Lufthansa plane enters ‘free fall’, 7 passengers hospitalized

LUFTHANSA AIRLINES Airbus A330-300 over airport.
Vytautas Kielaitis /

Seven people were taken to hospital after a Lufthansa plane flying between Austin, US and Frankfurt in Germany “encountered brief but severe turbulence”.

The Airbus A330 was forced to divert to Dulles International Airport (IAD) on Wednesday, March 1, 2023, landing shortly after 9pm.

Lufthansa said that the stop in Washington was a “precautionary measure” and allowed affected passengers to receive medical attention.

According to the Washington Post a passenger on board the Germany bound flight said that the aircraft went into “free fall.”

People and food “went flying into the air, hitting and even damaging the ceiling of the plane,” they recalled.

Lufthansa flight LH469 encountered brief but severe turbulence about 90 minutes after takeoff. The Lufthansa flight made an unscheduled landing at Washington Dulles Airport as a precautionary measure. After the Airbus A330-300 landed, affected passengers received medical attention

On Twitter, @ModerMuna shared a photo that his wife reportedly took after the incident inside the plane.

Lufthansa Airbus A330 encountered severe turbulence
@ModerMuna / Twitter

He wrote: “This is what the inside looked like food everywhere, people who didn’t have the seat belts fastened got hurt mostly because it came as surprise without seat belt sign on and lighting hit the plane badly went 1k ft down & up pilot said.”

The image shows people’s belongings and rubbish strewned across the cabin walkway while passengers remain in their seats.

Another passenger told The Sun that the incident was “exceptionally scary, [with] lots of broken glass and screaming and multiple injuries.”

“Lufthansa Flight 469 landed without incident around 9.10pm local time after the crew reported encountering severe turbulence at 37,000 feet altitude over Tennessee,“ the US Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) wrote in a statement.

Lufthansa reportedly provided customers with a website link to claim a refund.

“Lufthansa regrets the inconvenience caused to passengers. The safety and well-being of passengers and crew members is Lufthansa’s top priority at all times,” the airline said.

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