An airplane passenger sufered a broken leg and many more were left bleeding after severe turbulence onboard a Qatar Airways flight.
The jet was heading to make an emergency landing at a military base at the Portuguese islands of the Azores because a passenger had sufered a heart attack. However, the flight hit severe turbulence while heading down for landing, with several passengers being injured.
The Boeing 777 was heading from Washington to Doha but was sent to the Azores to land at the Lajes Air Base. However, turbulence sent the plane plummeting steeply, flinging a number of passengers from their seats. One is understood to have broken a leg when passengers were hurled against the roof of the plane.
The jet was carrying a total of 350 people when the incident happened. The airline said the flight had been landing to help a stricken passenger but had then suffered what was described as moderate to severe turbulence during the descent.
According to one passenger onboard, several people were hurt when the jet plummeted suddenly. Oxygen masks deployed from the roof while a number of passengers, thought to have unfastened their seatbelts were injured. The worst injured was someone who broke their leg, while others had minor injuries and a young child was flung across the aisle of the aircraft, landing on the knee of another passenger.
A journalist who was on the flight tweeted that passengers were bleeding after hitting the roof. He added: “When plane dropped, three-year-old Lebanese boy flew out of his seat, and landed across aisle into the lap of an Indian man who held him.”
A spokesperson for the airbase said that passengers were taken to a hotel and are now waiting for another flight to take them onto their destination. It is understood that the passenger who suffered a cardiac arrest was rushed to hospital.