Seven hospitalized after Lufthansa flight makes emergency landing

Seven people were hospitalized after a flight from Texas to Germany made a harrowing emergency landing in Washington, DC after flying through severe turbulence.

Lufthansa Flight 469, which typically flies between Austin and Frankfurt, made an unscheduled landing at Washington Dulles International Airport on Wednesday night.

About 90 minutes after taking off from Austin, the plane hit ‘brief but severe turbulence,’ according to a Lufthansa spokesperson.

The company said it was caused by ‘clear-air turbulence, which can occur suddenly without any visible weather phenomena or warning.’

The plane was about 37,000 feet off the ground when the turbulence hit. The plane was flying over Tennessee at the time.

Around 8.21pm, the flight began dropping in altitude, according to online flight tracker FlightAware. The plane abruptly descended thousands of feet before leveling out at 24,000 feet above ground for the rest of the flight.

The turbulence reportedly sent food and drinks flying across the cabin, according to photos taken by passengers and posted on social media.

According to one Twitter user, the ‘fasten seatbelt’ sign was not on when the turbulence hit, and most of the people injured were not wearing them.

Witnesses told the Washington Post that one person was bleeding after the fall, and was later deplaned on a wheelchair.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said the plane landed without incident at 9.10pm at Washington Dulles. The FAA also confirmed they were investigating the cause of the emergency landing.

At least seven passengers were treated at local hospitals for minor injuries, Lufthansa confirmed.

‘Lufthansa ground staff at Dulles are currently attending to the well-being of passengers and rebooking them accordingly,’ the company stated. ‘The safety and well-being of passengers and crew members is Lufthansa’s top priority at all times.’

The company paid for overnight accommodations for the rest of the passengers in Washington, and apologized for the ‘inconvenience’ to the travelers.

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