Fourteen people had to be treated for injuries in Madrid after a flight operated by Spanish charter airline Evelop ran into severe turbulence en route from Mauritius, a company official who declined to be identified said on Wednesday.
The A330-343 Airbus aircraft landed safely at its original destination in Madrid’s Barajas airport on Tuesday night after suffering a 15-second episode of clear-air turbulence that made the aircraft plummet a few hundred metres in the sky over Ethiopia.
Three crew members were among those injured, all of them lightly. The company source said the 11 passengers had ignored the seat belt warning activated before the plane flew into the turbulence zone.
El Mundo newspaper on Wednesday quoted one passenger as saying the plunge had sent various people “flying towards the ceiling and floating in the air, like you see in the movies”.
“We all thought we were going to die,” he told El Mundo, adding that upon the safe landing the passengers applauded the crew and hugged each other.