11 people aboard Delta flight hospitalized from severe turbulence

August 31, 2023

11 passengers on a Delta Airlines flight from Italy to Atlanta were hospitalized after sustaining injuries during "severe" turbulence.

The plane hit stormy weather as it was preparing to land at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Tuesday.

Delta passengers injured

Although the plane landed safely, 11 people were injured on the flight of 151 passengers and 14 crew members.

A video filmed by a passenger shows people being escorted off the plane on stretchers and in neck braces. One woman is seen holding an ice pack to her head.

One uninjured couple told Fox 5 that they witnessed flight attendants hit the ceiling - describing the scene as "blood and awfulness."

"Looked to be about 12 people with serious head injuries. Several flight attendants, too. Bunch of blood and awfulness," one of the passengers said. "My fiancée and I are so freaked out, we are renting a car and driving to our final destination instead."


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Delta responds

The non-injured passengers were given food, lodging, and re-booking.

“Delta Care Team members are mobilizing to connect with customers on Delta Flight 175 that experienced severe turbulence before landing safely in Atlanta Tuesday,” a Delta spokesperson said.

"Our priority is taking care of our customers and crew who sustained injuries. We are grateful for the first responders who met the aircraft to provide medical attention and who are transporting the injured to [the] hospital."

Safety risks on the rise

Between 2009 and 2022, there were 163 people injured because of turbulence, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

While injuries from turbulence are rare, safety in American aviation has deteriorated significantly.

A severe shortage of air traffic controllers is driving a sharp rise in near collisions. Many of these incidents have gone unreported, according to the New York Times, which found there were 46 near misses in July alone.

In January, a Delta flight nearly collided with an American Airlines plane on a runway at JFK Airport in New York. The Delta flight was getting ready to take off when the other plane crossed its path - forcing the pilot of the Delta flight to stop short.

The last major airline crash in the U.S. happened in 2009. All 49 people aboard died in the disaster outside of Buffalo, New York.

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