Twelve injured as Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Dublin hits turbulence

Dublin airport authorities say six passengers and six crew members were injured after flight hit turbulence over Turkey.

Qatar Airways plane
At least 12 people were injured after a Qatar Airways carrier hit turbulence while flying from Doha, Qatar to Dublin, Ireland [File: Edgar Su/Reuters]

At least a dozen people have sustained injuries after a Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Dublin was hit by turbulence while flying over Turkey, Dublin airport authorities have said.

At least six passengers and six crew members were injured on Qatar Airways flight QR017, Dublin airport said in a statement on Sunday.

It said that the aircraft landed safely as scheduled before 1pm (12:00GMT). Upon landing, it was met by emergency services, including airport police and the fire and rescue department, the airport said.

“All passengers were assessed for injury prior to disembarking the aircraft,” it said, adding that eight passengers were taken to hospital in Dublin in the Republic of Ireland.

Qatar Airways confirmed that the flight, a Boeing B787-9 from Doha to Dublin, landed safely.

“A small number of passengers and crew sustained minor injuries in flight and are now receiving medical attention,” read the statement. “The matter is now subject to an internal investigation.”

The incident comes after a British man died and dozens of people were severely injured on a Singapore Airlines (SIA) flight that hit sudden and severe turbulence on Tuesday. The aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing in Bangkok, Thailand.

Health authorities said on Thursday that 20 people remained in intensive care while others sustained spinal cord, brain and skull injuries.

Following the incident, Singapore’s flag carrier adopted “a more cautious approach to managing turbulence in-flight”, SIA told Al Jazeera in a statement on Friday. Under the revised policy, meal service will no longer be provided when the seat belt sign is on, the airline said.

The cabin crew will also continue to secure all loose items and equipment during poor weather conditions and continue to advise passengers to return to their seats and secure their seat belts.

Air travel rarely leads to injuries. In the United States, the world’s largest air travel market, there have only been 163 injuries between 2009 and 2022 that required hospitalisation, according to the US Federal Aviation Administration.

The US National Transportation Safety Board hasn’t reported a single turbulence-related death on a large-body aircraft in that period.

It’s also almost unheard of for turbulence to bring down an aircraft – let alone a commercial one.

Experts warned that while aircraft are designed to withstand severe amounts of turbulence, climate-change-related factors such as warming temperatures could lead to higher wind speeds.

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Source: Al Jazeera