A harrowing flight to UK: ‘Staff was serving, then plane literally just dropped’

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A cruise charter flight from Barbados to Manchester diverted to Bermuda owing to extreme turbulence. Of the 225 passengers on board who had been on a Caribbean cruise and were travelling back to the UK for Christmas, 11 were left injured while 13 crew members were unharmed, it was reported. The passengers were forces to spend three days in Bermuda after the emergency diversion.

Maleth Aero Flight 1975 had taken off from Barbados and was expected to arrive at Manchester on December 24.(Representational)
Maleth Aero Flight 1975 had taken off from Barbados and was expected to arrive at Manchester on December 24.(Representational)

What we know of the flight?

Maleth Aero Flight 1975 had taken off from Barbados and was expected to arrive at Manchester on December 24. As the flight was cruising at 38,000 feet, the Airbus A300-200 experienced severe “clear-air turbulence”. The pilots diverted to the nearest airport- Bermuda’s LF Wade.

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What authorities said about the flight?

Bermuda’s acting minister of national security Owen Darrell said, “We are aware of the situation and are diligently working to ensure the well-being of all involved. We are extremely grateful for the quick response of all our emergency services personnel who ensured the safety of the passengers and crew.”

Spokesperson for P&O Cruises said, “A flight from Barbados to Manchester was diverted to Bermuda earlier yesterday morning following freak (unexpected) turbulence. Having explored all flying options and due to airport operating times, guests are in hotels today [25 December]. We are very sorry for this disruption to their journey following their holiday and we are working with the airline and hotels to take care of them and ensure they get home as soon as possible tomorrow.”

What a passsenger said about her experience?

A woman who was on the plane told Manchester Evening News that the experience was very scary.

“We were about two hours into the flight and everything was fine – some people were sitting down, but some were in the toilets and staff were serving drinks. Then all of a sudden the plane literally just dropped,” she said, adding, “I had my belt on very loose, so I was okay but I did feel myself lift off the chair. It felt like you could have been pulled off the seat. I just assumed it would keep on going.”

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