A Qatar Airways jet made an an emergency landing at a Portuguese military base in the Azores islands Sunday after heavy turbulence injured passengers.
The Boeing 777, bound from Washington to Doha, was re-routed during a storm to the Azores, a Portuguese territory in the North Atlantic, and landed at the Lajes Air Base.
Officials and witnesses said the plane had dropped steeply in altitude, hurling several passengers out of their seats and causing one traveller to suffer heart trouble.
“All the passengers were taken to a hotel in the evening and are due to depart on Monday morning,” said an airbase spokesman, adding that several people onboard had “suffered light injuries during the turbulence”.
“There was a medical emergency as one of the passengers had a cardiac complaint during the turbulence,” a civil protection official in the Azores said. “He was hospitalised along with two other passengers.”
Azad Essa, an Al Jazeera journalist who was on board, tweeted: “Some passengers bleeding after flung in the air, hitting the ceiling + landing in the aisles after plane suddenly lost altitude.”