Turbulence injures passengers, diverts plane to St. John's
Monday, January 25, 2016, 7:24 AM - An American Airlines plane was forced to make a diversion to St. John's, N.L., Sunday night, after severe turbulence caused several injuries.
Three flight attendants and four passengers aboard American Airlines Flight 206, en route to Milan, Italy, from Miami, Florida, were hospitalized when the plane landed in St. John's. The plane's complement was 203, including 11 crew.
"It rolled on its side, everything went flying. It was pretty intense," passenger Karen Case told CBC News. "I really thought that was it."
Several passengers reported the turbulence began three or four hours after taking off from Miami, and was intense enough to cause some to pass out, requiring oxygen.
Ambulances met the plane at the tarmac when it landed a little before 10 p.m. Sunday night. American Airlines said in a statement that none of the injuries were life-threatening, and the airline was working to rebook passengers so they could continue their journey. The airline also says the seatbelt sign was on at the time of the incident, according to CBC News.
St. John's is one of the most eastern major airports in North America, and is occasionally the destination for planes that run into trouble over the North Atlantic.
Turbulence is not uncommon, and although the vast majority of planes are designed to withstand it, it can still be severe enough to cause injures.
In December, turbulence forced Air Canada Flight 88 to divert to Calgary during its journey from Shanghai to Toronto. The turbulence was severe enough to send 21 passengers to hospital.