‘You were just lifted off the seat’: Qatar Airways investigates as 12 hurt in turbulence on Doha to Ireland flight

Incident comes week after man died when a Singapore Airlines flight hit severe turbulence

Six passengers and six crew members have been injured following turbulence on a flight from Doha, Qatar to Ireland.

It is understood the turbulence occurred about two hours into the seven-hour flight, when the plane was travelling over Turkey.

The in-flight meal was being served at the time and crew members were moving through the cabin.

Passengers described the plane seemingly falling from the sky as passengers clung to their seats.


The plane was not, however, forced to land immediately and continued on its journey.

In a statement, Dublin Airport said the Qatar Airways flight landed safely as scheduled shortly before 1pm on Sunday.

The airport added: “Upon landing, the aircraft was met by emergency services, including Airport Police and our Fire and Rescue department, due to six passengers and six crew [12 total] on board reporting injuries after the aircraft experienced turbulence while airborne over Turkey.

“The Dublin Airport team continues to provide full assistance on the ground to passengers and airline staff.”

The incident comes a week after a man died and scores were injured when a Singapore Airlines flight hit severe turbulence.

Phil Prendergast who was returning to Galway from Australia said it was like “a roller coaster where you go up on these high things and they just drop you. And that’s exactly what happened. We were lucky as we had our seat belts on. But you were just lifted off the seat anyway”.

She told The Examiner crew members with food trolleys were close to where her family were sitting when “everything just went up”.

“They were beside us when they got injured,” she said describing cuts they sustained.

“It was very scary, it was the worst experience, honestly, on an aeroplane and I’ve been flying back and forth for years,” said another woman passenger.

“An hour or two hours away from Dublin Airport, we hit a pocket of turbulence where we dropped for about five seconds. You could see people hitting the roof, food and things everywhere and a few injuries from that,” a male passenger said.

“There was panic, a look of panic everywhere.”

Qatar Airways confirmed the Boeing Dreamliner B787-9 flight landed safely and that it would launch an investigation. The flight departed Doha at 8.06am and tracked northwest towards Dublin.

During the turbulence, the aircraft reportedly dropped 275 feet at a rate of 21,888 feet per minute.

An airline statement said: ”A small number of passengers and crew sustained minor injuries in flight and are now receiving medical attention.

‘The matter is now subject to an internal investigation. The safety and security of our passengers and crew are our top priority.”

Last week one passenger died and 30 people were hurt when a Singapore Airlines flight had a similar experience with turbulence over Thailand. The plane was forced to land in Bangkok.

The man who died in the Singapore Airlines incident was a 73-year-old British man, who is thought to have had a heart attack.

The injuries sustained by others on the flight are understood to have included bone and spinal cord injuries.

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist