Seven people were hospitalized after a flight bound for Germany was struck by severe turbulence and made an emergency landing in Washington DC Wednesday night.
Lufthansa Flight 469 departed Austin, Texas, and flew over Tennessee when it suffered “severe turbulence,” according to NBC News.
A simulated radar, showed the plane dropping at least 300 feet during the flight, as a storm cell hovered over Tennessee and North Carolina.
The plane diverted off its course and landed at Dulles International Airport at 9:12 PM, according to FlightAware.com.
A Twitter user, who claimed his wife was on the flight, said the turbulence was a surprise and those hurt weren’t wearing seatbelts.
“People who didn’t have the seat belts fastened got hurt mostly cause it came as surprise without seat belt sign on and lighting hit the plane badly,” the passenger’s spouse said on Twitter.
The plane went into a free fall during the dinner service, as “people and food went flying into the air, hitting and even damaging the ceiling of the plane,” according to a passenger who spoke to the Washington Post.
The outlet reported a passenger was brought off the plane in a wheelchair after being badly hurt with blood splattering over their seats.
The FAA confirmed the incident and will conduct an investigation into the incident.
“Lufthansa Flight 469 diverted to Dulles International Airport and landed without incident around 9:10 PM after crew reported encountering severe turbulence at 37,000 feet altitude over Tennessee,” the FAA said in a statement obtained by CBSNews. “The Airbus 330 was flying from Austin, Texas to Frankfurt, Germany. The FAA will investigate.”
The airline had paid for hotel rooms and taxi services but paid for no other expenses according to the Washington Post.
No further updates on the injured were provided.
The flight took off from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport at 5:52 p.m. (EST).
In December 2022, a United Airlines flight dove 1,400 feet shortly after takeoff in Hawaii.