people were at the back of the plane. Passengers say that some of the flight attendants had been standing up when the turbulence occurred.
“It rolled on its side, everything went flying. It was pretty intense,” said passenger Karen Case, who said the plane dropped twice.
“I really thought that was it.”
Case said that people were screaming, while flight attendants tried to calm people down.
Canda said that some people on the flight passed out from the turbulence, and that some needed oxygen masks.
Although he travels about once every three months, Canda said he’s never experienced turbulence like he did Sunday evening.
Injured passengers being assessed
Passengers say the turbulence started three to four hours after takeoff and that the flight landed in St. John’s more than an hour after the turbulence occurred.
The seven injured people have been transported to the Health Sciences Centre in St. John’s for further evaluation.
“We are taking care of our passengers and crew, and we are working on next steps to get them safely to their destination,” a spokesperson for American Airlines said in a statement.
There were 203 people on board the Boeing 767 — 192 passengers and 11 crew members. American Airlines officials say the seatbelt light was on when the flight encountered turbulence.
According to the Transportation Safety Board, the turbulence happened over United States airspace so it is under American jurisdiction.
Passengers to stay in St. John’s
Remaining passengers are being processed through customs and will stay at the Delta Hotel in St. John’s overnight.
Case said she’s grateful to be safe on the ground, regardless of where she is.
“I was very thankful, you say your prayers and you want to come here,” she said.
Passenger Jill Nelson-Debord said she’s actually glad to be in Newfoundland.
“Always wanted to come here, maybe not under these circumstances,” she said, laughing.
The American Airlines website says the flight is leaving St. John’s for Milan at around 8 p.m. Monday evening.
(CNN)Severe turbulence aboard an American Airlines flight carrying 203 people to Italy left seven people hospitalized, the airline said.
American Airlines said Flight 206 from Miami to Milan landed safely Sunday night in Newfoundland, Canada, where it was diverted.
“It was met by paramedics who evaluated passengers and crew,” the airline said.
Three flight attendants and four passengers were taken to a hospital after the incident, the airline said.
‘It rolled on its side’
Passengers described chaotic scenes when turbulence hit.
“It rolled on its side. Everything went flying. It was pretty intense,” passenger Karen Case told CNN partner CBC in Canada.
Case said the plane dipped two times. “I really thought that was it,” he said.
Terrified passengers screamed while others grasped for oxygen masks, Gustavo Canda told CBC. Others passed out.
Another passenger said she at least checked one destination off her travel list.
“Always wanted to come here, maybe not under these circumstances,” Jill Nelson-Debord told CBC about their unplanned stop in Newfoundland.
The Boeing 767 took off from Miami on Sunday afternoon. It landed at St. John’s International Airport.
Airport spokeswoman Sara Norris declined to provide details on the nature of the injuries.