Lufthansa Flight 469 is diverted to Dulles Airport due to turbulence


A Lufthansa flight from Austin to Frankfurt in Germany was forced to divert to Dulles International Airport on Wednesday night after the plane encountered severe turbulence, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The Airbus A330 “landed safely” in Dulles and seven people were taken to local hospitals, according to a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.

An FAA spokesperson confirmed in an email that Flight 469 had landed “uneventfully” in northern Virginia around 9:10 p.m. local time. The crew reported encountering severe turbulence at 37,000 feet over Tennessee, he added.

A passenger on the flight said the plane went into “freefall” as dinner service began. The passenger, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear that Lufthansa will not provide compensation, said people and food “flew through the air, hitting and even damaging the ceiling of the aircraft “.

Someone in the seat in front of the passenger was “seriously injured” with blood spatter, the passenger said. The injured person was carried off the plane in a wheelchair, the passenger said.

The passenger was traveling with a companion and both were safe, although their clothes were soiled with food and wine. The airline paid for a hotel room and a taxi but did not contribute to other expenses, the passenger said.

Lufthansa did not immediately return a request for comment.

The FAA said it would investigate the incident.

Katerina Ang in Seoul contributed to this report.

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