Seven People Sent To Hospital After Allegiant Plane Hits “Severe Turbulence”

Image courtesy of Paul Thompson

The end of a tropical trip turned into a nightmare of sorts for 137 passengers on an Allegiant Airline flight when the plane encountered turbulence strong enough to jostle people around the plane and sent seven to the hospital upon making an emergency landing. 

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the flight from the Dominican Republic to Pittsburgh made an unexpected stop at the Fort-Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport on Thursday afternoon after “severe turbulence” injured passengers on board.

Passengers say the flight was experiencing normal turbulence when they felt a jolt pulsate through the aircraft, followed by a second, bigger jolt strong enough to toss some passengers from their seats.

“My first thought was, ‘This is it,’” one of the passengers told the Post-Gazette. “I never experienced this before, this type of turbulence before. It was really, really scary.”

“I thought, ‘the plane’s going down, and I’m going to die.’ It was like the plane’s falling out of the sky,” another passenger tells the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

“It was an experience, I tell you,” another passenger recalls. “I’m so happy to be alive. I’ve been on many flights. This was unreal.”

According to the airline, the plane was diverted to Florida at about 1:37 p.m. where emergency crews met it upon landing.

“Initial reports from our crew indicate that it was unreported moderate clear air turbulence that caused the injuries and subsequent diversion,” Allegiant Air said in a statement.

In all, the airline says three passengers and four flight attendants were transported to local hospitals for treatment.

Two of the passengers reportedly suffered head injuries, while the third may have experienced issues due to an unrelated medical condition. The airline was unable to provide an update on the passengers’ or flight attendants’ conditions.

The remaining passengers arrived in Pittsburgh hours after it was scheduled to originally land.

Allegiant flight arrives in Pittsburgh after 7 injured by ‘severe turbulence’ [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
Passengers ‘happy to be alive’ after turbulence hits flight [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review]