Last updated: 04:59 PM ET, Sun September 06 2015

Turbulence Injures Dozens on Qatar Airways Flight

Impacting Travel | Michael Isenbek | September 06, 2015

Turbulence Injures Dozens on Qatar Airways Flight

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Passengers and crew aboard a Qatar Airways flight to the Philippines Saturday experienced an unexpected bout of turbulence close to landing, injuring around 40, Doha News reported.

Citing a sequence of events told to news site Interaksyon by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, Doha News said flight QR932 flight left Qatar at 1:40 a.m. and was close to arrival at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila around 3 p.m. local time when it “experienced downdraft (that) affected passengers who were not wearing a seatbelt.”

Twenty minutes after the jolt of turbulence, as per information given to by the Manila International Airport Authority, the Boeing 777’s pilot asked the Manila tower for a priority landing due to injured passengers. The Airport Authority also said three children and two flight attendants were among the hurt, most sustaining abrasions.

But one passenger disagrees with the timeline presented by Philippines authorities. Doha News presented comments made by flier with the handle @lovesjingjing on Twitter who claimed the turbulence occurred about an hour before the slated landing time.

She tweeted that the pilot had just told everyone to get ready for descent; therefore many of her fellow passengers had taken off their seatbelts while getting organized.

In line for the bathroom when the bumpy ride began, “I flew up and dropped down good,” she said, adding it had been a smooth ride until that moment.

She later received medical treatment for high blood pressure.

In addition to conflicting stories as to when the turbulence occurred, there was also some confusion in media reports as to whether it was simply a hard landing or an experience with turbulence as the plane was touching down.

A witness on the ground, waiting to fly from Manila to Qatar, told Doha News he saw individuals exiting the aircraft in wheelchairs and passengers met at the gate by first aid kit and oxygen tank-toting medics.

Qatar Airways made a statement to Doha News acknowledging the incident and said, “Of those reporting injury, three were sent to the hospital for further evaluation. They were discharged last night after being provided the necessary medical assistance.

The safety and well-being of all passengers and crew is our top priority. We remain in touch with affected passengers and crew, and are ready to provide any further assistance required.”

This incident comes less than a week after a dozen fliers were injured by severe turbulence on an EgyptAir flight.

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