Seven people were injured on an Allegiant Air flight to Pittsburgh Thursday after severe turbulence sent them flying out of their seats.
The flight was diverted to Florida on its way to Pittsburgh from Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic to send passengers to the hospital. In total, three passengers and four flight attendants were hospitalized because of the ordeal, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Two of the passengers suffered head injuries.
“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.
Passenger accounts detail the frightening scene onboard the plane. “We were flying normal, I was actually sleeping and I heard a little jolt and then all of a sudden a big jolt and I looked over at my mom and she was like flying up in the air,” passenger Heather Osborne told WTAE. Osborne was wearing her seatbelt; her mother was not.
“I have people’s blood on my feet,” said fellow passenger Amanda Kuhn.
“My first thought was, ‘This is it,’” said Heather Osborne, another one of the passengers, according to 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,” passenger Malachi Witt told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.